WARNING: If you don’t want to see a MASSIVE SPOILER about who won the NXT UK Women’s Championship tournament, STOP READING NOW!
However, if you can’t wait until NXT UK’s as-yet-unknown premiere date, by all means, keep reading.
It was first announced last week that the NXT UK brand would hold an eight-woman tournament in Birmingham, England over the weekend of August 25th to crown the first-ever NXT UK Women’s champion. Tournament participants included a mix of names familiar and not-so-familiar: Toni Storm, Jinny, Isla Dawn, Millie McKenzie, Nina Samuels, Dakota Kai, Rhea Ripley, and Xia Brookside.
Notably, despite the title for which they were competing, three of the tournament challengers did NOT hail from the United Kingdom; and, ironically, it was one of those non-Brits who won.
***BEWARE: THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK!***
The inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion is…
Aussie Rhea Ripley.
what a moment, congratulations to Rhea Ripley. Well deserved, she’s worked so hard for this moment! pic.twitter.com/J14SLSL0PB
— Stargazing 🤞🏽 (@curbedstomp) August 26, 2018
— Jamie Reeve (@jamierreeve) August 26, 2018
— JJ Williams (@JJWilliamsWON) August 26, 2018
Ripley defeated Toni Storm in the tournament final to win the championship. For those unaware, Storm is also a non-Brit; while she’s lived in the UK since the age of 18, she was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia.
The #NXTUK final was Rhea Ripley vs Toni Storm
Someone want to tell them that's not the UK flag or shall I
— Liam Stewart (@LiamAStewart) August 26, 2018
Watch a full breakdown of the entire tournament below, courtesy of Pro Wrestling Unlimited.
Not to take anything at all away from Ripley, but it’s interesting that Triple H opted to award the first NXT UK Women’s Championship to someone NOT from the United Kingdom. Then again, it also plays into Ripley’s character as a cocky heel. Honestly, is there a bigger one-up than an Australian becoming the first NXT UK Women’s Champion? You can take your penal colony and shove it, England!
Nevertheless, it’s clear that WWE has big things in store for Ripley, who’s already supremely accomplished at the age of 21. With this win, she’s likely earned herself a literal golden ticket to WWE Evolution in October, where Ripley will defend the title.