Well, that change sure came fast.
After WWE announced this week on Main Event that Asuka would defend the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch at the Royal Rumble on January 27th, former General Manager Paige has now said the match is no longer official.
Paige wrote the following on Twitter:
"Soooo I tried to make one last match before my time as #SDLive GM came to end...but unfortunately @BeckyLynchWWE vs. @WWEAsuka for the Smackdown Women's Championship is NOT official for #RoyalRumble. #Oops"
Soooo I tried to make one last match before my time as #SDLive GM came to end...but unfortunately @BeckyLynchWWE vs. @WWEAsuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship is NOT official for #RoyalRumble. #Oops— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) December 21, 2018
It was always odd that WWE announced the match on Main Event, a seldom watched show, but the company even made a graphic for the match which was shown on the broadcast. The announcement on the show came following a recap of the events that transpired this week between Charlotte Flair, Asuka, and Becky Lynch.
That being said, Paige said the match is "not official," she didn't say the match was cancelled or not happening. The language here is interesting and the title bout could still happen and be announced at a later date. Perhaps someone at WWE jumped the gun by including it on Main Event?
Lynch has been favored to win the women's Royal Rumble in recent weeks, so there were some wondering if she would pull double duty or no longer be part of the Rumble.
During last year's first-ever women's Royal Rumble, the women's champions from RAW and SmackDown watched from ringside. While it's not impossible that the champion could be involved in the Rumble match, it does seem odd that Lynch would work a match for the women's championship on the show, then also be announced to take part in the Rumble for a chance at a championship shot later. It would seem to foreshadow that she's going to lose to Asuka.0comments
Essentially, we are left with three options here. One, Lynch works the match with Asuka as originally announced and she is not advertised for the Rumble. Should she lose, she could be a surprise entrant. Two, Lynch solely works the Rumble match and the bout with Asuka is put on ice for the time being. Or three, Lynch is advertised for both the Rumble and the match with Asuka, and if she were to win the title against Asuka, she could give her Rumble entry to someone else, perhaps even a surprise entrant.
It will be interesting to see which direction WWE takes this story in the coming weeks.