Rhea Ripley Clarifies She Didn’t Lose NXT Title to Return to Australia

At WrestleMania 36, Rhea Ripley lost the NXT Women’s Championship to Charlotte Flair that soon led to rumors of The Nightmare’s need to drop the title due to her work visa expiring and her compulsion to return to Australia.

Ripley, however, couldn’t return to the land Down Under due to travel restrictions imposed by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

During a recent interview with Metro, Ripley stated that since she couldn’t fly home, she had to find a way to figure out a way to renew her visa in the US.

“Yes, I had to do my visa but now i’m having to do it here because there’s no flights. I can’t get to Australia, and then if I was there I couldn’t get back out… I had people from work calling me like, ‘Are you in Australia right now?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m not an idiot! No!’”

Ripley simply squashed the aforementioned rumors and laughed it off. The fact that she didn’t work the immediate next tapings following WrestleMania 36 had further fueled rumors of her return to Australia.

“I sort of just laugh it off. Social media can be very negative at times. If this had been going round when I wasn’t as mentally strong as I am now, I would’ve taken it a completely different way and things wouldn’t have been as good… It’s quite funny seeing people saying that I lost because I had to go back to Australia.”

Ripley has an opportunity to regain the NXT Women’s Title this Sunday at NXT TakeOver: In Your House. The Nightmare will have to beat Flair and Io Shirai to kick-off her second reign.

As previously reported, WWE put the title on Flair for the sole purpose of using her stardom to boost NXT television ratings in the ongoing Wednesday Night Wars with AEW Dynamite.