Rhea Ripley Talks COVID-19, Her Passion For Wrestling, More
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
On doing shows during the COVID-19 pandemic:
It was super weird at first. WrestleMania was the first time I performed with no crowd. I feel I did fairly well, and we stole the show which is something I’m very proud of. But it is very weird with no crowd in attendance because you feed off them a lot. Me being me, I feed off the crowd a lot. I guess you have to remember there are thousands of fans sitting at home that need an escape from the world. They need something to entertain them for a couple of hours and I have to just remember that. And I tune into what their reactions would be and I think of that when I’m in the ring.
Having people like Triple H and Shawn Michaels at the performance center, it’s just insane. All the people around me are just so great. They’ve all been through it and they all know so much and to have them all give me their knowledge is so insane. Going into work and seeing Shawn Michaels – someone I watched growing up – how many people can say that? That they get to see people like Shawn Michaels at work and that they get to learn off Shawn Michaels. To me that’s insane. I remember Shawn Michaels just walking around, and he came over to me and started telling me things, and he’s like, ‘You don’t have to listen to me, I’m just an old man’. I’m like, ‘You’re not just an old man, you’re Shawn Michaels! You’re one of the best. Of course I’m going to listen to you’.
On her decision to pursue wrestling and the passion she has for it:
Growing up in South Australia, you didn’t really hear about wrestling much. It was mostly on the weekends at stupid hours in the morning when I was playing sport. Unless you had Foxtel – and I didn’t’ have Foxtel – it was very difficult for me to watch wrestling. Our family friend’s kids, they actually watched wrestling and they’re the ones who got me into it by showing me a clip on YouTube of Triple H and Ric Flair. At the time, this was the best thing I had ever seen. [I asked myself] ‘Why have I not watched more of this and how do I watch more of this?’ It was very hard watching wrestling growing up because a lot of people at school didn’t understand. They didn’t really get wrestling and how important it was to me.
You can read the entire interview here.