Rhea Ripley Stays On Top, Defeats Becky Lynch In WWE WrestleMania 40 Night 1 Opener

Rhea Ripley retained her Women's World Championship tonight against Becky Lynch in the opening match of WWE WrestleMania 40 night one. The show began with a video package featuring Lynch reading excerpts from her recent memoir before Ripley was played out to the ring by metalcore band Motionless In White.

In the early minutes of the match, Ripley generated much of the offense while Lynch was forced to prove how resilient she can be. Despite Lynch's attempt to weaken Ripley's arm, Ripley maintained the edge as the two traded submissions and finishers. After working her way out of a Dis-Arm-Her, Ripley was able to take Lynch to the floor, landing an Electric Chair before throwing her opponent back into the ring. It took a few more minutes but, with both women clearly exhausted, Ripley finally put Lynch away for a three-count after landing another Riptide.

It can be argued the moment marks a metaphorical passing of the baton, with the veteran Lynch putting over the rising star Ripley. The win helps further legitimize Ripley's reign as Women's World Champion, which has already included singles victories over performers like Nia Jax, Raquel Rodriguez, Natalya, and more. Ripley first won the championship by defeating Charlotte Flair at last year's WWE WrestleMania 39, when the title was still known as the "WWE SmackDown" Women's Championship.

Lynch earned her opportunity at the WrestleMania match by winning the Women's Elimination Chamber in February. It's worth noting that her contract is up this summer, but last year Lynch said she hopes to stay with WWE for the rest of her career.