Despite recent rumors suggesting that WWE chairman Vince McMahon wasn’t impressed with Shayna Baszler’s first-ever match on Monday Night Raw, the former NXT Women’s Champion was booked as expected at Elimination Chamber, dominating all the other women in the pay-per-view’s main event. As a new report suggests, the company gave her the win because that’s what many fans had predicted, mostly thanks to Raw executive director Paul Heyman getting his way in terms of creative input.
According to a report from WrestlingNews.co citing an internal source, most people backstage felt that the fans — particularly those viewing at home — already expected Baszler to win, thus setting her up for a match against Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 36. With this in mind, she was reportedly booked as a “monster heel,” powering her way through the women’s Elimination Chamber match and eliminating the other five competitors — Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Natalya, and Asuka — with her Kirifuda Clutch submission, as recapped by Cageside Seats.
As further pointed out, Heyman is “very high” on Baszler as one of WWE’s up-and-coming female wrestlers, even with McMahon allegedly doubting whether she has what it takes to headline WrestleMania. This came after she picked up a win over Kairi Sane on last week’s Raw, marking her wrestling debut on the red brand’s flagship show.
As reported over the weekend by The Inquisitr, Baszler seems to have taken notice of McMahon’s apparent skepticism regarding her ability to perform at WWE’s biggest event of the year. In a Twitter post, the former MMA fighter stressed that she “wouldn’t care” if she found out that someone didn’t believe in her, as she would still be beating her opponents regardless of what other people say. These comments, however, appeared to be aimed at fans who may have similarly doubted her on social media.
Previously, McMahon had supposedly “shot down” Heyman’s idea to book CM Punk in a similar fashion, though with the results of the Elimination Chamber PPV in the books, it looks like the WWE boss considered the executive director’s input this time around.
With Baszler now confirmed as Lynch’s opponent at WrestleMania 36, much of their rivalry might be focused on their past in-ring history. While Bleacher Report noted that both women were involved in a Triple Threat match at last year’s Survivor Series that also featured Bayley, the outlet noted that Baszler could also be motivated by how Lynch won the Raw Women’s Championship in the first place — by pinning her real-life friend Ronda Rousey in the main event of WrestleMania 35.