Australia has crowned its first female WWE champion, with wrestling superstar Rhea Ripley winning the semi-main event at Wrestlemania 37 in Florida.
Ripley defeated Japanese star Asuka in a punishing match to become Australia's most high-profile wrestler, and the first to hold any title since Melbourne wrestler Buddy Murphy won the 2018 cruiserweight title.
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The 24-year-old was drafted into the Raw Women's Title fight after Charlotte Flair, the daughter of wrestling legend Ric Flair, was pulled out over injury concerns.
Her latest victory has cemented her status as the next big thing in women's wrestling, having already won the NXT UK women's championship, the NXT women's championship (US) on her way to the main event.
Ripley's rise was all but affirmed after Wrestlemania when in-ring great Triple H, now the executive vice president of global talent strategy & development, tweeted his congratulations and a full throated endorsement of her rise through the WWE's ranks after the Wrestlemania triumph.
"It’s been said that @RheaRipley_WWEis the “future.”," he wrote.
"But #WrestleMania proved she is the HERE AND NOW!!!! Congratulations to the NEW #WWERaw Women’s Champion!!"
"Definitely a dream for me tonight," Ripley said after the match.
"Since being a little kid I've always wanted to be a part of Wrestlemania and I finally got my Wrestlemania moment - in front of a crowd!
"It was super cool stepping out there and not only seeing the crowd and hearing their reactions, but having (her teammates) with me, I love every second.
"I was really trying to soak it all in and trying not to cry, to be honest."
WWE caller slammed over awkward on-air gaffe
Wrestling commentator Michael Cole has been savaged by fans after an embarrassing on-air gaffe during the SmackDown women’s championship at WrestleMania 37.
The veteran caller made a mess of his commentary duties during Bianca Belair’s main event victory over Sasha Banks.
Cole's voice is synonymous with some of the WWE's most memorable moments but the experienced caller would surely love to have his time again with regards to the finish to the thrilling women's main event match.
Belair sealed the win against Banks with a signature Kiss of Death finisher, with the crowd erupting after the referee's '1, 2, 3' count.
However, Cole seemed to see things differently to most other viewers after initially claiming that The Boss had kicked out to stave off defeat.
“Kiss of Death, wraps up Banks,” Cole shouted out during commentary. “And a kick out! A kick out by Sasha!”
Cole's SmackDown co-caller Corey Graves quickly interjected to point out his colleague's embarrassing error.
“No! She won!” he said as WWE ring announcer Greg Hamilton revealed that Belair was the new champion.
An awkwardly long silence followed before Cole finally piped up again to announce Belair as the winner.
“Bianca Belair shocked the world!” he said. “Bianca Belair with the win!
Viewers took to social media to stick the boot into Cole for "botching" what was otherwise a thrilling main event match.
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