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.
Speaking on PWInsider, she discussed Tegan Nox getting injured against her defining her career: “That was one of the most defining moments of my whole career. That pretty much made my career into what it was, and I hate saying that because she did get very injured in that match, and it was very hard to keep a straight face and stay in the character that I was, because I like Tegan.
I don’t want to see her get hurt and she just came back from knee surgery, so she missed out on the first ever Mae Young Classic cause she tore her ACL and then to be competing in the second one and have her knee pretty much explode and it was her good one.
So as soon as she did that dive, she started saying things and screaming and I was like, okay, that’s not right."