WWE reportedly isn't planning to utilize Ronda Rousey at the 2023 Royal Rumble premium live event next weekend.
According to Fightful Select (h/t Sunil Joseph of Ringside News), WWE had no intention of using Rousey at the Rumble as of the time she dropped the SmackDown Women's Championship to Charlotte Flair on the Dec. 30 episode of SmackDown.
Fightful noted that Rousey was scheduled to have a singles match at the Royal Rumble until December, and added that while that is no longer expected, plans could still change between now and Jan. 28.
On the final SmackDown of 2022, Rousey beat Raquel Rodriguez in a hard-fought title defense, but she was then confronted by Charlotte, who was making her first appearance on WWE programming since May.
Charlotte beat Rousey in an impromptu match to become the new SmackDown women's champion, and Rousey has not been on TV since that loss.
Shayna Baszler, who has been in an alliance with Rousey for the past couple of months, appeared on Friday's SmackDown to announce her entry into the women's Royal Rumble match, but there was no sign of Rousey.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet was a surprise entrant in last year's women's Royal Rumble, winning it and earning a SmackDown Women's Championship match against Charlotte at WrestleMania 38.
Although Rousey lost the match, she got revenge at WrestleMania Backlash by beating Flair for the title in an I Quit match.
After losing to Becky Lynch in the Triple Threat main event of WrestleMania 35, which also included Charlotte, Rousey stepped away from WWE for nearly three years to focus on starting a family.
Rousey's current WWE run has paled in comparison to her first one thus far, and the fan reaction has largely been negative.
That necessitated a heel turn and may have been a contributing factor in WWE deciding to have her drop the SmackDown Women's Championship to Flair rather than carrying it into WrestleMania 39.
It stands to reason that Rousey could be added to the Rumble card as part of the women's Royal Rumble match, but even if she competes in it, it seems unlikely she would win in back-to-back years.
There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding how the former UFC champion will be utilized at WrestleMania in April, but given her partnership with Baszler, a move toward the women's tag team division seems plausible.
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