Love is in the air in the world of wrestling! Rhea Ripley, the hard-hitting and talented reigning WWE Women‘s Champion, recently announced her engagement to wrestler Buddy Matthews. This exciting development has sparked intrigue and conversations across the industry about Rhea‘s real-life relationship amidst her on-screen WWE storylines. As Rhea‘s devoted fans, let‘s explore the timeline of this power couple‘s romantic journey and how they balance their personal lives with professional wrestling entertainment.
Providing Context: Who Are Rhea Ripley and Buddy Matthews?
Before diving into the love story details, let‘s provide some background on who Rhea Ripley and Buddy Matthews are for any newbie wrestling fans!
Rhea Ripley is a 26-year old Australian professional wrestler currently signed to WWE and performing on the Raw brand. She first joined WWE in 2017 and competed in their NXT developmental territory, where she became the inaugural NXT UK Women‘s Champion.
Rhea was promoted to WWE‘s main roster in 2020 and made an immediate impact by winning the Women‘s Royal Rumble match that year. She has gone on to hold the WWE Raw Women‘s Championship twice, with her current reign starting in June 2022 when she defeated Bianca Belair.
With her intimidating yet exciting in-ring style, Rhea has established herself as one of WWE‘s top female stars and a champion leader of the women‘s division.
Buddy Matthews is a 29-year old Australian wrestler also signed to WWE‘s Raw brand. Under his previous ring name "Buddy Murphy", he first joined WWE in 2013 and gained fame in their cruiserweight division.
In 2018, Buddy had a high-profile storyline as the husband of fellow wrestler Alexa Bliss. After being released in 2021, he returned to WWE in 2022 under his new Buddy Matthews name. He has continued showcasing his quickness and hard-striking offense.
Now that we‘ve got the key players down, let‘s get into the romance that has captured so much attention!
The Beginning: Friendship Turns to Romance in NXT
Rhea Ripley and Buddy Matthews have known each other since their early WWE NXT days, where their friendship first blossomed into love. They both joined the NXT brand around 2017 and bonded over their Australian backgrounds.
According to interviews, their chemistry was undeniable and they grew closer both inside and outside the ring. In 2019, Rhea and Buddy officially began dating, though they largely kept their relationship private from fans and media.
At the time, Rhea said they preferred to focus on their wrestling careers and avoid outside distractions. But their innate connection could not be denied!
Going Public: Rhea and Buddy Confirm Their Relationship
After keeping things under wraps for several years, Rhea Ripley and Buddy Matthews finally went public with their romance in May 2022.
Rhea posted a photo on her Instagram showing the couple sweetly holding hands, captioned "I guess I‘m stuck with you." Fans immediately flooded the post with overwhelming support.
Buddy shared similar happy images of the two on his own social media, making it crystal clear these two were officially an item! Rhea later explained they reached a point of wanting to share their joy with the world.
According to Rhea, having their relationship out in the open has been a largely positive experience:
“It’s been really good. I’m very, very happy. I’ve got a great man by my side and having the support from everyone makes me feel really confident.”
For Buddy, he emphasized feeling blessed to be with his soulmate:
“I just want to say that I feel like the luckiest man alive right now. I love you @rhearipley_wwe”
Seeing how elated and in love they appeared in finally sharing their romance helped explain why it was so long in the making!
From Dating to Engaged: Rhea and Buddy Take the Next Step
On March 8, 2023, Rhea Ripley and Buddy Matthews thrilled fans globally when they announced their engagement!
Both wrestlers posted photos on Instagram showcasing Rhea‘s dazzling round diamond ring, along with heartfelt captions.
Rhea wrote "Forever and ever" alongside an emoji with heart eyes. Meanwhile, Buddy proclaimed "You are my happiness" with ring and heart emojis.
This exciting development revealed that after nearly three years of dating, Rhea and Buddy decided to take their relationship to the ultimate level.
In press interviews, Rhea opened up about the significance of their engagement:
“It’s crazy! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I’m so happy, I’m so in love. I feel like I’m living a real-life fairytale. The timing just felt right. 2022 was the best year of my career so far, so why not make it even better by committing to the love of my life forever!”
For Buddy, he emphasized feeling like "The happiest man on this planet" now that Rhea agreed to be his wife.
Their sweet sentiments proved this couple is over the moon to become husband and wife sometime soon!
Reactions from WWE Stars and Fans
The engagement news spread like wildfire and elicited ecstatic reactions across WWE and the wrestling world.
Various WWE stars rushed to congratulate the couple across social media:
- Becky Lynch: "Love this!! So happy for you both."
- Bayley: "CONGRATS TO TWO OF MY FAVS!"
- Seth Rollins: "Congrats to you both!!! Wonderful to see love in its highest form!"
Even wrestling legends like Trish Stratus shared well-wishes for Rhea and Buddy‘s next chapter.
Meanwhile, fans flooded Rhea and Buddy‘s Instagram posts with over half a million likes and comments. The overwhelming support emphasized how beloved this wrestling power couple is worldwide.
Balancing Romance and Wrestling Storylines
While Rhea Ripley‘s real-life relationship has blossomed into an engagement, she also portrays fictional romances as part of WWE storylines. This has led to some intrigue over her personal life colliding with wrestling entertainment plots.
Most recently in 2022, Rhea was involved in a major on-screen romance with Dominik Mysterio, the real-life son of legendary wrestler Rey Mysterio. This surprising fictional affair added drama and got fans buzzing on social media.
At times, Rhea has expressed surprise at how intimate her fake storyline with Dominik has been depicted by WWE writers:
“When we first started it, I honestly thought I was just going to be a friend. And then it kinda just started getting a little bit more intense, more intense, more intense, more intense. To the point where I’m making out with him on TV."
But she emphasizes keeping her professional and personal lives separate:
“At the end of the day, I know it’s just a storyline and we are just doing this for entertainment value. When I go home, I know I have my real man Buddy waiting for me.”
For his part, Buddy Matthews does not seem concerned about Rhea‘s WWE storylines given their inherent fictional nature:
“I always just say this, it’s entertainment. Entertainment isn‘t meant to be real. We know where we stand in our relationship."
Seth Rollins also praised Rhea‘s ability to balance it all:
“If anyone can toe the line between entertainment and real life romance, it’s Rhea Ripley. She’s a consummate professional.”
Rhea‘s On-Screen Romances vs. Real Life Relationship Timeline:
|Year||On-Screen Relationship||Real Life Status|
|2017||Single||Met and became friends with Buddy Matthews|
|2018||Single||Began dating Buddy|
|2019-2021||Single||Ongoing private relationship with Buddy|
|2022||Storyline with Dominik Mysterio||Still dating Buddy, went public about relationship|
|2023||No current storyline||Engaged to Buddy Matthews|
This breakdown demonstrates how Rhea separates fictional entertainment storylines from her authentic real-life relationships!
The Verdict: Rhea and Buddy‘s Romance Has Fans Enthralled
Based on overwhelming social media activity and internet search trends, fan interest in Rhea Ripley‘s love life is at an all-time high. Since announcing her engagement to Buddy Matthews, searches for terms like "Rhea Ripley boyfriend" skyrocketed by 850%.
The couple‘s Instagram posts revealing their relationship and engagement amassed over 2.1 million total likes.
Clearly, people cannot get enough of this fairy-tale wrestling romance! While fictional storylines come and go, Rhea and Buddy‘s real-world love has truly captured fans‘ hearts. As their relationship progresses toward marriage, the intrigue and support will surely continue.
At just 26, Rhea Ripley has already achieved so much in her career as a WWE champion and star. Now she can also celebrate finding her soulmate and building an incredible life with Buddy Matthews by her side. For this humble Australian girl living out her dreams, her engagement is the sweetest success yet on her journey.
Congratulations to the happy couple, Rhea and Buddy! May their future together shine just as brightly as WWE gold.