Report: WWE's Plans for Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 39
Ronda Rousey hasn't been on WWE TV since she dropped the SmackDown Women's Championship in an impromptu match on the Dec. 30 episode of Friday Night SmackDown. She'd then appear on a Facebook Gaming live stream weeks later and tease what her next move would be, indicating she wouldn't be attempting a rematch with "The Queen" — "I don't know, guys. I'm kinda tired of Charlotte. I'm tired of that title. I already did. I'm kind of thinking about taking over the tag division."
The 2023 Royal Rumble pay-per-view then came and went without an appearance from Rousey. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is now reporting that Rousey pushed behind the scenes for a tag team championship run with Shayna Baszler, so now a match is "locked in" for WrestleMania where Rousey and Baszler will challenge Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.
"Ronda then decided she wanted to be a tag team champion with Shayna Baszler because she's always wanted to do that run, so she will do that run," Meltzer added on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t eWrestlingNews).
Rousey returned from hiatus back at the 2022 Royal Rumble and won that year's Women's Rumble match. Despite trying to position herself as a heel during her time away from the ring, the UFC Hall of Famer was immediately welcomed back as a babyface and put in a program with Flair. "The Queen" pulled off a surprise win at WrestleMania 38, then dropped the title to Rousey in an I Quit Match at WrestleMania Backlash. That bout wrote Flair off TV until December.
While her absence was originally booked so she could be off TV to get married, Flair told The New York Post that she had to stay away longer to fix a dental issue she'd been dealing with since childhood. Instead of another bout with Rousey, Flair will now defend her title against the 2023 Women's Rumble winner, Rhea Ripley. The two initially clashed at WrestleMania 36 back at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and Ripley picked Flair as she never got the chance to get revenge after Flair beat her for the NXT Women's Championship.