Charlotte Flair made her surprise return on the December 30, 2022, episode of WWE SmackDown to reclaim the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Ronda Rousey. Since then, The Queen has gained victories over the likes of Sonya Deville, Liv Morgan and Shayna Baszler.

Charlotte Flair will defend her title against Rhea Ripley at the upcoming WrestleMania 39 premium live event. The last time the two women went against each other was in 2021, when Charlotte defeated Rhea for the RAW Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank.

Charlotte recently sat down with Graham GSM Matthews of Bleacher Report for an interview wherein she recalled that her title program with Rhea Ripley was supposed to conclude at SummerSlam 2021, but WWE nixed the plans after Nikki Cross (then known as Nikki A.S.H.) entered the mix.

“I think there would have been another match after our Money in the Bank [match] had Nikki A.S.H. not cashed in on me. I think this is now the ending to that. I think Money in the Bank would’ve probably led to another, but then you have this crazy cash-in out of nowhere and we just never crossed paths again. … In hindsight, I had no control of that. I’m saying it now: I don’t have control. I’m so flattered that people think I had that much power. I’m very flattered, but trust me, I don’t.”


For those wondering, Nikki A.S.H. successfully cashed in her Money in the Bank contract against Charlotte the RAW after the July 18, 2021, premium live event. This led to a triple threat match involving Charlotte, Nikki and Rhea that saw The Queen reclaim the title at SummerSlam.

Rhea Ripley will have the opportunity of a lifetime to beat Charlotte Flair for her SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 39’s Night 1. It remains to be seen whether or not The Eradicator of The Judgment Day will dethrone The Queen.

Do you think WWE should have stick to their original plan for Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley at SummerSlam 2021? Are you looking forward to their upcoming SmackDown Women’s Championship match? Sound off in the comments!

Manik Aftab

Manik Aftab serves as a news writer at Ringside News. He has covered pro wrestling and sports entertainment for a variety of publications, including Sportskeeda Wrestling, The Sportster, and WrestleZone. Outside of his professional duties, Manik likes to indulge in fiction, thrillers, comics, manga, and anime.

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