Once again, WWE has stumbled upon lightning in a bottle.
At WrestleMania 35, that bottle needs to be shattered with a main event featuring Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch.
And more because of the latter than the former.
Unfortunately for all involved, what was arguably the most anticipated match on the Survivor Series card got tossed to the wayside because of one irresponsible punch and follow-through from Nia Jax, which broke Lynch's nose and concussed her.
While this halted a match everyone wanted to see, it only threw gasoline on the fire that is the hottest talent and storyline in WWE. Survivor Series boasts champion-on-champion violence and cross-brand battles, yet all the focus is on an injured Superstar.
Think about that for a moment. Daniel Bryan didn't just win the WWE Championship. He didn't just turn heel. He won the title after sitting out of action and going into "dream matches" territory, because medically, it looked like his career was toast. But he's back—a maniacal bad guy again, world champion and headed for a collision with Brock Lesnar.
And we're talking about Becky Lynch. Good luck explaining that to a WWE fan about a year ago.
It is a testament to the job Lynch has done over the last handful of months, seizing the so-called brass rings CM Punk once touted as something Vince McMahon expects of his eventual top talents.
She took a garbage writing job and ran with it, forcing the story to align to her character thanks to fan response we haven't seen since—coincidentally enough—Bryan's epic run spoiled the company's original plans all those years ago.
It's clear WWE wants to keep the fire going even though Lynch can't compete:
The Man @BeckyLynchWWE
You gave me your best sucker punch, but I got back up to destroy your whole roster. They won’t let me fight, but I’ll get back up from that too. It’s what I do. So enjoy your one free shot, because as bad as my memory is now, I haven’t forgotten you, bitch. https://t.co/4dZW4hCmaf
That isn't something that gets sent out after a serious injury unless at least one of the Superstars involved is going places.
It's Lynch, of course (it sure shouldn't be Jax, to put it lightly), hence the superb storytelling here that walks a fine line between real and fake:
This might sound weird, if not insensitive, but Lynch's injury may have been the best thing that could have happened to her in the long run.
A feud like this between Rousey and Lynch is built for the main event of WrestleMania. Speed bumps like this only naturally craft better storytelling and enhance the eventual payoff.
And no, this isn't referring to anything other than the actual main event. Not a co-main event. Not the "main event" in the way the last two or three matches are technically "main event" material. No. Going on last.
WWE has an organic way to usher in the first women's WrestleMania main event. It is based purely on fan reaction and covers all the bases, from casual once-a-year viewers to the legions of hardcore. The best part? Both Rousey and Lynch can go in the ring and put on a main event-level performance.
Granted, WWE likes to miss layups at the rim like this at times, but it has something else going for it: There isn't a predictable winner. Sure, WWE could go with Rousey, but rewarding someone as organically over as Lynch—and someone who has been around longer—is still believable.
That's getting ahead of ourselves. The biggest hurdle is stretching out Lynch's status with the crowd and keeping the two at arm's length for what will feel like an eternity before WrestleMania arrives.
However, there are ways around this and brand-changing options to get the two closer in the meantime. It will take some finesse, with Lynch likely needing to drop the title while looking strong (unless WWE unexpectedly shifts Rousey because down the road Fox wants the blue brand to be more sports-oriented). Either way, WWE has pulled off more difficult maneuvers over shorter time frames in the past.
Riding the Lynch wave shouldn't be hard over the next few months. She's going to need to get her hands on Jax, provided she's still around. While most might have short attention spans these days, the desire to see Rousey and Lynch throw down won't fade anytime soon.
In the grand scheme of things, what's another viable main event? A certain match featuring legends at Crown Jewel was an absolute dud. Lesnar has the top title again with Roman Reigns gone, but it's clear WWE isn't intent on letting anyone else take over.
The champ himself has the whole UFC thing in the background. Bryan is a quality champion, but he's also playing a bad guy and is not as mainstream as Lesnar. Rousey, however, might be as big of a draw as Lesnar.
Rousey's star power and Lynch's incredible momentum? That's main event material at any pay-per-view, and it's also organically the right fit for the biggest stage of them all.