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WrestleMania 36 match breakdown: Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley

The Queen faces a very capable challenger to her throne. Will the rising superstar jump on a rocket to the top at Mania?

Charlotte Flair walks to the ring during WrestleMania 33 on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

UPDATE 4/5: It was an almost-30 minute match to open the show, and they really let them go at each other, but Flair finally submitted the upstart Ripley with her Figure Eight submission. Both of them attacked each other’s legs with ferocity, including chop blocks and even a move where Ripley had her leg over the top rope and it looked like Flair blew out her ACL by pulling straight down on it.

But in the end The Queen reigns once again. Excellent match.

This might have been considered a match for 2021 Mania at earliest, but sometimes you can’t hold talent down for too long. And Rhea Ripley is just too good. So now she’ll get a shot at the woman she’s been compared to since arriving in the US from Australia to become a WWE Superstar. We could have a classic here.

Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley

How did this feud develop

Rhea Ripley might only be 23, but check out what she did to win the NXT Championship from Shayna Baszler, who had held the strap for over a year until this match. This is some serious ring talent.

Rhea is a force of nature in the ring, and has all the tools to be one of the greats. And with a rocket firmly strapped to her she had the audacity to challenge Flair, unquestionably the greatest women’s wrestler ever, and asked her to use her women’s Royal Rumble title challenge to come after her.

Charlotte eventually accepted, and we should see the best ever against someone that might be come the best ever. These are two fantastic athletes with great work rates and a lot of charisma. No one would be surprised if this was the best match on the card at ‘Mania.

Where this feud stands now

The Queen decided to soften up her future opponent at the WWE Performance Center a couple weeks ago. Wooooooo indeed.

The pick

This one could go either way, and if anything not having the crowd now for ‘Mania might shift it towards Ripley as having Charlotte lay down in front of 80,000 people might be a lot. Charlotte has never been pinned in a one-on-one matchup at the Showcase of The Immortals, and it might be just a bit too soon to have her do the job for Ripley.

But it’s also possible that the 10-time winner is ready to shift from being the biggest star in women’s wrestling to becoming a star-maker. And there’s no bigger potential anywhere in the women’s division than Ripley.

But we’ll stick with Charlotte, possibly via some outside assistance or skullduggery, to find a way to victory. But no matter the result, it’s very unlikely this will be the last we’ll see of these two in the same ring.