As I’m starting this, it’s 6pm. SmackDown Live is set to air in two hours and all of the plans for Survivor Series regarding Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey could be out the window, according to rumors that the match will be pulled due to Lynch’s injury.
Before we get any kind of confirmation of what direction WWE is going, I thought it would be worth directing some of the discussion of everyone’s fantasy predictions and booking strategies into one concentrated area, until WWE inevitably shatters our ideas and goes with something that will feel underwhelming.
As far as I see it, there are a few ways they can handle this situation if they’re scrambling for ideas right now.
Problems to Address
- They wanted to do Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey, as it’s an important match and it helps set up the Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen thing in preparation for Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey
- They wanted to have an uneven amount of Raw vs. SmackDown matches, but that’s not the biggest deal in the world.
- It makes sense to have all the champions on each brand against each other, if possible.
- Is Flair on Team SmackDown, or is Mandy Rose?
- Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey is the next match in line and it was supposed to happen at TLC.
Idea #1: Rousey joins Team Raw and other changes follow. (my preference)
Raw has Alexa Bliss on the outside as Team Captain. SmackDown doesn’t have that. How about Becky Lynch is on the outside as the Team Captain of SmackDown, Ronda Rousey joins Team Raw to make that a group of 6 women, and to balance out the numbers, both Charlotte Flair AND Mandy Rose are on Team SmackDown to make that a 6-woman team?
Adding two more people can stretch the time of the match. They can also insert some sort of filler segment like Elias doing a musical performance or whatever, just to fill the gap some more.
Plenty of good things can come from this. For instance, Rousey and Jax shouldn’t be able to get along, and if they want to, they can have the two of them fight on the outside and get counted out. That’s technically a loss for Rousey, but it’s not a true loss and it helps build to their match at TLC.
It would also allow Rose and Deville to be on the same team and push that story forward without ignoring Flair.
Rousey vs. Lynch can be saved for the Royal Rumble. More on that later.
Idea #2: Lynch is stripped of the title and Rousey faces the new champion.
I don’t think anyone really wants this to happen, but if WWE wants to rush things, they could put the title on Flair, do Rousey vs. Flair here, set in motion the idea of Lynch winning the Royal Rumble and she challenges Rousey at WrestleMania for the title instead of The Queen.
The downside to that is we get zero build for Rousey/Flair AND the company has to sacrifice their preferred WrestleMania match, which means this is pretty much a guarantee not to happen.
WWE has shown in the past with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns that they’ll sacrifice every single thing in the world if it means they get the one match that they care the most about, even if it’s months and months of the product suffering and them trying to convince everyone that it’s fantastic.
Don’t set your sights on this being the case. It’s not happening.
Idea #3: Rousey defends the title at Survivor Series. Rousey vs. Lynch happens later.
This is the most complex web to weave, but follow me.
If Rousey is going to do something other than joining Team Raw or facing a new representative for SmackDown, she pretty much has to defend the title.
The only options for challengers are to pull Nia Jax or Tamina from Team Raw and have one of them against Rousey.
As far as who to put in their spot for the team, it could be Sasha Banks, Bayley, or if they want to make Alexa seem really vindictive, she still ignores those two and puts Alicia Fox on the squad. Or, they go ahead with the 6-on-6 idea, both Banks and Bayley get on the team, and both Flair and Mandy Rose are on SmackDown.
Then, as far as Tamina or Jax goes, if they go with Tamina, they can still do Rousey vs. Jax at TLC and save Rousey vs. Lynch for the Royal Rumble.
After all, most of the women are going to be in the Royal Rumble match and the likelihood of the Raw or SmackDown women’s titles changing hands is very slim, so there’s no reason not to just do an exhibition of the two champions against each other at Royal Rumble, right?
Or, they could do Jax vs. Rousey at Survivor Series, get that out of the way, and swap the matches by having Lynch face Rousey at TLC.
Yes, it is illogical to have the Raw vs. SmackDown match at TLC instead of here, but that’s what WWE is working with and the company has changed rules so many times in the past that it’s not unheard of. We’ve had Royal Rumbles with the titles on the line instead of a title shot and we’ve had Survivor Series events without a single Survivor Series match. Shit happens and we have to roll with the punches and just give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes for the sake of what the current product needs.
I would hope they’d go with Tamina at Survivor Series, Jax at TLC, Lynch at Royal Rumble, as that allows Lynch the most amount of time to heal up and makes the most logical sense for the particular cards.
Really, the only downside to that (outside of waiting for Lynch/Rousey) is that we don’t have an uneven amount of Raw vs. SmackDown matches, but they can just book something for the pre-show to offset that, like they did with the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn situation. Book Elias against Aiden English. Hell, just have an uneven amount and if need be, make it a tie this year. It’s not the end of the world to not declare a winner between Raw and SmackDown.
What do you think they should do with this situation? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!