The fascinating backstory for this match dates back to the 2018 edition of Summer Slam, as a jealous Becky Lynch attacked Charlotte Flair in retaliation following Flair’s triumph in a triple threat match for the Smack Down Women’s Championship. Although Flair would drop the title to Lynch at Hell in a Cell, setting the stage for a champion vs champion match against Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey at one of WWE’s signature events, the Survivor Series.
Such an epic match was not meant to be, as a knee injury shelved Lynch, allowing Flair an opportunity to challenge Rousey for the title. Despite Rousey retaining the title, Flair duplicated Lynch’s jealous attack from Summer Slam, assaulting Rousey with a barrage of weapons, simultaneously igniting a new rivalry that was not likely to vanish.
Although Rousey was exclusive to the Raw brand, while Flair and Lynch were among the most recognizable stars of Smack Down, the escalation of the rivalries between all three meant that the brands continued to blend. In a three-way match between Flair, Lynch and Asuka for the Smack Down Women’s Championship at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event, the Rowdy One’s interference added to the increased intensity. With Asuka emerging as Smack Down’s women’s champion, its consequences enabled Flair and Lynch to focus their growing hatred towards Rousey.
With Lynch aggravating her knee injury at Royal Rumble, she managed to secure a spot in a title match at Wrestle Mania 35. Fittingly, it was Flair and Lynch among the last two contestants in the women’s Royal Rumble match, which featured 30 competitors from the women’s division. After eliminating Flair, Lynch made the bold decision to challenge Rousey for her title.
Before Wrestle Mania, the dramatics among the three reached a new level, as Fastlane saw the three unexpectedly back in the ring together. With Lynch removed from the match against Rousey, due to refusing Stephanie McMahon’s orders of having her knee medically assessed, she battled through a gruelling limp, challenging Flair in another chapter of their rivalry. The outcome of her Fastlane match resulted in suffering an attack by Rousey, with Flair deemed the loser by disqualification.
Afterwards, a decision was made to have Lynch and Flair challenge Rousey in a triple threat match at Wrestle Mania 35. Marking the first time that a women’s match became the main event at Wrestle Mania, it propelled all three into a new level of relevance in WWE lore, simultaneously adding lustre to the growing prestige of the Women’s Revolution.
Taking into account that Rousey first established herself as a pop culture icon after her dominance in UFC, there was a unique tinge of coincidence in the fact that Brock Lesnar, also a former main event competitor in the octagon, was on the WrestleMania card. Participating in a singles match against Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship
Part of an empowering weekend for the Women’s Revolution. During the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, Senior Director of Talent Relations Sue Aitchison was bestowed the honor of the 2019 Warrior Award, a fitting reward for her tireless efforts with both the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the inspiring WrestleMania Reading Challenge program.
In addition, three female competitors gained entry into the Hall. The first female individual inductee announced was Torrie Wilson, while Chyna (Joanie Laurer) gained posthumous induction. With D-Generation X gaining entry, Chyna was recognized for her contributions to the group. Lastly, Luna Vachon was inducted in the Legacy category.
A sold-out 82,265 crowd, with enthusiastic fans hailing from all US states, plus 68 countries descended upon MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the NFL’s Giants and Jets. Akin to the drama of gladiators clashing in the coliseums of Ancient Rome, the energy in the Stadium served as a venue worthy of this titanic main event, a winner takes all triple threat match for both titles. Adding lustre to the magnitude of this landmark match was female rock legend Joan Jett performing her song “Bad Reputation” live as the ring entrance theme for Rousey.
Surprisingly, the match only began at midnight ET, as the previous card lasted approximately seven and a half hours. With a crowd that was visibly exhausted, Rousey was visibly bleeding from her elbow, compounded by grotesque bruising on her legs. In addition, her head had hit the floor after receiving a dropkick from Lynch that saw her land outside the ring. While Flair was constantly favoring her right knee throughout the match, she was a warrior, landing a Spanish Fly for one of the highlights of this winner take all affair.
The ending of the match extending the theme of high adrenaline action, adding to the anticipation of who would emerge with both titles. As Flair placed Rousey in her patented Figure-Eight Leg Lock, it was broken up by Lynch. In a rare show of collaboration, Lynch and Rousey would join forces to put Flair through a table, an action that proved to put the match out of reach for the second generation superstar. Afterwards, Rousey looked to take advantage, placing Lynch in the Piper’s Pit. Much to her surprise, Lynch displayed a tremendous poise, placing her into a roll-up pinfall for the win.
Quickly identifying herself by the sobriquet “Becky Two Belts”, the SmackDown Women’s Championship is the third in her career, tying a WWE record. Surprisingly, the Raw Women’s Championship is the first in her stellar career. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Lynch is the first competitor in WWE history to hold both belts at the same time.
Covered by numerous news outlets, including CNN, it was testament to the relevance of the main event’s stature, and the growing impact of women in sport. Other women’s matches on the card included the Women’s Battle Royal on the Kickoff portion of the show. With Ember Moon returning from a six-month absence due to injury, she landed an Eclipse on Mandy Rose for the highlight of the Battle Royal. Among the notable eliminations, Dana Brooke managed to toss out Riott Squad members Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott. As the event progressed, Logan appeared poised to win, as she eliminated Sonia Deville and Asuka. In an upset finish, Carmella, who was deviously hiding outside the ring, returned to the ring and executed a super kick on Logan for the win.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, a pair of Australian star wreslters who are identified by the sobriquet “The Iconics”, experienced a major breakthrough in their careers, winning the Women’s Tag Team Championship. With four teams battling for the tag team gold, the Iconics pinned the Boss ‘N Hug Connection, featuring Bayley and Sasha Banks, by pinfall. Legendary Beth Phoenix & Natalya, a third generation wrestler, along with Nia Jax & Tamina, both having Polynesian roots, constituted the other half of the tag teams on-hand.
Among the most unique aspects of the match saw Natalya, whose uncle, Bret Hart, was among the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees, placed a sharpshooter, her uncle’s signature move, on both Banks and Bayley at the same time. Later in the match, Jax and Tamina, whose father is the late Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, placed double Samoan Drops on the Iconics.
Recovering from the Drops, the Iconics displayed impressive synergy to end the match. With Bayley on the receiving end of Phoenix’s Grand Slam, it looked like the match was approaching its climax. Not seen by Phoenix, Kay had slapped her bottom, signifying a tag to enter the ring. This would prove to be a highly strategic move as Royce broke up Phoenix’s pin on Bayley. Proceeding to throw Phoenix out of the ring, Royce’s partner Kay capitalized on the advantage, covering a dazed Bayley for the win in front of an enthusiastic crowd that showered their approval for the new champs.