Both Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox started their WWE careers around the same time.
In 2017, both Ripley and Nox were set to be in the first Mae Young Classic Tournament. For Nox, she wasn’t able to compete as her first torn ACL took place before the tournament kicked off. When the second tournament happened in 2018, Nox was able to participate but during a quarter-finals match with Ripley, she tore her ACL for a second time.
Nox was part of the most recent releases from WWE that took place this past week. Ahead of Survivor Series this weekend, Ripley spoke with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT about how Nox has saved her WWE career not just once, but twice.
“Tegan is someone I hold very, very dear to my heart,” Ripley explained. “I know that I might have been a bit harsh on social media after the whole injury in the Mae Young Classic, but that whole time that I was posting those, I really did feel very bad because she really did help me through a lot.
“Tegan, she doesn’t understand how much I appreciate her and what she’s done for me. But there was a time at the Performance Center where my name was on the list to get fired and I’d only been there for a year.
“I don’t know why my name was on the list, I guess people just didn’t like me at the time. It is what it is – I changed their mind! But I was on the chopping block and I had a PC live match in front of all our peers and it was against Tegan.
“One of the guys found out I was on that list and he told her – he didn’t tell me because he knew I’d freak out – but he told her and was like ‘look, you’ve got to make Rhea look good because this might be her last match here otherwise.’ And that’s exactly what she did,” Ripley said, beaming.
“Even though it was in front of our peers – and that’s the most terrifying time to have a match – she made me look like an absolute star. She took everything of mine and made me look so incredible that it got my name taken off that list. And that was just one of the times!
She continued to share her gratitude for Nox as she shared their experience in the Mae Young Classic. She says that it upsets her that she’s not still with her in WWE to have another televised match together.
“The other time was in the Mae Young Classic. She got injured and I really wish it didn’t happen, but if that didn’t happen, honestly – even though it sucked for her and I really wish it didn’t happen – that skyrocketed my career because no one believed in me before then.
“But because that happened, I was forced to go into that match with Io [Shirai] and we pulled off such a fantastic match people had to book me. They knew that I was a rising star. So she not only helped me on purpose, but she helped me by accident as well.
“I love Tegan so much and I’m so upset that she’s not here with me and I wish that we finally got to have another match on TV because it never got to happen.
“I felt so bad. After it happened and she got her surgery – her second surgery because she’d already done her other knee – after she’d got the surgery I took my dog over to her house because I knew that she loved dogs and I just let her play with my pup. I’m sorry, pet my dog! [laughs].”
What are your thoughts on what Rhea Ripley has had to share about Tegan Nox? Where would you like to see Nox next back as her indie name Nixon Newell? Join the discussion below.