At WWE Payback 2023, Rhea Ripley not only defended her Women’s Championship against the formidable Raquel Rodriguez but also paid a heartfelt tribute to one of the most iconic Women’s Champions in the history of professional wrestling – Chyna. While Ripley’s successful title defense was a remarkable achievement in its own right, it was her choice of attire for the match that truly tugged at the heartstrings of wrestling aficionados.
In a move that instantly evoked nostalgia for the Attitude Era, Ripley donned a black outfit that bore a striking resemblance to the iconic gear worn by Chyna during her storied WWE career. For those who witnessed Chyna’s time in WWE, her black attire became synonymous with her larger-than-life character and awe-inspiring feats inside the squared circle.
The decision to emulate Chyna’s look was a poignant tribute to the enduring legacy of the woman often referred to as the “Ninth Wonder of the World.” Chyna, whose real name was Joanie Laurer, was a trailblazer in women’s wrestling, breaking barriers and redefining gender norms in the sport. Her unmatched strength, resilience, and fearless approach in the ring made her a true pioneer.
Throughout her career, Rhea Ripley has drawn numerous comparisons to Chyna, and it’s not difficult to see why. Ripley’s rapid ascent in WWE, her involvement in various wrestling stables, and her willingness to take on male opponents when the situation demands it all mirror elements of Chyna’s groundbreaking career.
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The black attire, now forever linked with Chyna’s legacy, adds yet another layer to the comparisons between Ripley and the legendary wrestler. It serves as a subtle yet powerful acknowledgment of the impact Chyna had on the world of professional wrestling and the indelible mark she left on the industry.
— 𓆩♡𓆪 (@QuiteVexing) September 3, 2023
Ripley’s choice to pay homage to Chyna also underscores the respect and admiration she holds for the “Ninth Wonder of the World.” Chyna’s influence extended far beyond the wrestling ring, inspiring generations of female athletes and proving that women could excel in a male-dominated field.
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Rhea Ripley’s tribute to Chyna at WWE Payback 2023 not only honors a trailblazing pioneer but also cements Ripley’s status as a worthy successor in the realm of Women’s Champions. As Ripley’s career continues to evolve and she forges her own path in WWE, her gesture serves as a reminder of the profound and lasting impact that Chyna had on the world of professional wrestling.
In a world where wrestling history is rich with iconic moments and legendary figures, Rhea Ripley’s nod to Chyna stands as a poignant and touching moment that celebrates the heritage and tradition of this beloved sport.