When was the Natalya vs. Ronda Rousey match originally supposed to take place?
In case you didn’t catch this week’s episode of RAW due to the holiday (find all the results with Mitchell’s Live Report), the main event of the evening saw two friends battling over gold as Natalya challenged Ronda Rousey for the RAW Women’s Championship.
If you remember, last month it was reported that initial plans called for Natalya to turn on Ronda, however the untimely passing of Nattie’s father, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, caused WWE to call an audible (read the story here). While it doesn’t seem like much as the match still took place this week, another report today says that it actually had a huge affect on the company’s biggest annual event.
According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, who originally reported the change in plans, Nattie was set to square-off against Ronda at WrestleMania 35 in April, which would have been the “women’s main event”. Instead, now the plan is reportedly for Becky Lynch to face Ronda Rousey, but it’s still unclear if the RAW Women’s Title would be on the line or if Charlotte Flair would be involved as well.
EA’s Take: No…nope…NO! I don’t believe that Natalya vs. Ronda Rousey was ever scheduled to be the top women’s match at WrestleMania or was even going to happen at WrestleMania in any fashion. I’m sorry, all due respect to Nattie and the career she’s had, but does anybody think for one second WWE would have that as a WrestleMania match? No. Freakin’. Way. All we’ve heard about since last WrestleMania has been Ronda vs. Charlotte, or some iteration of Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen and then recently it’s been all about Becky. Again, all apologies to Natalya, but that would be a waste of a Mania match for Rousey, in my opinion. Look, WWE is much smarter than that, despite what anybody thinks. With no way of telling how much longer you will even have Ronda for (because let’s be honest, we really have no clue how long she plans on doing this), I find it incredibly hard to believe WWE would use one of what could be very few opportunities on Rousey vs. Natalya with much better options on the table.