WWE's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view included several surprise title changes, but it turns out it was supposed to contain one more. A new report from Fightful reveals that the original plan for the Raw Women's Championship match between Asuka and Lacey Evans was for Evans to win and become the new Raw Women's Champion. She would then continue to feud with Charlotte Flair in the ever-evolving Ric Flair storyline, but plans had to be changed a week before Elimination Chamber. That's when Evans discovered she was pregnant, and thus she will be off WWE television for most of 2021.
The plan now is for Charlotte to challenge Asuka for the title at WrestleMania, though that could obviously change depending on how Rhea Ripley is utilized when she debuts on Raw.
On the new episode of The Bella Twins Podcast, Evans talked about those plans having to be changed and feeling some guilt about the timing, but the pros obviously outweigh all the cons (via WrestlingNews.co).
“I had a huge title opportunity at Elimination Chamber. WrestleMania is coming up. But, you know, motherhood. It’s women and sports entertainment. We’re blessed to be able to birth children and extend our families, but we also have jobs to do in sports, like physical, athletic jobs. So, it’s a blessing and a curse," Evans said. "Don’t get me wrong. I’m so head over heels excited. My husband, I’ve been with him since I was 15. My daughter has been begging for a sibling since NXT. As a woman, I have to look at my baby and say, “I can’t. I’m chasing. I’m so close. I’m almost there. I have to prove to this company and to the world and to myself that I have what it takes to be successful, and then, I promise.’ but, we’re women. At what point can we promise them when we’re literally giving them our body and everything we possibly can to be an athlete, to be a sports entertainer. You can’t be pregnant with a big belly out there kicking but and taking names. It was a lot on my shoulders. That opportunity is gone now. There’s pros and cons. But, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a mother. My husband deserves as many babies as he wants to have.”
As for WWE, Evans said they were supportive throughout, and reveals the moment she found out the news.
“Obviously they were so supportive of even the thought of extending my family and having another baby. For a couple months, we tried. I’m taking pregnancy tests and my daughter is crying because it’s negative, negative, negative, negative, negative. She’s finally on her knees praying to God because she thinks He’s the one who will decide when it’s time. Then all of a sudden, Vince has this idea with the whole storyline. I was like, alright. Everything has been negative. I’ll get back in the game," Evans said. " Sure enough, Sunday, at 8:15, I said I’ll just continue to take pregnancy tests for obvious reasons. Sunday at 8:15, it was positive and it was one week to the day of Elimination Chamber. I was like, this is great, but, damn it. There’s guilt. You feel guilty because there are so many people working for these storylines, from the writers, to Charlotte, to her father. But, what can you do? It took me from 8:15 to 8:40 to figure out how to write that up and inform the powers that be that this is where we’re at.”0comments
Asuka actually won a shot at the Raw Women's Championship after winning the Money in the Bank match last year, but she didn't end up facing the then-current Champion Becky Lynch for the title. Lynch presented the title to Asuka in a surprise segment, where she revealed she was stepping away from television because of her own pregnancy announcement. Lynch did tease fans a bit with social media posts during the Royal Rumble regarding a return this year, and that will likely happen for real later this year.
Congrats to Evans and we can't wait to see her back in the ring!