May 06, 2023
Backlash 2023 Results

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SmackDown Women’s Championship
Rhea Ripley (C) vs. Zelina Vega

After a quick commercial break, we return to the video package telling the story leading up to tonight’s scheduled SmackDown Women’s Championship one-on-one contest between reigning champion Rhea Ripley of The Judgment Day and Zelina Vega of the LWO.

On that note, the theme for Rhea Ripley hits and out comes the reigning and defending SmackDown Women’s Champion. She settles inside the squared circle for our next match of the evening and her music dies down.

Now the theme for her opponent, Zelina Vega plays. As the challenger emerges, the crowd in San Juan goes bonkers. She heads to the ring looking ready to achieve her destiny here tonight in Puerto Rico.

She wears a cool giant Puerto Rican flag and soaks in the love from the hometown crowd. She stops and hugs several members of her family who are in attendance at ringside tonight.

The bell sounds and the ring announcer does the formal pre-match ring introductions for the champion and the challenger. Vega gets emotional getting a huge pop. The bell sounds again and we’re officially off-and-running with our third championship contest of the evening here at WWE Backlash.

We see Vega start off well, taking it to Ripley and even stopping to get a flip flop from her mom, which she throws at Ripley. Back in the ring, the SmackDown Women’s Champion slows Vega’s momentum down and starts to take over on offense.

Ripley dominates for a few minutes and then goes for the Rip Tide, but Vega counters with a DDT. She hits a 6-1-9 and then a Meteora for a super close near fall that the crowd was buying into. Seconds later, unfortunately, Ripley kills her momentum and the crowd’s spirit with a Rip-Tide for the pin fall victory.

Ripley leaves after the match and the ring is left to the hometown hero, Zelina Vega, who gets an enormously loud standing ovation followed by some singing and chanting in Spanish. Vega stands in the ring very, very emotional soaking in what will no doubt be one of the highlights of her career no matter what else she goes on to achieve.

Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

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