Ronda Rousey hasn’t been on WWE TV since she dropped the SmackDown Women’s Championship in an impromptu match on the Dec. 30 episode of Friday night smackdown. She would then appear on a Facebook Gaming live stream weeks later and tease what her next move would be, indicating that she wouldn’t attempt a rematch with “The Queen” – “I don’t know, guys. I’m kind of tired of Charlotte. I’m tired of that title. I already did. I’m thinking about taking over the tag division.”
The 2023 royal rumble pay-per-view came and then went without a Rousey appearance. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter now reports that Rousey pushed behind the scenes for a tag team championship with Shayna Baszler, so now a match is “locked in” for WrestleMania, where Rousey and Baszler will challenge Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
“Ronda then decided she wanted to be a tag team champion with Shayna Baszler because she always wanted to do that run, so she will do that run,” Meltzer added Wrestling Observer radio (h/t eWrestlingNews).
Rousey returned from a hiatus at the 2022 Royal Rumble and won the Women’s Rumble match that year. Despite trying to position herself as a heel during her time away from the ring, the UFC Hall of Famer was immediately welcomed back as a babyface and put on a program with Flair. “The Queen” got a surprise victory at WrestleMania 38 and then dropped the title to Rousey in an I Quit Match at WrestleMania Backlash. That fight Flair wrote off TV until December.
Though her absence was originally booked so she couldn’t go on TV to get married, Flair recounted The New York Post that she had to stay away longer to solve a dental problem she had been dealing with since childhood. Instead of another fight with Rousey, Flair will now defend her title against the 2023 Women’s Rumble winner, Rhea Ripley. The two initially clashed Wrestle Mania 36 back at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and Ripley chose Flair because she never got a chance to get revenge after Flair defeated her for the NXT Women’s Championship.
- Ronda Rousey returns to WWE on SmackDown
- Ronda Rousey teases what she’ll do next after losing her SmackDown Women’s Championship to Charlotte Flair
- Charlotte Flair makes shocking return to WWE, defeating Ronda Rousey for SmackDown Women’s title
- Big returns expected on WWE SmackDown
- WWE’s Shotzi Wins Shot At Ronda Rousey’s SmackDown Women’s Title