The energetic Jenkins extends her hand but Ripley refuses to shake it, she’s all business and instead starts the match off with pie face shoves to Jenkins. Jenkins shakes it off and gets Ripley off her feet with a few arm drags. The women battle at a corner, where Jenkins attempts a springboard maneuver from the ring apron only to get cut off midflight with a dropkick from Ripley that sends Jenkins crashing to the outside floor!
Ripley tosses Jenkins back in the ring, where she lands another dropkick, this time to the head. Jenkins tries to fight back but Ripley overpowers her with heavy shots to the back and a lariat for a near fall. Ripley boots Jenkins to a corner before showing off more of her strength with a vertical suplex for another near fall.
Ripley switches gears and traps Jenkins in an abdominal stretch submission, driving in her elbow for good measures as well. Jenkins endures the hold long enough to counter with a hip toss but Ripley manages to stay in control with a flapjack that sends Jenkins facefirst to the mat. Still unable to get the three count over Jenkins, Ripley begins to toy with her opponent with more pie face shoves and some trash talking. This fires up Jenkins, who unleashes a fighting shriek to unload forearms, a back elbow and a shoulder block off the ropes.
Jenkins avoids a corner attack by slipping through the ropes and landing at the ring apron. From there, she lands a high kick and follows up with a springboard dropkick that earns her a two-count. Jenkins attempts a Roundhouse Kick but Ripley ducks and counters with a pump handle powerbomb that puts Jenkins away for the three count.
Post-match, Rhea says her new attitude stems from being defeated by a ‘kiwi’ from last year and that she has her sight on making it the finals of the Mae Young Classic.
Thoughts: We didn’t really get to see too much of Jenkins outside a handful of Xplosion matches during her time with Impact Wrestling but she still carried that spirited and charismatic babyface persona here – which worked well across this ‘edgier’ side of Ripley.
I’m enjoying the in-ring improvement from Ripley and it was highlighted in this match. For the most part, Ripley dominated the match through her size and power advantage which only adds to this cocky heel character. I’m interested in seeing how else she will engage with the rest of the competitors as the tournament continues.
I will admite, however, this was my least favorite match from this episode – which isn’t meant to be a knock to either women.