Backstage News On WWE’s Ronda Rousey Plans Changing & Teaming With Shayna Baszler

(Photo Credit: WWE)

Ronda Rousey pushed for her tag team program with Shayna Baszler, according to reports.

Rousey was supposed to defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Raquel Rodriguez at the WWE Royal Rumble in January. According to Fightful Select, this was the plan until December, when everyone involved couldn’t agree on creative for WrestleMania Season.

Rhea Ripley was the planned winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble, and the plan was for her to challenge 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. These plans were in place in late November and early December, despite Flair still being off WWE TV and the long-rumored match between Rousey and current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Becky Lynch not taking place this year.

In terms of the changes, WWE sources say Rousey preferred and pushed for a tag team with Baszler. There is no word on when the show will premiere, but it is expected to peak with Rousey and Baszler capturing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.

The Rodriguez vs. Rousey title match was eventually moved up to the December 30 SmackDown, and it received a lot of praise. Flair made her return on that same SmackDown episode, right after Rousey’s title defense, and she was booked to win the title without knowing it beforehand.

Flair has held the title since December 30, and she will defend it next weekend against Ripley at WrestleMania 39. On the same show, Asuka will take on Belair.

The Women’s WrestleMania 39 Showcase Fatal 4 Way has been announced, with Rodriguez and Liv Morgan, Natalya and Shotzi, and one other team to be determined. WWE has not announced what the winning teams will receive as a result of the WrestleMania Showcase bouts, but they are likely to move closer to a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, which are currently held by Lynch and WWE Hall of Famer Lita.

After confirming earlier in the day that she has a fractured elbow, Rousey appeared on SmackDown with her arm braced. The fact that WWE has announced her for the Fatal 4 Way suggests that she will be ready for WrestleMania.