Ronda Rousey is set to defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a triple-threat match at WrestleMania 35 on April 7th.
That match will come amid rampant speculation about Rousey’s longterm future as a wrestler. In January, the one and only Dave Meltzer reported that Rousey was expected to leave the WWE after WrestleMania. Ryan Satin went on to report that she’d be leaving in order to start a family with husband Travis Browne, a not-officially-retired MMA fighter.
The jewel of the WWE’s women’s division denied the reports immediately, though, telling Ramona Shelburne of ESPN that she would like to have a family at some point in the future, but has yet to decide when that will be.
“I’ve not kept it a secret that I would definitely want to start a family … But how do you go about doing that? … There’s a lot of things up in the air. A lot of decisions that we’ve gotta make as a family. I’m trying to figure it out as I go along.” – Ronda Rousey, Jan. 25, 2019
For its part, the WWE issued a statement in late January affirming that Rousey is under contract with the company until April 2021.
Will Rousey Retain the Title at WrestleMania?
Obviously, the WWE does not want to have the belt around the waist of someone about to abandon the sport. The odds from SBD set the chances of Rousey quitting the WWE after WrestleMania at 11/9, which is a very high 45% chance.
Perhaps that’s why SBD’s resident wrestling expert, Graham Mirmina, sets the odds of Rousey retaining her title at WrestleMania at just 17/8, or 32%.
That actually makes her the biggest underdog of the three combatants. Mirmina has Charlotte Flair at 2/1 (33.3%) to win, while Becky Lynch is the favorite at 13/7 (35%).
But if the calculations about Rousey leaving after WrestleMania are off, then it probably becomes much more likely that she’ll retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
Rousey is unquestionably the biggest star and the biggest draw in the women’s division right now, and the WWE needs all the name-power it can muster at the moment.
It doesn’t have the likes of John Cena and Roman Reigns to rely on on the men’s side. The SmackDown title is around the waist of the unassuming Daniel Bryan.
In allowing part-time performer Brock Lesner to start a new reign as Universal Champion last November, the WWE set a certain precedent: it currently values star power over commitment to the company.
Unless Vince McMahon is certain Rousey is going to be taking an extended vacation from the WWE after WrestleMania, there is a very good chance he will keep his biggest women’s star shining as brightly as possible in the triple-threat match at The Granddaddy of Them All.
But, at this time, Rousey’s plans remain shrouded in mystery and, as a result, so does the outcome at WrestleMania. Enjoy the unpredictability while it lasts!