One of the marquee matches during Night 1 of Wrestlemania 38 will feature Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair putting her belt on the line against Ronda Rousey.
Let’s take a look at how this showdown at AT&T Stadium came to be.
Why are they fighting?
The beef between Flair and Rousey goes back three years, where the two participated in the winner-take-all main event of Wrestlemania 35. After being pinned by Becky Lynch in that match, Rousey left the company to focus on starting a family.
Fast forward to this past January, where the former MMA star made her long anticipated return to the WWE at the Royal Rumble and won the women’s rumble match. With the option of choosing which champion she’d face at Wrestemania, Rousey initially teased a showdown with the Raw Women’s Champion Lynch before deciding to set her sights on Flair for the Smackdown Women’s title.
Since then, the two have traded verbal and physical attacks on Smackdown. Flair has been fixated on making Rousey tap out but hasn’t had much luck.
What should we expect from the match?
Enthusiasm for this match has been mixed with the Becky Lynch-Bianca Belair match being the women’s championship match that fans have been more excited for. It could very much fall flat or it could be fantastic if both Flair and Rousey can dial up their intensity for the showdown. Expect a submission finish.
Consequences of outcome
All signs point towards Rousey winning here and having a run at the top of the Smackdown card before the company decides to point us in the direction of a Rousey-Lynch one-on-one showdown.
We’ve reached critical mass with the current Flair reign and it’s hard to imagine it continuing on after Wrestlemania. If the Queen were to win, you run into a crisis of not having any credible challengers with the way Smackdown is set up right now.