Photo Credit: Twitter @WWENetwork

Rhea Ripley pinned longtime champion Asuka to win her first Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37.

Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka to win the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37 on Sunday night.

Sunday marked Ripley’s second career WrestleMania match. She lost the NXT Women’s Championship to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania last year, and is also a former NXT UK Women’s Champion.

The strong Aussie made the jump from NXT to Monday Night Raw last month and immediately inserted herself into the title picture. Her pure strength and size advantage over the athletic Asuka set up for a great match. It was equal parts technical and aggressive, just as many holds as there were strikes.

Asuka locked Ripley in an Asuka Lock, but Ripley worked her way out of it. A Rip Tide later, Rhea Ripley was the new Raw Women’s Champion.

There may be no obvious opponents for Rhea Ripley, but she and new SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair are in a strong position. They can remake their respective women’s divisions entirely. The entire balance of power has shifted.

What will a Rhea Ripley championship reign be? Will she be an aggressive and tyrannical heel? Or is she set to be more of a ‘tweener, or maybe a fiery babyface?

The most obvious first opponent is a rematch with Asuka, but WWE also needs to build new stars. They’ve done a great job starting with Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair. Now, let’s see if they can keep it up.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.