Last night, former two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was invited to appear on Monday Night Raw, where the husband-and-wife team of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon accepted her apology for her previous acts of disrespect and allowed her once again to face Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey in the WrestleMania 35 main event. That, however, was quickly undone when WWE chairman Vince McMahon, in his evil authority figure role, declared that Lynch was still suspended for 60 days and that Charlotte Flair would be taking her place against Rousey.
While many fans saw the closing twist on Monday Night Raw as something WWE had recently come up with to play off the perception that Flair is favored over other women by company officials, a new report from WrestlingNews.co suggests the company had been planning this for quite a while. The publication quoted veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, who said on Tuesday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that the ending of this week’s Raw was not a spur-of-the-moment thing.
“The interesting thing here is that a lot of people think that Vince is doing this because he is playing off the internet feeling that Charlotte is the company person and all that to get heat with people in that way,” said Meltzer.
“In fact, that’s not the case. It was just the way the story was written before any of that stuff happened. So it wasn’t even that they were expecting it, it just worked out in their favor. This has been basically laid out from a long time back.”
— WWE (@WWE) February 12, 2019
As further noted by WrestlingNews.co, many WWE fans have theorized that the company is booking Charlotte Flair as a female equivalent to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who was billed as WWE’s villainous “corporate champion” in 1998 and the antithesis to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s anti-authority fan-favorite gimmick. Since she started billing herself as “The Man” late last year, publications such as Sportskeeda have compared Becky Lynch’s current gimmick to that of Austin’s, given her onscreen distaste for authority and how she became a popular babyface despite WWE’s original plans to book her as a heel.
At the moment, the expectation remains that Lynch will somehow find her way back to the WrestleMania 35 main event, with Ronda Rousey’s Raw Women’s Championship defense effectively becoming a Triple Threat Match. It remains unclear how WWE plans to go about this potential storyline development, but for the meantime, WrestlingNews.co speculated that Lynch might get involved when Charlotte’s father, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, celebrates his 70th birthday on the February 25 episode of Monday Night Raw, as advertised on WWE‘s website.