Fun fact, when you include the referee, this is the first match in ‘Mania history where everyone involved is a woman.
The bell rings! Rhea and Charlotte stare each other down, taking their time to dive in. This has that big fight feel oozing out of it! They lock up, but Charlotte stays in control with some quick reversals into other holds. Rhea nails a shoulder tackle, but Charlotte comes back shortly after with her own shoulder tackle. A clothesline from Charlotte sends Rhea outside the ring. They slide back inside and exchange heated words, but that transitions into Rhea tackling Charlotte in the corner.
Charlotte spills out to the apron and boots Rhea in the face. “The Queen” up to the top rope with a crossbody splash, but Rhea responds with some elbow strikes. Rhea comes through with a reverse electric chair drop into the top turnbuckle. “Mami” isn’t done – she keeps coming with hard stomps, followed by a throw that tosses Charlotte face-first into the bottom turnbuckle.
Rhea stays on the attack and locks in a body scissors in the middle of the ring. It takes a while, but Charlotte answers with a few forearms. Charlotte with a rollup for the two. Ripley won’t be slowed down, hitting multiple stiff forearms on Charlotte’s back to break her. Release German suplex from Rhea for another two count. So far, these two are giving us the kind of wrestling match we expected from exceptional in-ring workers!
Ripley, still in control, delivers a few short arm clotheslines to “The Queen.” Another one is reversed into a spinning back elbow, followed by a neckbreaker combination. Charlotte chops away at Rhea, forcing her to buckle under her own weight. A forearm keeps Charlotte in control; she climbs to the top rope as dual chants of “Let’s go, Rhea!” and “Let’s go, Charlotte!” ring out. Charlotte leaps from the top, but Rhea catches her and goes for the Riptide. Charlotte nails a DDT for a close two-count. The 14-time Women’s Champion is beginning to get frustrated.
Charlotte keeps trying for the Figure 8 but can’t lock it in. Rhea with an inside cradle for the two count, but right after, they both kick each other in the face at the same time. Slowly getting back to their feet, they trade shots as the cheers and boos ring through the crowd. Charlotte goes to the top rope for a moonsault but is caught by Rhea, who gives her a German suplex off the top! It only gives a close two count! That looked gnarly!!
Charlotte regains control with a chop block and the Natural Selection for another close two. Another close match is unfolding before our eyes! Again, they’re slow to their feet, but when they’re back up, Charlotte and Rhea begin battling on the outside. Rhea sidesteps Charlotte, which sends her into the steel steps. Back in the ring, an attempt at the Riptide is reversed into a German suplex from Charlotte. She goes for another, eventually hitting it and then holding onto her grip. Ripley elbows her to escape and then hits her own German suplex. Charlotte lands forehead-first! OUCH! That was a bad one. The bridge of her nose is clearly wounded from that collision.
Once again, The Queen goes for the figure 8 but she can’t get it locked in. Rhea is on the apron and gets booted off. Charlotte climbs the top rope for her signature moonsault off the top rope down to Ripley. She gets all of it! Charlotte tosses her back into the ring and goes for the Figure 8 again. She can’t get it! A missed spear almost takes out the ref, but it isn’t so. This allows Rhea to hit a headbutt and the Riptide. It’s only a two-count! This is wild!
Charlotte tries to roll Rhea up and gets a 2 and 7/8 count! Rhea turns it into the modified Texas Cloverleaf, but Charlotte still makes it to the ropes. A spear from Charlotte! But no, it’s still a 2! The Queen is nearly in tears! She says, “Do you want my place?!” And they start throwing hard shots at one another as the crowd cheers and boos. Charlotte with a stiff kick and a figure 4. Rhea is immediately at the rope, and it’s broken up! On the apron, Charlotte tosses Rhea into the ring post and tries to bring her to the top rope for a fall away slam. Rhea reverses and it allows her to hit her Riptide off the top rope for the 3 count. We’ve got a new SmackDown Women’s Champion!!!