Rhea Ripley blasts ‘crap’ online abuse directed at WWE rival Charlotte Flair
Raw Women’s Champ Rhea Ripley has slammed the “crap” directed to WWE rival Charlotte Flair by online critics who take things too far.
On screen, the pair are embroiled in a bitter rivalry over Ripley’s championship, and meet in a major bout at this Sunday’s Money in the Bank event.
WrestleMania aside, this will be the first WWE pay per view to be held in front of live fans since the Coronavirus pandemic hit in the Spring of 2020.
Flair is almost guaranteed a lively reception from those in attendance, having long been one of the company’s most polarising figures.
Flair’s freakish ability and talent are undeniable – as is the fact she has millions of fans worldwide. Despite that, the 35-year-old is regularly subject to fierce criticism from other sections of the fanbase.
Flair, whose father is Hall of Fame star Ric Flair, has never ducked her naysayers who accuse her of hogging WWE’s limelight or being afforded opportunities that might not come the way of those without such a famous name.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Ripley fought the corner of her in-ring foe, firing back: “She is absolutely incredible with what she does, and I think she holds herself together very well.
“Charlotte gets a lot of crap on the internet, and I know a lot of us do, which is something I don’t understand too much.
“I don’t understand why people have to be so rude on social media, especially when we work for WWE… people get confused with how we act in our own lives and how we act on tv.
“They take it out on us, and I don’t think that’s very fair.
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“As a colleague, I love being in the ring with Charlotte and I definitely do learn a lot from her.
“I know that she gets so much stuff on social media, and I don’t think that’s fair whatsoever.
“Like I said, she pulls herself together very well and is a very confident individual – that is something that I really look up to.
“It impresses me knowing how much she goes through; how strong she is and how much she doesn’t care about anyone else’s opinion.
“I think that is fantastic.”
While those who cross the line in terms of abuse regularly snare the headlines, Ripley did admit that there remains a certain amount of that flak that she loves to see.
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More than ready to play the role of on-screen villain herself, the Aussie added: “Some comments make you think ‘Yes! I’m doing my job right.’
“The ones I don’t like are where it’s body-shaming and stuff like that – that’s what I do not appreciate.
“So, some of it can be flattering, but for the rest it’s like… ‘you don’t have to go there!”
Rhea Ripley defends the Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair at WWE Money in the Bank this Sunday, live on BT Sport Box Office and WWE Network. For more details visit wwe.com.
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