On 28 August 2019 episode of NXT, Rhea Ripley made her surprise return to the brand when she interrupted NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler. Swiping the microphone from Baszler, Ripley said that Baszler may have beaten everyone on NXT, but she hasn't beaten her, signalling a feud between the two; this also established her as a face.
The following night at Survivor Series, Ripley was part of Team NXT which beat Team RAW and Team SmackDown, and the leader of her team in the 5-on-5-on-5 Women's Survivor Series Triple Threat elimination match, at end of which her team won; she gave her team the victory by eliminating SmackDown captain Sasha Banks, with she, LeRae and Shirai as the survivors.
On the December 18 episode of NXT, Rhea Ripley won the NXT Women's Championship by defeating Shayna Baszler. This made her the first female superstar to have won both the NXT Women’s and NXT UK Women’s Championships.
In a long interview with PWInsider, she reflected on getting the main event: “Man, I was honored. I was so excited and so pumped because like you said, I don’t call the Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship.
That could main event a takeover and to have them go out first to open the show and then Shayna and I closing it, that’s just such a big thing. You don’t really see many women main eventing things, which is sad because we’ve come such a long way and we are true performers and we worked hard for this and to be able to go out there in the main event spots for the NXT Women’s Championship.
It’s just absolutely incredible. It’s just, to see how far I’ve come from being at Riot City Wrestling in Adelaide, South Australia where wrestling isn’t really that big."