A new report from Fightful Select suggests that going into this year’s WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, major creative changes were made to the women’s title program on SmackDown.
As of early December, the plan for the Royal Rumble was going to be Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez. That match ended up taking place on December 30th. Charlotte Flair’s return (and subsequent title win) were added to add juice to the show, which also featured the return of John Cena.
The reason behind the creative changes were that Rousey was presented with several creative options, but none of them panned out. That was when the decision was made to move up the Rousey/Rodriguez match, and then to put the belt on Charlotte.
This had a ripple effect on other creative plans, as well. Charlotte was tentatively scheduled to go up against RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. Ronda Rousey would have taken on Rhea Ripley, but that was when Rousey still held the title.
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