Ronda Rousey reportedly pushed for her tag team program with Shayna Baszler.
Original plans had Rousey defending her SmackDown Women’s Title against Raquel Rodriguez at the WWE Royal Rumble in January. Fightful Select adds this was the plan until December, when people involved could not agree on creative heading into WrestleMania Season.
At this point, Rhea Ripley had been the planned Women’s Royal Rumble winner, and the idea was that she would’ve challenged Rousey for the blue brand title at WrestleMania 39, with a returning Charlotte Flair challenging RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Around late November and early December, these plans were in effect, despite Flair still being off WWE TV, and the long-rumored match between Rousey and current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Becky Lynch was not happening this year.
Regarding the changes, WWE sources report that Rousey preferred and pushed for the tag team with Baszler. There’s no word yet on when, but the program is slated to peak with Rousey and Baszler capturing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.
WWE ended up moving the Rodriguez vs. Rousey title match up to the December 30 SmackDown, and that match received significant praise. Flair finally returned on that same SmackDown episode, right after Rousey’s title defense, and she was booked to win the title without knowing ahead of time.
Flair has been champion ever since December 30, and she will defend against Ripley at WrestleMania 39 next weekend. Asuka will challenge Belair on that same show.
Rousey and Baszler have been announced for the Women’s WrestleMania 39 Showcase Fatal 4 Way, with Rodriguez and Liv Morgan, Natalya and Shotzi, plus one other team to be decided on. WWE has not announced what the winning teams will receive coming out of the WrestleMania Showcase bouts, but it’s likely that they will move closer to a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, currently held by Lynch and WWE Hall of Famer Lita.
Rousey came out on SmackDown with a brace on her arm, after confirming earlier in the day that she has a fractured elbow. WWE announcing her for the Fatal 4 Way indicates that she should be good to go for WrestleMania.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.