Rhea Ripley def. Toni Storm to become the first-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion
After fighting their way through two hard-fought matches a piece in the NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament, Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley squared off in the Finals to crown the first-ever NXT Women’s Champion.
Though Storm started the contest out with an aggressive attack on Ripley that quickly moved outside the ring, the momentum changed in a hurry when she missed her mark and went changing into the ring barricade. Then, in a key moment, Ripley countered her opponent’s attack on the ring apron with a brutal backdrop that sent Storm crashing onto the ring apron, spine-first. Even though her back was clearly in pain, the rocking competitor heroically shook off the referee’s inquiries on whether she could continue and barely beat the 10-count back into the ring. However, the damage had been done.
Ripley refused to relent, and though the resilient Storm fought back, The Mosh Pit Kid was able to unleash an absolutely punishing assault, specifically targeting her opponent’s injured back with ruthless aggression which included locking in her modified Cloverleaf that utilized the arms. Ignoring the pain, Storm delivered three snap German suplexes, before miraculously bridging with her injured back to pick up the near fall.
Ripley fired back, catching Storm with a major dropkick as her opponent was coming off the ropes. Though Storm was able to evade her opponent and sent her charging into the rope post, her Storm Zero attempt was stalled when Ripley countered and tossed her over the top rope and crashing to the ringside floor, adding still more punishment to her lower back.
In the height of the action, the determined Storm thwarted Ripley’s Riptide attempt and looked to finally hit the Storm Zero. But, in a heartbreaking moment, her injured back prevented her from executing her finishing maneuver and opened the door for Ripley to hit the Riptide for the three-count. Rhea Ripley is the first-ever NXT UK Women’s Champion!
And with the NXT UK locker room looking on, Ripley showed uncharacteristic respect to Storm before accepting the NXT UK Women’s Championship from COO Triple H and General Manager Johnny Saint.