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Wrestling / Rhea Ripley

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The Nightmare.
The Eradicator.

Demi Bennett (born 11 October 1996) is an Australian professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where she performs on the Raw brand under the ring name Rhea Ripley. She was also the inaugural NXT UK Women's Champion as well as a former NXT Women's Champion, a former Raw Women's Champion, a former WWE Women's Tag Team Champion, and current Smackdown Women's Champion, making her the only person to have held all five titles, as well as the first female Australian champion in WWE history.

After competing on the Australian independent circuit under her real name since 2013, Ripley joined WWE as part of the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017. After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 edition of the tournament, she was part of the original roster of NXT UK, becoming its inaugural women's champion in August 2018. After a run on the NXT brand from 2019 to 2021 which saw her win the NXT Women's Championship and become the brand's first member to defend their title at WrestleMania, WWE's flagship event, she moved to Raw, quickly going on to win the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 37.

Ripley cites watching The Miz as an inspiration growing up. In addition to wrestling, Ripley is also trained in or practices swimming, karate, rugby, netball and soccer.

"This is my Tropes Brutality!"

  • Alliterative Name: Rhea Ripley.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Tall, muscular and beautiful.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Was very affectionate with Liv Morgan during their tag team together and seemed overjoyed to have her around, but later developed a Villainous Crush on Dominik Mysterio during her current run as part of The Judgement Day.
  • Anti-Hero: Even as a face she's arrogant, bloodthirsty and creatively violent.
  • Arch-Enemy: Shayna Baszler during her NXT run.
  • Awesome Aussie: From Adelaide, South Australia.
  • Big Girl, Little Girl: Her recent tag teams have been this, teaming the 5'7", 137lb Rhea with Nikki A.S.H. (5'0" 117lbs), and Liv Morgan (5'3" and 100lbs).
  • Big Sister Instinct: Is very protective of her friends, especially as a face.
  • Boobs of Steel: Her move sets are mostly power-based. It's not obvious from her gear but she's decently endowed.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Appropriate for her hardcore goth persona and brutal, strength-centered wrestling style, Rhea wears her hair cropped much shorter than just about any other woman on the roster.
  • Catchphrase: Fond of saying she will 'rip' certain things/people apart. Three guesses why that's a favorite word of hers.
  • Chained by Fashion: Some of her ring gear, including various jackets and pants she's worn, feature small dangling metal chains. These can also be seen on her name as shown on her titantron.
  • Character Development: At first, her Heel–Face Turn didn't mean much other than that she was primarily targeting heels she didn't like. The months that followed gradually changed this, with her coming to the aid of Piper Niven against Jinny and Jazzy Gabert, taking charge of the female faces of NXT following the announcement of a women's WarGames match and forming bonds with them as a result of fighting Team Baszler, and responding to Dakota Kai's heel turn and subsequent heelish behaviour by coming to the aid of Candice LeRae during a post-match beatdown by Kai and setting Kai up for an attack by Mia Yim after learning she'd sabotaged Team Ripley before they even reached the stage by taking out Yim to weasel her way onto the team during the WarGames Pre-Show. All-around Rhea is now decisively a face, albeit still with a hard edge in the form of her pre-existing character traits. Feuding with Asuka and Charlotte Flair upon officially joining Raw saw her revert to more unscrupulous tactics to keep up with them at first, but she soon regained her footing as a hard-edged face through facing, respecting, and ultimately teaming with Nikki A.S.H.
  • The Corrupter: To Dominik Mysterio, being the Judgement Day member who finally succeeded in convincing him to turn on his father.
  • Dawn of an Era: Resurfaced in the new NXT UK brand and became the brand's first-ever Women's Champion a few weeks after its launch.
  • Dark Action Girl: As a heel, although she retains many of the same qualities as a face.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: After turning face, she still wore black leather ring gear and retained her rock metal entrance music.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: After Shayna Bazler dominated the NXT women's locker room for two whole years and held the NXT Women's champion for 400 days (along with a long undefeated streak), Rhea ended it at the December 18th, 2019 episode of NXT.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Her method of pinning her opponents, combined with the look on her face she often has when applying said pin, has drawn a lot of fan attention. It's pretty easy to see why.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: She was a traditional Face wearing a different red gear in her debut in the first Mae Young Classic. She would debut her familiar look and attitude the following year.
  • Evil Wears Black: Consistently wears dark ring gear, and has spent most of her career as a brash Heel who displays unbridled ferocity against her opponents.
  • Eviler than Thou: Subverted. At first her conflict with Shayna Baszler looked like it would be this, but then she tacitly turned face, and there went that.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After more than two years as a popular Face, she finally pulled one in 2022, turning on Liv Morgan and joining Edge's new Heel stable, Judgement Day.
  • Finishing Move: The Riptide, a pumphandle powerbomb.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Candice LeRae, and Mia Yim and Tegan Nox to a lesser extent, as a result of the build-up to TakeOver: WarGames. Dakota Kai would have been this if she hadn't betrayed all of them.
  • Gentle Giant: Is very friendly and supportive of her fellow wrestlers in real life.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Her Heel–Face Turn didn't remove her aggressive demeanor at all.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After a consistent run as a heel at WWE, she was switched to face for her feud with Shayna Baszler.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Black leather ring gear really demonstrates her dark and violent moods in the ring.
  • The Hero: Since moving to the main NXT roster, she has effectively become the highest ranking female face in NXT, and was positioned as being in prime position to take Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's Championship more or less from the first moment they came face to face. She now boasts the impressive accomplishments of scaring Shayna Baszler enough to make her force a disqualification during their championship match, leading the face team in NXT's first WarGames match to victory despite a two-to-four numbers disadvantage, and being the leader of NXT's Women's team at Survivor Series, which she also led to victory.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: She was the one who goaded Charlotte Flair to challenge for her NXT title at WrestleMania 36 after winning the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble match. Charlotte ended up beating Rhea for her 12th championship.
  • Important Haircut: Started out with long hair during the first year of her debut, but changed to a short undercut as part of her reinvention as the Nightmare.
    • She then dyed her hair black after joining Judgement Day, cementing her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Large and in Charge: When she led her team during the 2019 WarGames and Survivor Series events, she visibly towered over her teammates.
  • Metalhead: If her look and theme music didn't make it obvious enough, she's a passionate fan of heavy metal, citing it as her biggest influence outside of sports. Hell, one of her Red Barons is "The Mosh Pit Kid".
  • Metal Scream: Her entrance theme opens with a loud "THIS IS MY BRUTALITY!" followed by shrieking.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Despite her match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36 being widely praised, a number of fans and even critics have noted their grunts to be very... "distracting".
  • Outside-Context Problem: Served as this to Shayna Baszler in NXT. Most of Baszler's past opponents, on top of being smaller/not as strong as Baszler physically, had come up through the ranks in the American NXT Women's locker room and were therefore subject to several months to years of Shayna's mind games and gang beatings by the Horsewomen. These would build to matches in front of massive crowds at Takeover events, whereas she rarely fought full matches with any stakes on the Wednesday night shows, creating an atmosphere where Baszler was already in opponents' heads before matches started, giving her a psychological advantage on top of her physical dominance. Rhea had established herself in the UK first and had already won a title, and as a result wasn't remotely afraid of Shayna. She was also one of the first superstars (except possibly Bianca Belair) who was Baszler's physical equal, perhaps even superior. Their match ended up being on the last live weekly show of the year (as the following Wednesday fell on Christmas). Baszler found herself somewhat on the back foot because of this combination of factors and eventually ended up losing her championship.
  • Power Stable: Judgement Day, with Finn Bálor, Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio.
  • Red Baron: "The Nightmare." It's pretty well-earned.
    • Also has had "The Mosh Pit Kid" for much of her career.
    • "The Eradicator" since joining Judgement Day.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: She's as brash and aggressive as Face as she is as a Heel, gradually becoming a compassionate babyface without losing her hard edge. Given her lawyer-friendly cosplay of Vegeta at WrestleMania 36, her path to that point was clearly inspired.
  • Shout-Out: Her signature stomp that she uses in her entrance is based on a move that late Suicide Silence frontman Mitch Lucker used to perform on-stage, which she calls the "Lucker Stomp" in tribute.
  • Statuesque Stunner: An Amazonian Beauty standing at 5'9".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Liv 4 Brutality. Both are clad in black-leather with gothic-appearing makeup, but Rhea is bigger, taller, more powerfully built, and has the short hair and rougher attitude whereas Liv is the long-haired, slender, more hot and peppy of the two. Interestingly enough, Liv started out more tomboyish and Rhea more feminine before adopting their distinct aesthetics over time.
  • Tomboyness Upgrade: Started out looking quite feminine, with long blonde hair and more traditional "girly" wrestling attire, before becoming the short-haired, black-leather-and-spikes-clad tomboy she is today. She revealed that the change-up actually saved her job in WWE, as the company was reportedly unhappy with her initial character and had considered releasing her from her contract.
  • Tournament Arc: Competed in the first two Mae Young Classics, and then won the 2018 NXT UK tournament for the newly instated NXT UK Women's Championship.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When Rhea chose Mia Yim as the final member of her WarGames team, she also used the wrong words to Dakota Kai, telling her that "she didn't make the cut". She didn't mean anything by it, but given that Dakota was already having a terrible night, including failing to prove herself and being defeated by Shayna Baszler for the fourth time, Rhea accidentally laid the groundwork for Dakota's Face–Heel Turn.
  • Ur-Example:
    • The inaugural NXT UK Women's Champion. She also led the victorious team in the first ever female WarGames match.
    • Winning the NXT UK belt also made her the first Australian women's champion in WWE.
    • As of her 2019 defeat of Shayna Baszler, she is the first competitor in WWE to hold a singles title on NXT brands in multiple countriesnote , as she has held both the American and United Kingdom NXT Women's Championships.
  • Use Your Head: Beginning at NXT Takeover: Wargames (2019), she would frequently use headbutts during her matches.
  • Villainous Crush: Became infatuated with Dominik Mysterio when he was a Face and she was part of the heelish Judgement Day. In fact, it's implied that her influence led to Dom turning on his father and joining the Judgement Day.
  • You Go, Girl!: Subverted. As of joining the Judgment Day, Rhea has no qualms whatsoever about mixing it up with the boys, even going so far as to powerslam the 300-pound Luke Gallows. But because she's typically fighting chivalrous babyfaces that Wouldn't Hit a Girl and often takes advantage of said trait, this willingness is more presented as her fighting dirty (to be fair, she also has few compunctions about hitting said men in the balls.)