Ronda Rousey has a firm grip on the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. The opinions of many are that division doesn’t hold the star power of the women’s group on Monday Night Raw, with some pointing toward Rousey’s run as a detriment to development. WWE continues to book her strongly, even as fans push to see someone else in the top spot. Raquel Rodriguez doesn’t seem like the one to upend Rousey’s title run, but here are three women that WWE could tap as the names to defeat the former MMA star.
WWE continues to air vignettes pointing to the return of Charlotte Flair. The multiple-time champion has been away from WWE since May, drastically impacting the overall star power of the promotion. She could come back at The Royal Rumble and be a favorite to pick up another win there – but she doesn’t need that marquee victory at this point in her career. Flair could simply demand a title shot because she’s that big of a name for the promotion.
She already has the justification for wanting to end Rousey’s run as champion, as Rousey was the one who took the title from Flair back at WrestleMania Backlash 2022. Fans may not be too excited for another entry in Ronda Rousey versus Charlotte Flair, but she is one name with the credibility to take the championship.
Naomi is a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion, but her position never seems to get the respect that others receive. She’s an individual that could greatly benefit from picking up a victory at The Royal Rumble, solidifying what has already been a strong 13-year career with WWE. Picking up that win and then moving on to WrestleMania to challenge and defeat Rousey would be a moment that Naomi has deserved for a very long time.
This could also be a play to win back some of the good graces of fans that are still upset with how the company attempted to belittle Naomi and Sasha Banks when they left the company in May. As rumors grow about Banks’s potential next moves, Naomi’s next steps come with less speculation. WWE needs to make the full-court press to bring her back and give her the respect the fans want to see.
If WWE wanted to tell a strong story with Ronda Rousey, the opportunity is there with Shayna Baszler. Their storied history together has been told multiple times, but WWE continues to hesitate on pulling the trigger to put these women on opposite sides of the ring. Fans could buy into the idea that Baszler’s always wanted her shot at Rousey, since their days in MMA, and that she could match what Rousey uses to dominate others. The story is there, and Baszler picking up the win would be the moment that has escaped her on the main roster to date.