There will be a Smackdown Women’s Title match at the WWE Royal Rumble on January 27 and it will see the new champion Asuka defending her title against the former champion, Becky Lynch. At least that’s what we thought this morning, but apparently, that is no longer the plan.
Asuka won the championship at WWE TLC this past Sunday in a TLC match thanks to an assist from Ronda Rousey when Rousey shoved over a ladder that had Lynch and Charlotte Flair on it. That meant that Lynch lost the title without getting pinned.
During this week’s Raw, Shane McMahon noted that automatic rematches for champions were “antiquated” and were not a thing anymore, but here is Lynch getting one. I would assume it’s because she wasn’t pinned to lose the title and there’s also never been an Asuka vs. Lynch PPV match before.
The match was announced on WWE Main Event hosted by Scott Stanford and the graphic you see above was shown during the broadcast.
It’s worth noting that as of 9amET Friday, there’s no mention of this match on WWE.com’s Royal Rumble page or WWE’s social media. That might happen later in the day.
UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, former WWE Smackdown GM Paige tweeted about the match not being official.
Soooo I tried to make one last match before my time as #SDLive GM came to end…but unfortunately @BeckyLynchWWE vs. @WWEAsuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship is NOT official for #RoyalRumble. #Oops
— SARAYA (@RealPaigeWWE) December 21, 2018
There’s your explanation. It’s also not on WWE.com, so it’s not happening.
Here’s the WWE Royal Rumble lineup so far:
Men’s Royal Rumble Match (R-Truth is #30)
Women’s Royal Rumble Match (Carmella is #30)
Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman
That’s all for now with more coming over the next month.
TJR Thoughts: I’ll leave my original thoughts in below if the match is official, but I think the best thing WWE can do is keep it off the card and have Becky win the Rumble.
The announcement of this match is a bit surprising because the expectation for most people was that Lynch would win the Royal Rumble and challenge Rousey for the Raw Women’s Title at WrestleMania. Now that Lynch has this match, it may mean she is not in the Royal Rumble. My guess is they do the match early, Lynch ends up losing and then Lynch takes somebody out to steal their Royal Rumble spot and she wins the Rumble.
Another thing they could do is have a number one contender’s match at Elimination Chamber and Lynch can find her way into that match leading to the WrestleMania match with Rousey.
I just think WWE is going to go with Rousey vs. Lynch at WrestleMania. It’s just a matter of how they get there. Asuka may hold the title until WrestleMania leading to a rematch with Charlotte Flair from this year’s WrestleMania or maybe a match with multiple women involved.