Charlotte Flair has retained the SmackDown Women’s Championship seeing off the challenge of Ronda Rousey.
When Ronda Rousey returned at the 2022 Royal Rumble, she did so with one goal in mind. To once again be crowned World Champion.
Fast forward to April 2nd and that dream was left shattered.
The match began at a frenetic pace, but Charlotte Flair gained a measure of control with a number of controlling submissions. However, at no point was Rousey out of contention, despite being levelled with a crunching Spear.
Rousey fought back delivering an arm-drag from the top rope, followed up with a Piper’s Pit, but Flair wasn’t going down without a fight. The Queen counting the ankle lock into an ankle lock of her own, but the Royal Rumble winner powered out, pushing Flair into the bottom turnbuckle.
After another short exchange, Rousey went back into an ankle-lock, but Flair delivered a series of kicks to work free. Submissions were very much the order of the day, as Flair went right into a Figure Eight, which was eventually countered yet again.
Rousey again hit Piper’s Pit but despite a three-count from the referee, Flair had her foot on the ropes and the match continued. Flair tried to go back to the Figure Eight, but Rousey pushed her away, and she ended up Spearing the referee. With the ref down, Flair tapped out in an arm bar, but as Rousey tried to pick up the official, she was flatted by a big boot. Now that the referee revived, Flair scored the win.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
At the 2022 Royal Rumble Ronda Rousey returned to action for the first time since being pinned by Becky Lynch in the main event of WrestleMania 35 in 2019. Entering at number 28, Rousey went on a tear, eliminating Charlotte Flair to claim the win.
On February 4th, Rousey appeared on SmackDown for the first time in her career to challenge to 13-time World Champion to a match at WrestleMania. After the former UFC star teamed with Naomi to defeat Flair and Sonya Deville at Elimination Chamber, the bad feeling between Rousey and The Queen went to a whole new level.
The pair brawled in the ring and even in the parking lot as the rivalry spilled over into genuine animosity. But despite Rousey’s confidence, it was Flair who walked out of WrestleMania with the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Read the rest of the WrestleMania 38 Saturday results in full.