It wasn’t the match that was planned, but that didn’t stop Ronda Rousey from tearing down the house at Survivor Series. Representing Raw and with her Women’s Championship in tow, Rousey went up against SmackDown’s Charlotte Flair to determine which woman could claim to be the best across all of WWE. Rousey’s been on a tear since arriving, but Charlotte has done everything there is to do in WWE. Who would come out on top?
Unlike Alexa Bliss or Nikki Bella, Charlotte has a clear size advantage over Rousey, and the two match up very evenly in the early going. Charlotte gains momentum though when she brutally throws Ronda into the lower turnbuckle, and then begins to work her neck and back through a series of submissions. Whether from the turnbuckle hit or a nasty elbow from Charlotte, Ronda starts bleeding, the brutality of this match coming through early.
It’s looking like Charlotte is in full control, but Rousey turns things around by locking Charlotte into a submission on the ropes and then rolling through into an armbar. Charlotte escapes though, and that’s the beginning of both women trading submissions and counters like they’re foes who’ve been fighting for years. The sheer physicality and ring IQ on display is staggering.
Rousey gets fired up when she has Charlotte reeling, but the brief moment she takes to play to the crowd ends up giving Charlotte time to hit a spear. That move has put plenty of wrestlers away before, but Ronda kicks out just before the three count. In fact, that near fall seems to motivate Rousey. She goes hard after Charlotte, trying to stay in close, using arm drags and arm bars to keep Charlotte on the ground.
But Charlotte simply won’t give in. This is easily Ronda’s toughest test, with Charlotte managing to get out of every submission Rousey throws at her. That makes it all the more shocking that Charlotte, reeling from Rousey nearly locking in an armbar, hits Rousey with a kendo stick and gets disqualified. It’s emotion flowing over, Charlotte going in on Rousey, hitting her over and over again with the kendo stick before delivering a Natural Selection on a steel chair. For the first time in WWE, Rousey is left laying after a match, blood pouring from her mouth. It’s not a loss, but it’s a devastating beatdown for the champion.
What does all of this mean? Does Charlotte think she can’t beat Ronda? Is Charlotte simply backing up SmackDown’s Becky Lynch? Either way, surely Ronda Rousey isn’t going to let this beatdown go unanswered. If I was Charlotte and I walked into SmackDown Live! On Tuesday, I’d be looking over my shoulder all night long.