Ronda Rousey surprisingly failed to defeat Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38, but this now appears to be the beginning of something more.
The penultimate match of WrestleMania Saturday saw the anticipated SmackDown Women’s Championship defence by Charlotte Flair against 2022 women’s Royal Rumble winner, Ronda Rousey. Flair and Rousey worked a near 20-minute clash that ultimately saw Charlotte big boot Ronda for the three count.
Coming into the show, many had expected ‘The Rowdy One’ to dethrone Charlotte to win her first Women’s Championship on the blue brand. However, the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer is now reporting that the two are scheduled for more matches further down the line, hence why Charlotte defeated Ronda. Meltzer notes that a series of matches is currently planned between them (h/t Sportskeeda):
“Charlotte Flair beat Ronda Rousey to keep the Smackdown title after a ref bump. The idea is for this to be a long-term program and thus the belief was Flair had to win the first match, even if Flair got the better of Rousey as well in the angles leading up to it. One thing that looks obvious is that Rousey is not going to be over and have the meaning she did when she first came.”
There’s currently no word as to when their next clash will be, although SummerSlam will be a likely destination. That goes down on Saturday, 30 July from Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.
Ronda Rousey returned to WWE as the 28th entrant in the women’s Royal Rumble match, marking her first WWE appearance since she, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch headlined WrestleMania 35. Rousey last eliminated Flair to win the match, stating her intentions to challenge for the blue brand’s championship on the following SmackDown episode.
Her loss to Charlotte Flair marked just the second WWE loss for Ronda Rousey in WWE. She’s wrestled 34 televised matches since WrestleMania 34, with her only other loss coming to Becky Lynch at the aforementioned WrestleMania 35.