It looks like Rhea Ripley has been officially called up to the main roster and will make her debut on Raw in the coming weeks. A teaser for Ripley aired tonight during WWE Raw, announcing Ripley will be coming to Raw "soon." The former NXT Women's Champion and NXT UK Women's Champion has been absent from NXT since losing to Raquel Gonzalez in a Last Woman Standing Match at New Years Evil in January.
Some might say that Ripley's call-up comes about a year too late. Ripley appeared on Raw around this time last year to goad Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair into challenging Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship, which was of course itself a ploy to get Charlotte on NXT in hopes it would pop the ratings and help compete against AEW. Flair defeated Ripley at WrestleMania, and that would have been a great time for Ripley to move up to the main roster.
Another good opportunity for Ripley to hit the main roster was when she and Flair both lost a triple threat match for the Women's Championship against Io Shirai in June. Or when Ripley again lost a title match against Shirai in November. But it looks like losing the Last Woman Standing match to Raquel Gonzalez was officially the end of Ripley's storied NXT career.
Ripley's arrival on Raw could come at a very fortuitous, or cursed, time, depending on your perspective. On the one hand, a slot in a feud with Charlotte Flair just opened up now that Lacey Evans is pregnant with Ric Flair's love child. It will be very tempting to slot Ripley into that slot for WrestleMania. On the other hand, it would also be very tempting (if you're WWE) to have Ripley do the job to Flair at WrestleMania for a second time. And come to think of it, it would also be fery tempting (if you're Vince McMahon) to have Ripley also start dating Charlotte's dad.
So maybe Ripley should have waited a little longer before making her main roster debut. Well, we'll always have NXT.