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WWE superstar Rhea Ripley opened up about an incident at an airport earlier this week which prompted a terse tweet to those strongly seeking her autograph in public spaces.
Ripley explained the situation to USA Network when she bumped into one fan in particular at the airport, and after declining to sign anything, she was followed, and it caused others to join in.
"It's sort of an entitled thing when some fans expect us to just do it and they start making a fuss if we say no. So I had a fan follow me outside the airport today because I said no to them because I didn't have the time and it was all of the same stuff they wanted signed," Ripley said.
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Rhea Ripley during the women’s five on five elimination match during WWE Survivor Series at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 21, 2021. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
"It was one fan specifically, he's notorious, he's always at the airport getting our signatures and selling them on eBay — we know his face, we know who he is. He was the main instigator, he followed me out and others followed him too and they all followed me as I'm trying to find my Uber. So I'm trying to tell them no and they're all being persistent and I ended up getting lost, I had no idea where my Uber was, and I ended up down the stairs away from everyone else and I'm just surrounded by these five guys and they're just hassling me.
"I don't think people understand how threatening that is. Especially because you don't know what's going to happen. I don't know these people."
Ripley made clear that she has no problem taking photos with fans and loves the support but objects to those trying to "make a quick buck."
Rhea Ripley speaks to members of the media during a press conference after the WWE Royal Rumble at the Alamodome in San Antonio Jan. 28, 2023. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
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"If you want a photo, I'm down to take a photo, and I know everyone else is, too. If you have a photo of you and us together, I'm going to sign it because that's a personal thing and I know you're going to keep that and cherish that, and you're a true fan, you're not just trying to make quick money off us while we're at the airport," she said. "Especially at an airport, in many cases, we're sleep deprived, we're in a rush, we haven't eaten, and then there's people jumping down our throats expecting something from you. It's just a lot."
Ripley said she wants the same respect as any other normal person.
Ripley has had a terrific few months in the lead up to WrestleMania. She won the woman’s Royal Rumble as the first entrant to get the shot against Charlotte Flair.
Rhea Ripley reacts after winning the WWE Royal Rumble at the Alamodome on Jan. 28, 2023 in San Antonio. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Ripley has not really lost on TV in a while. She was a member of the losing party in a three-way match on "Monday Night Raw" in December, when Bayley picked up the victory against her and Asuka. She then lost in a mixed tag-team match with Finn Balor to Edge and Beth Phoenix.
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Balor, another Judgment Day member, will look to end his feud with Edge once and for all at WrestleMania as well. Their match will take place in a Hell in a Cell.
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