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Demi Bennett is an Australian professional wrestler currently signed with WWE, as part of their NXT UK brand under the ring name Rhea Ripley.[1] She was the inaugural NXT UK Women's Champion.

Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley NXT.jpg
Birth nameDemi Bennett
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Demi Bennet
Demi Bennett
Demiti Bennett
Rhea Ripley
Debut29 June 2013

Bennett has worked also for other Australian promotions such as Professional Wrestling Alliance and Riot City Wrestling. She also worked in Japan, working in promotions like Pro Wrestling Zero1, REINA or Diana.

Contents

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Independent circuit (2013–2017)Edit

Bennett began to work in Riot City Wrestling in 2013. She spent several years in the promotion, where she became a two-time RCW Women's Champion.[2] Bennett's New Horizon Pro Wrestling debut was made on 24 May 2014 at during the opening night of the NHPW Global Conflict where she joined the Global Conflict Tournament. She was eliminated during the first round of the tournament by Mercedes Martinez.[3] She returned for the second night of the NHPW Global Conflict event, competing in a four way mixed tag team match paired with Garry Schmidt.[3] Six months later, Bennett returned and was part of the opening night of the NHPW Final Chapter event, wrestling a Four Way Match against Madison Eagles, Evie and Saraya Knight with the vacant IndyGurlz Australia Championship at stake. However, Bennett did not win the title.[3]

Bennett made her Melbourne City Wrestling debut in on 14 June 2014 at MCW New Horizons where she defended the RCW Women's title in a Three Way match against Savannah Summers and Toni Storm.[4] On 9 August at MCW Clash Of The Titans, Bennett defeated Miami to retain her Women's Championship.[5] Bennett continued her winning streak with a third consecutive victory, defeating Savannah Summers at MCW Fight For A Cause.

On 22 April 2017, Bennett wrestled her last RCW match at RCW Strength where she successfully defended the Women's title against Kellyanne.[6]

WWEEdit

Mae Young Classic (2017–2018)Edit

In 2017, Bennett signed with the WWE. It was announced that she would compete in the inaugural Mae Young Classic under the name Rhea Ripley.[7] Ripley eliminated Miranda Salinas in the first round but lost to Dakota Kai in the second round.

Sporting a new look, Ripley competed in the second annual Mae Young Classic in 2018 and finished in the semi-finals, defeating MJ Jenkins, Kacy Catanzaro, and Tegan Nox before losing to Io Shirai. Throughout the tournament, Ripley has shown a new attitude, one of which is declining to shake her opponent's hand before the match and more aggressive and remorseless from the previous year, establishing herself as a heel in the process. [1][8]

NXT (2017–present)Edit

Ripley made her NXT television debut on 25 October 2017 episode of NXT, participating in a battle royal to determine one of the contenders for the vacant NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, which was won by Nikki Cross.[9]

On the 28 August, 2019 episode of NXT, Ripley made her return when she interrupted NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler. Swiping the microphone from Baszler before she could even talk, Ripley said that Baszler may have beaten everyone on NXT, but she hasn't beater her, signalling a feud between the two.[10]

NXT UK (2018–present)Edit

Shortly after her participation in the Mae Young Classic, Ripley was announced as part of the women's roster in the newly created NXT UK brand. During the television tapings of the show in August (that aired throughout November), Ripley took part of an eight woman tournament for the inaugural NXT UK Women's Championship.[11] She went on to defeat Xia Brookside in the first round,[12] Dakota Kai in the semi finals[13] and Toni Storm in the finals to become the inaugural champion.[14][15] With the win, Ripley also became the first Australian to ever hold a women's championship in WWE.[16] In October, Ripley also competed before the first ever all women's pay–per–view, Evolution, where she successfully retained her title against Dakota Kai in a dark match (due to the tournament airing a month later).[17] Throughout her championship reign, Ripley went on to fend off title contenders such as Isla Dawn[18] and Deonna Purrazzo.[19]. At NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, she lost her title to Toni Storm ending her reign at 139 days. At the Royal Rumble 2019, she debuted on the main roster by entering the Women's Royal Rumble at number 24. She eliminated Kacy Catanzaro, Dana Brooke, and Zelina Vega before being eliminated by Bayley. For the most part of 2019, Ripley started a feud with a debuting Piper Niven over who's the most dominant woman in the NXT UK roster.[20] The two finally squared off in a match on the July 3, 2019 episode of NXT UK where Niven defeated Ripley.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Bennett also excels in other sports such as swimming, karate, rugby, netball and soccer.[7][22] She cites watching The Miz as an inspiration growing up.[23] She is a fan of the Adelaide Football Club.[24]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Fewster, Sean. "Adelaide's own WWE star, Rhea Ripley, tears through competition in 2018 Mae Young Classic". The Advertiser. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Rhea Ripley — Online World of Wrestling". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "NHPW Australia – Past Shows". New Horizon Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  4. ^ "2014 – MCW New Horizons (Women's Event)". MCW Encore. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  5. ^ "2014 – MCW Clash of the Titans". MCW Encore. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  6. ^ Michael, Casey. "Demi Bennett Wrestles Last Match Before Reporting To WWE". Squared Circle Sirens. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b "20-year-old Australian phenom, Team 3-D Academy alumna added to Mae Young Classic". WWE.com. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Australia's Rhea Ripley to compete in Mae Young Classic 2018". WWE.com. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Nikki Cross won a 17-Superstar NXT Women's Championship Qualifying Battle Royal". WWE.com. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  10. ^ "NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler backed down from Rhea Ripley". WWE.com. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  11. ^ Trionfo, Richard (14 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORTS: NXT UK WOMEN'S TITLE TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCED, BATE VERSUS DRAKE, SEVEN VERSUS GIBSON, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  12. ^ Trionfo, Richard (21 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORTS: THE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT CONTINUES, MARK ANDREWS, JORDAN DEVLIN, LIGERO, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  13. ^ Trionfo, Richard (21 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK REPORTS: THE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT CONTINUES, MARK ANDREWS, JORDAN DEVLIN, LIGERO, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  14. ^ Trionfo, Richard (28 November 2018). "WWE NXT UK EPISODE 12 REPORT: THE FIRST NXT UK WOMEN'S CHAMPION IS CROWNED AND MORE". PWInsider.
  15. ^ "Major news from Sunday night's NXT UK tapings (CAUTION: SPOILERS)". WWE.com. 27 August 2018.
  16. ^ "History made as Rhea Ripley becomes first Australian woman to win a WWE championship". Fox Sports Australia. 1 September 2018.
  17. ^ Johnson, Mike (28 October 2018). "NXT UK TITLE DEFENDED AT WWE UK EVOLUTION". PWInsider.
  18. ^ Trionfo, Richard (19 December 2018). "WWE NXT UK EPISODE 17 REPORT: RIPLEY VERSUS DAWN, MOUSTACHE MOUNTAIN, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  19. ^ Trionfo, Richard (26 December 2018). "NXT UK EPISODE 20 REPORT: RIPLEY VERSUS PURRAZZO, BARTHEL VERSUS ANDREWS, AND MORE". PWInsider.
  20. ^ "Rhea Ripley def. Xia Brookside; Piper Niven emerges to steal her thunder". WWE.com. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Piper Niven def. Rhea Ripley". WWE.com. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  22. ^ Williamson, Brett. "Adelaide wrestler Demi Bennett in training for dream career with WWE". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  23. ^ @ryansatin (6 September 2018). "1) Rhea Ripley is gonna be a major star in the very near future. 2) Her fun fact being that she grew up watching The Miz made me feel old. #WWEMYC" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 September 2018 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ @RheaRipley_WWE (29 September 2017). "Go Crows!!! #AFLGrandFinal2017 #WeFlyAsOne" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 September 2018 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 100 Female Wrestlers Results". Wrestling Travel. Retrieved 9 November 2018.

External linksEdit