Charlotte Flair is still your SmackDown Women’s champion. Flair overcame Ronda Rousey in the penultimate segment presented on Night 1 of WWE WrestleMania 38, taking place inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Rousey, competing in her first singles match in three years, showed signs of rust but also used her signature style to create a combat-heavy atmosphere against the more polished Flair.
The extended title match featured plenty of momentum swings as each competitor exerted their will on the other. Flair avoided or interrupted armbar and ankle locks from Rousey; meanwhile, Rousey becomes the first superstar to ever escape Flair’s Figure Eight finishing maneuver.
The finishing sequence came when Flair accidentally speared WWE referee Charles Robinson (who, conveniently, is closely tied to Ric Flair) with a spear. Rousey snatched her patented armbar, eliciting frantic taps from the champion. Unfortunately, the referee was incapacitated and did not see the submission. Rousey attempted to revive the referee, opening herself to a big boot from Flair that spelled doom for the ex-UFC star. Flair covered her opponent and Robinson woke up in time to count the pinfall.
Heading into the match, Rousey held an undefeated streak in singles competition dating back to her WWE debut in April 2018. Rousey, prior to WrestleMania 38, had only two losses on her resume: a triple threat match and a tag team match.
Rousey returned in January from a three-year hiatus, winning the women’s Royal Rumble match and locking in her spot at WrestleMania. She immediately entered a feud with Flair that culminated in Saturday’s match. Rousey nearly added the SmackDown Women’s championship to a trophy case that includes the Raw Women’s title and the UFC women’s bantamweight championship.