WWE Smackdown
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Previous reports suggested that Ronda Rousey was slated to face Rhea Ripley over WWE Smackdown Women’s Title, possibly at Wrestlemania 39. However, Rousey has since dropped the title in the final TV taping of 2022 and subsequently got sidelined from action for some time. But she’s likely to be back on TV in time for Wrestlemania 39 to compete in a fresh matchup.

It has recently been reported that Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler are challenging for the Women’s Tag Team Championships rather than Rousey going back after the WWE Smackdown Women’s Title after the return. In fact, this lineup seems to be one of five locked-in matches for WWE WrestleMania 39 alongside another match featuring John Cena and United States Title-holder Austin Theory.

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WWE Smackdown: Interesting Reason Behind Ronda Rousey Dropping Title In Late 2022 1

However, reports also suggest that it wasn’t the original plan for Ronda Rousey, according to Dave Meltzer on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio. At a time, WWE was going to have the UFC Hall of Famer compete against Raquel Rodriguez for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at the Grandest Stage of Them All.

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Creative took last-minute decision for WWE Smackdown Women’s Title

But then the creative team made a last-minute decision to put the title on Charlotte Flair after she returned to in-ring action on the December 30 episode after an eight-month-long hiatus. Following WWE’s latest premium live event, it has now confirmed that The Queen will be defending her WWE Smackdown Women’s Title against the 2023 women’s Royal Rumble winner, Rhea Ripley.

The change in direction happened after Rousey decided to have a tag team run alongside Shayna Baszler, her real-life best buddy, and also openly talked about it on her YouTube channel. It is expected that this will be her direction when she returns to television. Possibly, a showdown with DAMAGE CTRL for the Women’s tag team titles will be reserved at Wrestlemania 39.

WWE Smackdown: Interesting Reason Behind Ronda Rousey Dropping Title In Late 2022 2

WWE had paired up Baszler with Rousey during the latter’s most recent run with the WWE SmackDown Women’s title. It now appears that they will officially become a tag team to go after the gold, down the road. It is unknown how Rousey’s former opponent Rodriguez will still have a big match at WrestleMania, but she is a confirmed participant in the upcoming women’s Elimination Chamber match on February 18.

Arindam Pal

A WWE writer passionate about the sports.