WWE ‘Raw’ Women’s Champion Nikki ASH on Outsider Representation Ahead of ‘SummerSlam’
Nikki ASH flies high in WWE as Raw female champion. This “almost a superhero” unexpectedly won the Money in the Bank contract in July and cashed it in to dethrone Charlotte Flair the following night. It’s an outsider story that really resonated with the public.
The next step for the caped corporate crusader is the title defense against Rhea Ripley and Flair in a triple threat match at Slam summer. Before the crash in Las Vegas, the superstar talks here about making her dream come true and inspiring others.
Your August 2 Raw The street fight against Charlotte Flair was a turning point for Nikki ASH How does it feel to show that more aggressive side?
Nikki ASH: I am incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish on Monday. I think people walked in and saw a different side of me, standing up for what’s right and standing up for themselves. The Chicago crowd was absolutely fantastic. Hearing their cheers when I lifted my Raw the women’s championship was an incredible feeling. I am so much more than happy.
Months ago you were inserted into this rivalry with Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair. I thought there was a good foreshadowing given what happened.
I like you to talk about it. A few months ago we had the Beat the Clock challenges with Rhea and Charlotte both of whom underestimated me. We had these really fun games. It has been such a whirlwind. I like to see it all come together and things happening organically. I think you are right. These seeds have been planted. I love the story we tell.
How does it feel to have the company fully behind your vision of Nikki ASH?
I was so happy with the support. I’ve always been a huge fan of superhero cartoons, superhero movies and TV shows. I loved Spider-Man and the 90s X-Men. I love Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, WandaVision, Jessica Jones, the female-led superhero franchise. They have been successful and empowering. After the Rumble Royal, I had the enlightened idea. I am so proud to see it appear. It’s great teamwork in WWE to bring it to life. I am so touched by the fan art and the messages I receive.
Speaking of superheroes, John Cena is back in the mix in WWE. Did you mention Peacemaker and Nikki ASH sharing the screen together?
It would be a great combo. I’m preparing the Nikki Mobile, Scott! It’s really wonderful to have John Cena back on the live events and Mondays Raw. He’s a great person to have around and choose his brain. His message has always been so inspiring, especially for our young audience. I can only take inspiration from him. Hearing the crowd response for him – the “Summer of Cena” was great with these amazing shows and live events before Slam summer.
What does it mean for you to have the support of the wrestling community who knows the dues you have paid?
Everyone just reached out to me, even people who watched me before WWE. I am so grateful and humble. I try to have empathy and compassion and make people laugh. I’m a bit of a class clown. I am a little clumsy. I always try to be nice. I feel like I did something right with the way people came to me and showed me love and support.
One interaction, in particular, after winning the title, which particularly moved you?
I remember Tamina Snuka, who is a locker room leader, absolutely amazing person, hugging me after winning the championship. I cried. Sarah Schreiber is one of my best friends. She does so many interviews with me. I looked for her and shared this moment. A few boys in the locker room put my husband on FaceTime when I walked through the curtain. Drew McIntrye said something like, “The girl from Glasgow did well.” Just when I thought I was done crying for the day. When it comes to people in the locker room, we go through so much together. Having their support and respect means everything.
You’ve got your toughest title defense to Slam summer against Rhea and Charlotte in a triple threat match. What can we expect?
I think if Monday is any indication, Slam summer, you are going to see an absolute fight. You have two strong and powerful women in Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley. You have Nikki ASH who is the underdog and who has really proven that it doesn’t matter your size. The size of your heart matters. To me it’s such a wonderful thing about Slam summer are you going to see three different competitors for one of the biggest accolades in our industry. All I can say is expect the unexpected and you will see what I really bring to the table.
Can we expect a special Nikki ASH outfit for the occasion?
I am very proud of the costume I wear. Blue and gold and yellow represent values. I am proud of these colors and what they represent. Let’s stay tuned and find out.
WWE Raw, Mondays, 8 / 7c, USA Network
Slam summer, August 21, 8 / 7c, Peacock and Pay-Per-View