The December 30 SmackDown on FOX episode saw then-SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey retain her title over Raquel Rodriguez, only for Charlotte Flair to make her surprise return right after, then take the title from Rousey. Word now is that this was not the original plan.
A new report from Fightful Select notes that as of early December, the Rodriguez vs. Rousey match was originally planned for Saturday’s WWE Royal Rumble event. However, the decision was made to add the title match and Flair’s return to the final SmackDown of 2022.
It was noted that this change led to additional changes to WWE creative plans. Around that same time, Flair was on a “suggested matches” list to wrestle RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair for the title. Furthermore, Rhea Ripley was also set to face Rousey, but while Rousey was still champion.
Sources familiar with the situation noted that Rousey was presented with several creative options, but they didn’t work out. The decision was then made to move the title match with Rodriguez up to the final SmackDown of 2022, and put the title on the returning Flair.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.
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