Rhea Ripley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship title defense is set for WWE Night of Champions 2023 against Natalya.
Natalya had expressed her desire to challenge for SmackDown Women’s title ever since she was drafted to RAW. After a couple of backstage interactions, Natalya confronted Rhea when she continued to attack Dana Brooke even after their match was over on May 8 episode of RAW. Rhea took this posturing from Natalya as a way to get people talking about her.
Natalya then told Rhea on May 15 RAW episode that she respects her but she was making it hard to like her, only to draw a warning from Rhea not to interfere in her matters. Rhea was backstage once again when she announced that she would defend the title against Natalya.
Rhea won SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 39 by beating Charlotte Flair. He has since defended it against Zelina Vega at Backlash 2023. This will just be her second televised title defense. WWE Night of Champions airs on May 27, 2023.