Rhea Ripley joined Edge’s new Judgment Day faction during WrestleMania Backlash, marking a new chapter in her WWE career.
A hooded individual assisted in the Hall of Famer’s win on Sunday night, attacking AJ Styles to set Edge up to execute the cross-face submission.
The mysterious assailant revealed themselves to be Ripley, who posed with Edge inside the ring after defeating Styles.
The Nightmare then appeared alongside Edge and Damian Priest on Monday Night Raw and the Judgment Day trio walked out together for the first time.
Rumours had been swirling around Ripley’s next move after she turned heel and betrayed her former tag team partner Liv Morgan last month.
The former Raw Women’s Champion had grown tired of being held back in the tag team division and was ready to attack the competition as a solo wrestler once again, but under very different circumstances.
This newer, darker version of Ripley highlights just how far she has come in her short WWE career already. Let’s look back at just how much she has transformed since she first signed for the company back in 2017.
WWE Mae Young Classic
Before she became Rhea Ripley, the Aussie star wrestled under her real name, Demi Bennett.
At 20 years old, she signed for WWE and adopted her new ring name as she competed in the inaugural Mae Young Classic event.
Ripley, fresh on the scene and yet to discover her trademark wrestling identity, is almost unrecognisable here. Her long blonde hair and simple two-piece outfit is a shadow of who The Nightmare has evolved into.
After her Mae Young Classic debut, she posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: “Cheesy smiles all round!”
Even her online persona has changed dramatically.
At the 2018 Mae Young Classic, Ripley had already adopted a new style — one that would become her iconic look during her time on NXT.
She joined the black and gold brand as part of the newly-created NXT UK and was portrayed as a rebellious figure with a more aggressive wrestling style. Her hair was shorter and she had adopted her now trademark leather and spikes combination.
Ripley became the first ever winner of the NXT UK Women’s Championship later that year and established herself as one of WWE’s most promising rookies. It was during this time that she took on her new nickname, The Nightmare.
By the time she was promoted to the main roster, she had established herself as a babyface with a strong fan following and her aesthetic was slowly changing once more.
She introduced her signature short hairstyle and wore more decorated black leather gear.
Ripley emerged onto the scene with a bang after making her main roster debut. She challenged Raw Women’s Champion Asuka to a title match at WrestleMania 37, where she made her mark and dethroned The Empress of Tomorrow.
The Nightmare, now recognisable by her much darker makeup and attire, reigned for 98 days before dropping her belt and after that, her storylines went somewhat quiet.
She joined both Nikki A.S.H and Morgan in tag team endeavours, sharing her Brutality image with both through the team names ‘Super Brutality’ and ‘Liv4Brutality’.
However, neither partnership went the distance and Ripley broke things off both times. However, her split with Morgan was the turning point and the moment fans realised the loveable Aussie babyface had turned heel once again and was out to win her title back.
The Judgment Day
It didn’t take long before the rumours surrounding Ripley joining Edge were put to bed. She declared her loyalty to the new faction with her attack on Styles during WrestleMania backlash and it seems The Nightmare is finally where she belongs.
The terrifying trio of Edge, Ripley and Priest is the ultimate heel stable and more names can certainly be expected to join the ranks as Judgment Day looks to reign supreme.
Ripley is currently in her darkest chapter of her WWE career yet, and it’s without a doubt the most exciting.