Rhea Ripley will make history when she becomes the first NXT champion to defend their title at WWE WrestleMania.

The NXT Women's Champion will face Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on April 5.

The bout between the present and former NXT Women's Champion could steal the show yet it has come about in an unconventional manner.

Despite the late entry of favourite Shayna Baszler, it was Flair who emerged victorious - echoing her father in 1992 - to punch her ticket to Mania.

Tradition dictates the Rumble winner gets to choose their championship opponent for WrestleMania .

However, Ripley, 23, didn't want to wait for her chance to make a unique match.

Appearing on Raw, the Australian broke with tradition and turned the tables on The Queen, challenging her for an NXT title match at the Show of Shows.

Talking to Mirror Sport's John Isherwood, The Nightmare spoke of her excitement of taking this alternative route to the biggest match of her career so far.

Rhea Ripley scored a big win over Shayna Baszler at NXT TakeOver: WarGames

She said: "I want to say the last six to eight months with WWE has just been completely insane. To be able to be the first person from NXT to defend their NXT Championship at WrestleMania is awesome and I love making history.

"Don't get me wrong, like I love it. And then to be able to challenge Charlotte, the winner of the women's Royal Rumble, it's just like it's not really heard of, the champion challenging the challenger.

"I thought it was a really cool thing you know and yeah, I'm down for WrestleMania."

As she gets ready for what should be the biggest match of her career, Rhea spoke of her desire to continue to improve within WWE and how she has found herself in the best place to do so, as she gets to learn from the likes of Matt Bloom, Norman Smiley and British legend Robbie Brookside at the famous WWE Performance Centre.

Charlotte Flair ambushed Rhea Ripley at NXT TakeOver: Portland

She said: "I'm always learning in wrestling. It's something that you never stop learning in. And I myself, I'm a high achiever, I do the best I know I can do, so even watching myself back. I'm just like, 'ugh, that wasn't like... I didn't do well there'. And it's just me being hard on myself.

"But everyone that achieves greatness is hard on themselves. So at the PC it gets pretty competitive at times, especially when we have combined events. So we're all in competition with each other.

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"We definitely all compete to be the best. And it's great to be a part of just in the fact that you end up learning so much and you end up pushing through and achieving the goals that you set out for yourself."

The first time match has the potential to be a highlight of WrestleMania 36.

And it has already got one WWE legend salivating at the thought of two of the promotion's top female stars tearing it up in Tampa.

Hardcore legend Mick Foley - someone who has declared his love for Ripley's talent in the past - expressed his delight and The Nightmare was happy to gain the approval of Mrs Foley’s Baby Boy.

"We've gone back and forth on Twitter have me and good old Mick,” Rhea said.

"But it's cool that I have someone like him that obviously believes in me as well, and takes his time to tweet about me and tweet to me. It's pretty cool."

You can see NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley in action on BT Sport, the new home of WWE in the UK.

Watch WWE NXT on BT Sport 1 every Thursday at 1am, or catch up on the BT Sport App.