Rhea Ripley is building a head of steam for WrestleMania 39 as she is set to challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair.
On Friday night, Ripley faced Liv Morgan, who challenged the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble winner to a match. Morgan started off strong trying to take down the 5-foot-7 Doomsday stablemate with Dominik Mysterio in her corner at ringside.
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However, Morgan came up short and lost to Ripley after she hit the Riptide maneuver and put Morgan into a modified cloverleaf to make him retreat. Ripley would continue to talk trash throughout the match and would even turn to Flair at one point to make sure she was seeing what she was doing to Morgan.
In the stands, a huge Morgan fan was seen crying, upset over the loss of her favorite fighter. Morgan made amends with the fan by welcoming her backstage on SmackDown. The images showed Morgan comforting the fan.
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It’s been tough for Morgan recently. She did a show at Elimination Chamber last month, but didn’t earn a Raw Women’s Championship shot as Asuka had won the match. She lost to Asuka on Smackdown prior to the February pay-per-view and was also part of the six-person team that lost to Asuka, Carmella and Nikki Cross.
Morgan’s last victory came on February 10 when she and Raquel Rodríguez defeated Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville in a tag team match.
Ripley’s been on fire lately. Despite losing a mixed tag team match to Edge and Beth Phoenix, she won the Royal Rumble, she pinned Candice LeRae on January 9 and has wins over Akira Tozawa and Asuka.
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WrestleMania 39 is scheduled for April 1-2.