WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s decision left Triple H shocked
Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair won their respective Royal Rumble matches to guarantee themselves a world title match at WrestleMania 36. The build to this year’s WrestleMania has started after the 2020 Royal Rumble as McIntyre made his intention clear. The Scottish Psychopath decided to face Brock Lesnar for a match at the Grandest Stage of Them All while Charlotte choose to play the waiting game. Fans were not sure what she will do as the WWE Universe has seen plenty of Charlotte vs Becky Lynch (Raw Women’s Champion) and Flair vs Bayley (SmackDown women’s champion) matches in the past.
Charlotte surprised everyone when she decided to challenge WWE NXT women’s champion Rhea Ripley for a match at WrestleMania 36.
However, it was not just the viewers who were surprised but NXT boss Triple H was also taken aback by the decision to let Charlotte Flair face NXT’s Rhea Ripley. Triple H revealed in a media call after NXT TakeOver: Portland that it was shocking to him that Vince McMahon thought about making a match between a superstar like Flair and NXT champion Ripley.
“To be honest, it was shocking to me when it was first mentioned to me. I believe that this was just a decision from Vince’s part on understanding the other stories for the women. To me, you have opportunities where you look in a moment in time and ask is Charlotte going after Bayley and Sasha Banks [on SmackDown], does she come after Becky Lynch [on Raw].”
“You’ve seen that before and we’re looking into something fresh and you see that with Shayna Baszler going after Becky Lynch and you see that in different ways on SmackDown with where they’re going. So this was a way for Charlotte Flair needing to be in that big, epic role. I think it really had nothing more to do with that. It’s good storytelling and that’s what the goal is here, good storytelling across the board.”
It seemed WWE were building a feud between Ripley and Charlotte - something the fans can easily get behind - since Ripley had a breakthrough year in 2019, in which she became one of the most popular acts on NXT. But there was a hurdle - Ripley was set to face Bianca Belair at NXT Takeover: Portland this week, and fans were wondering if WWE might pull a surprise and give the title to Belair, and make it Charlotte vs Belair at WrestleMania.
But, at NXT Takeover: Portland, the ‘ESP of NXT’ suffered a defeat at the hands of ‘The Nightmare’, and her hopes of winning the title were over. But as soon as Ripley retained, Charlotte came out from nowhere to launch an attack from behind. Then she picked up a microphone to accept Ripley’s challenge for WrestleMania. So, there you go - the stage is set for a Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley match at WrestleMania 36.