This past weekend fans witnessed the road to Wrestlemania kick start with the first stop of course being, the Royal Rumble! With a stacked night ahead the superstars of RAW, Smackdown and NXT worked an incredible first PPV of the year, however, the result of the women’s Royal Rumble match was noted as controversial, to say the least. With Charlotte Flair walking out this year’s winner fans expressed their frustrations with the booking decision including myself after Shayna Baszler was dubbed the favourite for many. Nearly a week later, however, its time to take a look at just why Baszler was the name so many wanted to win and what could have been if she did, in fact, walk out of the Rumble match guaranteed a Wrestlemania title opportunity.
Baszler winning the women’s Royal Rumble match would have been a historic booking decision. So far we have seen two women’s Rumble matches take place before the most recent with Asuka and Becky Lynch walking out as the winners, however, Baszler would have marked the first-ever NXT superstar to win a Rumble match both for the women and the men. Over the past year, we have seen NXT become a key brand within the WWE and at this year’s Rumble event there was great emphasis on the role the black and gold brand was playing at this year’s pay per view. Twenty-twenty would have been a great year for the WWE to book its first current NXT roster member to win a Royal Rumble match up and after Baszler’s very dominant year she made for an excellent pick. Following Survivor Series and the year, NXT had it would have been pretty awesome to see their reign of dominance continue to and for the brand to make an impact on the first year they were officially apart of the rumble match.
Becky Vs Shayna was Set Up
Last year’s Survivor Series PPV saw the first taste of Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler when the pair squared off in a triple threat bout alongside Bayley. During the build to this bout fans massively enjoyed the content between Lynch and Baszler with their promos and attacks on one another creating a huge buzz around the up and coming match and left so many wanting a one on one rivalry to take place the following year (twenty-twenty). The end of the Survivor Series PPV made it clear that things were far from over between these two superstars and for many fans, they were certain Mania would be the time they would collide once again. This was arguably the biggest match the WWE could have set up for women’s division heading into Mania this year and Baszler walking away with the Royal Rumble victory would have been very fitting considering both Bayley and Lynch are still champions and the unfinished business.
Setting up Four Horsewomen vs Four Horsewomen
There is no denying that the Four Horsewomen vs Four Horsewomen match up will take place one day soon and two thousand and twenty could very well be the year we do in fact see it happen. This is one of the most demanded bouts in recent history and there can be no denying it is an inevitable match-up fans genuinely do want to see. The WWE has been planting the seeds for this bout for quite some time now but there was most certainly a missed opportunity this past weekend. Baszler and Flair were the last two women remaining in the women’s Royal Rumble and if the WWE had booked this for Baszler and Flair to go at it one on one for quite some time in the Rumble match before Baszler threw the queen over the top rope it would have made for another chapter added to the growing story between these two “teams”. Baszler taking a big opportunity from Flair would have made for a brilliant story in itself securing a future match between the two also. Shayna then going on to compete for gold at Mania against Lynch and possibly walking out the victor once again adds more story to that Four Horsewomen vs Four Horsewomen match up we’re all waiting to witness!
Championship Celebration… Special Guest, Ronda Rousey
It’s been quite some time since we last saw Ronda Rousey inside a WWE ring (almost a year in fact) and in recent months there has been a lot of discussion amongst fans regarding her possible in-ring return, many of which believing it was going to take place at this year’s Royal Rumble event. However, it looks as though it may be a while before we see the badest woman on the planet return to action and again, a big opportunity was possibly missed here by not booking Baszler to win the women’s Rumble match this year. If Shayna did, in fact, get the big win this past weekend the chances of her dethroning Lynch would have been high and the night after Wrestlemania could have promised something very special, the return of Ronda Rousey. A championship victory celebration that would see Rousey return to celebrate with her long-time friend would have made for a pretty epic moment in true RAW after Mania style and could have possibly teased a rivalry between Baszler and Rousey down the line too.
While Charlotte Flair didn’t make for a surprise winner it’s clear why she was booked for the big win, however, Baszler without a doubt was a major fan favourite and there can be no denying there were some big missed opportunities with Baszler not scoring the victory. However, with plenty of rumors suggesting Flair may be challenging a different opponent at Mania than we expect we could at least still possibly expect to see Lynch vs Shayna at Wrestlemania.
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