As seen during the December 30th 2022 edition of WWE Smackdown, Charlotte Flair returned from hiatus and defeated Ronda Rousey to capture the Smackdown women’s title right after Rousey had successfully defended her title against Raquel Rodriguez.
According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, Rousey vs. Rodriguez for the Smackdown women’s title was part of a planned card listing for the 2023 Royal Rumble PLE that was written in mid-November. Meltzer noted that Charlotte winning the title “was a late plan as Rousey was scheduled for a different direction and in the PPV lineups that were preliminarily made out in mid-November that went through Wrestlemania, Rousey was still to be the champion originally.” Charlotte’s father Ric Flair, who was in attendance for Smackdown, claimed that he didn’t know she returning and left the building before it happened.
It was previously reported that Rousey vs. Becky Lynch is no longer a creative direction for Wrestlemania 39. Meltzer stated that the match is “very unlikely” to take place at this point.