The Real Winners & Losers

Excerpt of a story by DAN MURPHY


Charlotte had a helicopter ride and full red carpet treatment. Ronda Rousey had Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performing her entrance music. But Becky Lynch had the support of 82,265 vociferous fan—and “The Man” wasn’t going to be denied. After a staredown, Lynch went after Rousey, who took control early, sending both Charlotte and Lynch to the floor. Lynch and Flair slammed Rousey into the apron and guardrail, then went at it in the ring with Flair targeting Lynch’s injured knee, looking to set up the Figure-8. Rousey returned and went after Charlotte’s arm, hooking a hanging armbar off the ropes until a dropkick from Lynch sent the Raw champion dropping hard to the floor. Charlotte reversed an armbar attempt from Rousey as Lynch caught both with a double DDT for a near-fall. Rousey attempted to make both her foes tap by hooking hem in a simultaneous armbar, but Lynch and Flair countered with a series of power bombs on Rousey. Flair snagged Rousey in the Figure-8, but “The Man” broke the hold with a legdrop from the top rope. Flair set up a table in the corner only to be thrown into it and knocked senseless. With Charlotte down, Rousey attempted a Piper’s Pit on Lynch, but Lynch countered into a crucifix for a controversial pin.

THE WINNER: Becky Lynch by pinfall in 21:30

THE REAL WINNER: Becky Lynch. Lynch’s wrestling journey began at the age of 15 as a girl with stars in her eyes. On this night, she took her place in wrestling history.

ANOTHER WINNER: Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie has never been afraid to toot her own horn, but let’s face the facts: There would never have been a women’s match headlining WrestleMania if not for her influence.

ONE MORE WINNER: Ronda Rousey. Once again, Rousey proved she was a PPV draw. No one else could have raised the prestige of the women’s title the way “Rowdy Ronda” did.

THE REAL LOSER: Asuka. Arguably the top technical women’s wrestler in WWE, she was bumped down the card to make way for Flair. Her inclusion would have changed the chemistry of the match. If she never has a chance to face Rousey, WWE will have missed out on a terrific matchup.

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