NXT Superstar Rhea Ripley lost her NXT Women’s Championship this past weekend at WrestleMania 36. She was defeated by Charlotte Flair. Following the loss, it was rumored that Ripley’s work visa had expired. This supposedly forced the Superstar to return back to Australia in order to renew it. It was speculated that Ripley’s visa situation could have played into WWE’s decision to have Flair reclaim the championship.
According to Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer forum, however, this may not be the case. He revealed he had spoken with a high up source within WWE who denied the story.
“I’m double checking on this but one person high up just denied that to me. Again, I’m not saying Mike is wrong, in this company the left and right hand rarely know what the other is doing. But the person I checked with would know the creative reason given which was Charlotte to NXT for ratings help.”
He followed up, adding how another high up source also rebuffed the claim. According to this secondary source, Rhea Ripley is still in Orlando.
It had previously been reported that WWE wanted Flair to return to NXT as the champion to help in their ratings war with AEW Dynamite. At the time of writing, it is unclear to the extent WWE intends to utilize Flair now that she holds the black-and-gold brand’s championship.
If Rhea Ripley is currently in Australia, it is likely not possible for her to return in time for the upcoming set of tapings for WWE programming due to the quarantine regulations amidst the coronavirus pandemic.