While there’s a lot of time to pass and plenty of training to be done, it seems as if the stars are aligning for a dream WrestleMania rematch between Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch.
It is a leap of faith, given that Rousey had seemingly turned her back on the industry when leaving WWE and that Lynch is heavily pregnant with her first child.
But the rumor mill is in full flight after Paul Heyman intimated rather heavily that perhaps Rousey isn’t quite done with wrestling quite yet. “I don’t understand why people don’t realize that perhaps, just perhaps, Ronda Rousey’s contract has been extended or she has worked out a new deal, and it would not benefit either WWE or Ronda Rousey to go public with that information,” he told the New York Post.
The former UFC star hasn’t been seen inside a WWE ring since WrestleMania 35, where she locked horns with Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a history-making encounter – the first all-female clash to headline the firm’s flagship event.
Big thanks to @rondarousey & @travisbrownemma for the invite to do a little wrestling around. I’ve met a lot of people that come from different sports but none besides @therealkurtangle that have the respect for pro wrestling like she does. pic.twitter.com/i0vjd5vQI2
— The Cowboy (@JamesStormBrand) October 17, 2020
But Rousey has spent the intervening period dissing the WWE universe for a perceived lack of respect they had shown her, which could be taken at face value or as a way of building heat for her heel return. What’s more, she was photographed at a training camp with former TNA champ James Storm in October.
As for Lynch, she is very much still part of the WWE family and an epic return is very much on the cards if all goes to plan. Due to give birth in December, the Irish star could begin a gentle build-up as soon as February – for reference, long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe was running just 12 days after giving birth and won the New York Marathon nine months later. All pregnancies are different, but Vince McMahon will be hoping all goes smoothly for ‘The Man’.
Further intrigue is added by the fact that both Rousey and Lynch feature in the sports betting odds for the Royal Rumble 2021, with the former well fancied at +650 and the latter a general +1100. That suggests either could be in amongst the business end of the 30-woman battle royal, with the winner going on to headline WrestleMania 36 next March.
Timing is Everything
There will be plenty of appetite for Rousey vs Lynch in singles action, and the headline bill at WrestleMania would be a fitting way to showcase their talents.
But it would put tremendous pressure on an athlete who hasn’t been inside a wrestling ring for 18 months, and a first-time mom who may experience some of the physical repercussions that childbirth brings.
For what it’s worth, Becky Lynch WAS backstage at SmackDown this week.
I believe Ringside News reported it. I asked about it and it’s accurate.
— Alex McCarthy (@AlexM_talkSPORT) October 17, 2020
Rousey’s return will surely come first, and that is likely to be precipitated by victory in the Royal Rumble match – that seems more likely than Sasha Banks winning the Rumble and taking on Bayley in a feud at ‘Mania that, at that point, would be more than six months old.
And, of course, we have to consider Asuka in all of this. She has carried the women’s division on RAW for months, and it would be harsh if she was steamrolled to make Rousey vs Lynch happen. Could she take her place in a triple threat battle with the duo?
With Rousey booking her spot at WrestleMania, hypothetically speaking, by winning the Rumble, the scene would be set for Lynch to return in February, beat Asuka at Elimination Chamber and set-up the eagerly anticipated ‘rematch’ between two of the hardest-hitting female wrestlers around.
Improbable? Possibly. But it’s certainly not impossible…