WWE's Rhea Ripley reveals how her WrestleMania 39 snub felt in the moment (2024)

Ripley had something to prove.

When Rhea Ripley outlasted the field and won the 2023 Royal Rumble, it left fans with one obvious conclusion: Mami was going to main event Night 1 of WrestleMania 39.

On paper, the assumption made sense, right? Since WrestleMania expanded to two nights instead of a one-day tour de force, female performers have always had a strong presence at the top of the card, with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Ronda Rousey blowing their way through that glass ceiling and the Women's Royal Rumble providing a pathway to the top spot.

And yet, when push came to shove, Ripley found herself with very strong competition for the top spot on Night 1, with the dramatic culmination of the Sami Zayn portion of The Bloodline story competing with the “Eradicator's” shot at Charlotte Flair's gold.

Which side would Paul “Triple H” Levesque choose? Would he stick within the strict wording of the rules, or would he use the term “main event” more liberally, opting to instead give the nod to Zayn, Kevin Owen, and The Usos, Jimmy and Jey?

Well, as it turned out, Levesque went with the hot hand and gave the nod to KO and Sami versus The Usos, and, in an interview with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Ripley revealed that this obviously didn't feel too good in the moment, as she did everything right and was still left without the award she'd earned.

“Yeah. I mean, obviously I understand why we weren't the main event. I do. I have to give it to the guys. They had a very compelling story going into WrestleMania to the point that Mami was interested, and Mami wanted to see who was gonna come up victorious,” Rhea Ripley told Fightful. “But, obviously, being the Royal Rumble winner, I wanted that main event spot so extremely bad. So going out there as the semi-main, I did have a point to prove. I wanted to show everyone that we could have main evented if given the opportunity to have a proper build to WrestleMania. So I understand. I completely understand. No hate to the boys, but was a little bit jealous.”

Fortunately for Ripley, her match with Flair did not disappoint at WrestleMania 39, delivering the best female effort of the entire weekend and one of the highlight matches of the stronger day of the SoFi Arena-based “Showcase of the Immortals.” While she once again appears unlikely to land a main event spot at WrestleMania 40, as Bayley has first dibs against IYO SKY in the women's division and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may politic his way into a main event spot via a tag team match with Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Cody Rhodes, in the end, Mami has established herself as a legit main eventer and in the end, her moment in the sun will come as a result.

Damian Priest reveals how Rhea Ripley got her nickname.

On a lighter note within The Bloodline world, Damian Priest revealed to fans how Rhea Ripley landed her now signature ‘Mami' moniker, which famously transformed from a joke against the Mysterio family into a legitimately vital part of her character.


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“Obviously, when Dom [Mysterio] started, when he joined the Judgment Day, she was kind of his boss in a way. We were doing all the talking about Eddie [Guerrero] and whatnot, and it was like, ‘You should start calling yourself Papi.' So that was the first idea, but obviously, that's Eddie Guerrero,” Damian Priest explained to Inside The Ropes via EWrestling News.

“So it was like, well, we can't really just do that because that's his thing, and that's completely being somebody else. So I was like, ‘Easy fix – Mami.' We had the Mamacita [in Chyna], but not Mami. I pitched it, and I think she said it one time or something, and it took off. There was signs everywhere [saying] ‘Mami, Mami, Mami.' So, it's cool.”

Would Ripley be as over without Mami? Probably, as she is the most dominant female performer in recent memory, with just three total losses in 2023 and 2024 combined. Still, in professional wrestling, like in life, marketing is key, and securing a simple, big, bold moniker that fans can slap on signs and WWE can slap on merchandise is a big way to prove a performer's popularity and persuade creativity that they deserve an even more profound push moving forward. At this stage of the game, Rhea Ripley is Mami, and even if she somehow breaks up with “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio in the split-up of the WWE century, it's more than likely the moniker will remain firmly hers.

WWE's Rhea Ripley reveals how her WrestleMania 39 snub felt in the moment (2024)
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