Charlotte Flair Beats Ronda Rousey, Keeps Smackdown Women's Title at WrestleMania 38

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 3, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

Charlotte Flair handed Ronda Rousey the first one-on-one loss of her WWE career on Night 1 of WrestleMania 38 on Saturday to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship. 

The finish was not without controversy, as The Baddest Woman on the Planet got a visual submission when Flair tapped out to the armbar. But the referee had been knocked out a moment earlier. 


😲😲😲😲<br>😲😲😲😲<br>😲😲😲😲<a href="https://twitter.com/MscharlottteWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MsCharlottteWWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RondaRousey</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WrestleMania?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WrestleMania</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WomensTitle?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WomensTitle</a> <a href="https://t.co/oWZ6XHWVph">pic.twitter.com/oWZ6XHWVph</a>

After Rousey went to revive the official, The Queen hit the challenger with a big boot to the face to score the pin. 

After nearly three years away from WWE to focus on starting a family, Rousey made a surprise return at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January and entered herself in the women's Rumble match.

Rousey would beat 29 other Superstars to win, giving her the right to challenge for either the SmackDown or Raw women's title at WrestleMania.

It was widely assumed Rousey would go after Becky Lynch and the Raw Women's Championship because of the unfinished business between them, but she set her sights on Flair instead.

Rousey and The Queen have history in their own right, as they were both part of the first women's match ever to main-event WrestleMania three years ago.

At WrestleMania 35, Rousey, Flair and Lynch did battle in a Triple Threat, with both the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships on the line.

The Man won the match and both titles when she beat Rousey with a crucifix pin. After that, the former MMA star wasn't seen again on WWE programming until the 2022 Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

Rousey was playing more of a heel character near the end of her previous WWE stint, but she has clearly been a babyface since returning, and feuding with a top heel like Flair has helped her in that regard.

Also, Rousey has drawn the ire of WWE official Sonya Deville, who was hard at work when it came to manipulating things for The Queen while also opposing Rousey and Naomi.

That led to a tag team match pitting Rousey and Naomi against Flair and Deville at Elimination Chamber. The ex-UFC champion had to wrestle the match with one arm tied behind her back, but she still managed to make Deville tap out.

Rousey entered WrestleMania with a ton of momentum coming off that win, but it wasn't enough to get her past The Queen.

Now, with a WrestleMania win over Rousey on her resume in addition to 12 women's title reigns, it is hard to argue against Flair's case for being the greatest female Superstar in WWE history, although the manner of Saturday's win means their rivalry is unlikely to be over just yet.

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