Ronda Rousey's Hiatus Caused Changes To WrestleMania Plans
  • Feb. 26, 2023 4:51 pm EST

The Road to WrestleMania has begun and it seems that some of the destinations aren't the ones that were initially planned.

Fightful Select is reporting that "WWE SmackDown" Women's Champion Charlotte Flair was initially scheduled to return to WWE on the "Raw" brand, but Ronda Rousey taking time off from WWE led to Flair winning the title on December 30. No word on what the original plans were before Rousey's hiatus. 

According to the report, Fightful was not able to confirm rumors that there were ever plans for Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair at WrestleMania. As it stands, Women's Royal Rumble winner Ripley will face "WWE SmackDown" Women's Champion Flair, while Belair is set to defend her "WWE Raw" Women's Championship against 2023 Women's Elimination Chamber winner Asuka.

Rousey is advertised for tomorrow's "WWE Raw" and current reports suggest that she will be teaming with fellow MMA fighter Shayna Baszler to face WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Damage CTRL at WrestleMania 39. Tomorrow's appearance will likely shed light on Rousey and Baszler's direction on the Road to SoFi Stadium.

Rousey and Baszler teamed up for a dominant win against Shotzi and Natalya on the February 17 "WWE SmackDown," which was Rousey's first match since she lost the "SmackDown" Women's Title to Flair on December 30. Neither Rousey, Baszler, Belair nor Flair competed at WWE Elimination Chamber, while Ripley competed in a losing effort alongside Finn Balor against WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Beth Phoenix.

WrestleMania is set for April 1 and 2 in Los Angeles, CA.