Report: WWE's Plans for Ronda Rousey at Royal Rumble 2023 and WrestleMania 39

Ronda Rousey will wrap up 2022 as the SmackDown Women's Champion, and per WWE already has plans for what she'll be doing early next year. Rousey will reportedly defend her title against Raquel Rodriguez at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio. Her match for WrestleMania 39 wasn't confirmed, but the site noted she's planned to still be champion by that point. One of the heavily-rumored matches for Mania is Rousey vs. Becky Lynch, a bout that was originally scheduled for Survivor Series 2018. But due to an ill-timed injury and booking changes, the two still have never met one-on-one. 

If you've been watching SmackDown lately, the news of Rousey vs. Rodriguez shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given how Rousey injured her with an armbar as part of the build to her match with Shotzi at Survivor Series WarGames. 

Lynch has hinted at facing Rousey numerous times over the years, even before Rousey came back from hiatus at this year's Royal Rumble. She told Out of Character last October, "Yeah, and I do think it will (happen). The fact that I've had a baby and came back so great that she'll probably want to one-up me and she'll try to come back in three months. Then I'll be right there to punch her right in the face, give her a Rock Bottom, out of here in 20 seconds, Ronda."

Rousey was on The Kurt Angle Show earlier this year and was asked what matchup could possibly bring her back to MMA. The UFC Hall of Famer and former champion said, "There's only one person. There's only one person I would come back for. I mean, I've said it a million times, for Gina, man. Gina Carano, she's the reason why I got into fighting, she's the reason why I knew it was a possibility. I will always be forever grateful. If she ever was like, 'Ronda, I wanna fight you tomorrow at 205 pounds,' like whatever the hell she'd want, I'm not saying she's 205 pounds. If she wanted to come into my backyard and do the Rocky thing, you know, 'ding-ding' and we just do it in the backyard, I don't care. I will fight Gina wherever she wants and if she doesn't want to, forever, [I will leave that offer there]. It's a respect thing, not like a, 'F— you. I'm coming to get you.' It's just like, 'Hey, if you ever wanna pull that card out, it's there. I love her. Thank you, Gina, for everything you've done."