Raw this week saw Sasha Banks defeat Nia Jax to earn a Raw Women’s Championship Match against Ronda Rousey at the Royal Rumble on January 27. Banks was not the original choice for the spot, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
The original plan, according to Meltzer, was a rematch from Survivor Series pitting Rousey against Charlotte Flair.
It was reported over the holidays by Meltzer that WWE planned on having Rousey face Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35. WWE nows plans on adding Flair to the bout to make it a Triple Threat Match.
“The three-way women’s match, if it’s gonna be the main event, is solid but it’s not a done deal but it is the working idea,” Meltzer said Wednesday night on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t WrestlingNews.co).
“That is why the Royal Rumble match was changed. That is why Sasha Banks is getting the title shot completely out of nowhere. Originally it was going to be Charlotte and Ronda Rousey at the Rumble and Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch at WrestleMania.”
“Now, Vince can change his mind and it’s not etched in stone. I was told specifically that if you talk too much about it, it may jinx it but that’s the working idea right now is that match.”
According to Meltzer, the general feeling among WWE brass is that Rousey and Flair shouldn’t face off at the Royal Rumble. The match, however, hasn’t been completely ruled out since Vince McMahon initially wanted it and he could change his mind.
“We were also told that while that is the plan right now, it is not locked in stone and there are still two PPVs between Rumble and WrestleMania (Elimination Chamber on 2/17 in Houston and Fast Lane on 3/10 in Cleveland) that Rousey vs. Flair could take place at if McMahon changes his mind,” Meltzer wrote in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Bryan Alvarez added Thursday on Wrestling Observer Live that a one-on-one match pitting Rousey vs. Lynch is scheduled to take place before WrestleMania.
“As of today, plans subject to change, the WrestleMania match is Ronda vs. Charlotte vs. Becky in a three-way. But for those of you that want your Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch match, it is still penciled in to take place between now and WrestleMania,” Alvarez said.
While Lynch is scheduled to challenge Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at the Royal Rumble, there’s also talk of Lynch competing in the Women’s Royal Rumble Match as a surprise entrant, and winning it, which would lead to her challenging Rousey at WrestleMania.
“That’s not necessarily happening but it was one of the ways potentially to get to her in the match, and then Flair would get in the match another way,” Dave Meltzer wrote in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
“Flair could also win the Rumble herself, and then Elimination Chamber would determine who would challenge for the Smackdown title. Lynch could also win the Smackdown title and Flair win the Rumble, although that would lead to only one women’s title match on the show.”
As for Banks, she appears to be little more than a placeholder opponent for Rousey. Once the face of WWE’s Women’s Revolution, “The Boss” has taken a back seat over the last year or so, descending into mid-card mediocrity, left behind with the emergence of Alexa Bliss, the signing of Rousey, the continued success of Charlotte, and the explosion in popularity for Lynch.