SmackDown Women’s Title Match: Zelina Vega vs. Rhea Ripley
Back from a break and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley by herself. Ripley was drafted to RAW in the WWE Draft, while her opponent was selected by SmackDown. The LWO music hits next and out comes Zelina Vega in Puerto Rican flag attire. An emotional Vega receives a big pop and greets family members at ringside. We get formal ring introductions from Irvin. Fans cheer loudly for Vega as she holds the flag open while crying.
Cole says Vega has dedicated this match to her father, who passed away in the 9/11 attacks. The bell rings and Ripley taunts Vega to boos. Vega ducks a quick attack and the “ole!” chants start up. Vega gets slammed into the corner but she side-steps and kicks Ripley.
Vega grabs a flip-flip from her mom to a huge pop, then throws it at Ripley, angering her. Vega fights in and flies off the middle rope for a hurricanrana but Ripley catches her for a big powerbomb in the middle of the ring. Vega kicks out at 2. Ripley man-handles Vega now, working her over and taunting the crowd. Ripley with shoulder thrusts in the corner.
Ripley launches Vega into the turnbuckles and she goes down. Ripley mocks The LWO by using the taunt made famous by WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero. Ripley continues to dominate and talk trash to Vega. Ripley with a rib breaker now. Ripley scoops Vega to her back for a Gory Special. Vega gets out and side-steps, forcing Ripley to hit the ring post shoulder-first. Vega fights Ripley off with forearms. Vega is sent back to the corner but she fights back out as fans rally. Vega with clotheslines but Ripley headbutts her.
Vega blocks Riptide and turns it into a big DDT. Vega rallies the crowd and hits 619 for a pop. Vega goes to the middle rope, does the Eddie taunt, then hits the Meteora for a close 2 count. An emotional Vega can’t believe it.
Vega unloads while Ripley is dazed on her knees. Vega charges but Ripley intercepts her with a roundhouse kick to lay her out. Ripley then follows up with Riptide for the pin to win and retain in the middle of the ring.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
After the match, the music hits as Ripley stands tall. We go to replays. Ripley makes her exit with the title draped over her shoulder. Fans begin chanting and cheering for Vega as she gets back to her feet. An emotional Vega now stands tall and waves to the crowd as they chant to her. She blows them a kiss and exits the ring as we go back to a break.