WrestleMania 38 gears up for this weekend, KAIRI returns to Stardom, NXT Women’s Dusty Cup winners were crowned, and much more! Let’s break it down in this week’s edition of Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up!
WrestleMania 38 Preview
WWE WrestleMania 38 is right around the corner, slated to go down this Saturday, April 2nd and Sunday, April 3rd in its premiere two-night event. Amongst the card, three women’s championships will be on the line.
First, Charlotte Flair will defend her Smackdown Women’s Championship against “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” Ronda Rousey. After winning the 2022 Royal Rumble, Ronda Rousey earned the opportunity to face the champion of her choice on The Grandest Stage of Them All. In turn, she would make her blue brand debut, selecting “The Queen” Charlotte Flair as her WrestleMania opponent.
Rousey and Flair have exchanged fierce words over the last few weeks leading up to their WrestleMania clash. The last time these two formally shared a ring was Elimination Chamber last month, where Rousey teamed up with Naomi to defeat Flair and Sonya Deville. The last time these two officially clashed one-on-one was Survivor Series 2018, where Flair ruthlessly wielded a kendo stick against Rousey.
The Smackdown Women’s Championship will be on the line this Saturday, April 2nd on night one of WrestleMania.
Speaking of night one, the RAW Women’s Championship will also be on the line then. “Big Time Bex” Becky Lynch will defend against “The EST of WWE”, Bianca Belair. Belair earned this opportunity after winning a grueling Elimination Chamber match last month to become the number one contender. Now, the only two women in WWE history to win in the main event of WrestleMania will rekindle their rivalry on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
WWE.com released the following preview on the exciting matchup:
After a wild WWE Elimination Chamber saw Becky Lynch retain the Raw Women’s Championship against Lita, and Bianca Belair survive the gauntlet that is the Elimination Chamber Match, The EST of WWE will get another chance to right the wrongs of last year’s SummerSlam when she squares off with Big Time Becks on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
As first reported by the Dallas Morning News, the clash is officially slated to take place on WrestleMania Saturday.
Since making her return at SummerSlam following the birth of her first child and reclaiming the title she never lost in 26 seconds against Belair, Lynch has been on a tear. Big Time Becks has run through past, present and future champions like Lita, Liv Morgan and even her future opponent Belair.
Belair has been chasing another epic WrestleMania moment, taking a sojourn from her championship hunt to deal with Doudrop before inserting herself back into the title picture. She failed to punch her ticket at Royal Rumble despite reaching the final four and earning the match’s iron-woman status with over 47 minutes in the match. In her last hope for a spot at The Showcase of the Immortals, The EST of WWE conquered the unforgiving Elimination Chamber to secure a rematch with The Vincent Van GOAT.
What fireworks are in store for Dallas as two of the biggest Superstars in WWE once again collide for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38?
Find out at the most stupendous WrestleMania of all time, a two-night event steaming LIVE on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, at 8 ET/5 PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.
In addition, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships will also be on the line. Queen Zelina and Carmella will defend their championships in a fatal four-way tag team match against the teams of Sasha Banks and Naomi, Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan, and Natalya and Shayna Baszler.
The seeds for their matchup sprouted on February 25th when Sasha Banks returned to Friday Night Smackdown. Following her victory against Shotzi, she was joined in the ring by Naomi, who declared that the duo would be the next Women’s Tag Team Champions. The following Monday on RAW, Carmella and Zelina graciously accepted the challenge.
In the next few weeks, Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan defeated the champions to then earn themselves a spot in the championship matchup. Similarly, Natalya and Shayna Baszler gained entry into the matchup following a mid-match attack on Ripley, Morgan, Banks, and Naomi on March 18th on Smackdown.
Now, these four teams will compete for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships on Sunday, April 3rd. This will be the first time since WrestleMania 37 last April that the women’s tag titles will be defended on a WWE pay-per-view. Who will walk away from WrestleMania as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions?
As of this writing, no other women’s matches have been announced for WrestleMania, although WWE has featured a battle royal of some sorts in the past.
NXT Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic Winners Crowned, NXT Women’s Title Implications
The finals of the 2022 NXT Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic concluded last week on NXT 2.0 with a surprising outcome. Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai collided with Dakota Kai and Wendy Choo after each time plowed through their competition in this eight-team tournament.
In the end, Choo fell victim to a KLR Bomb, followed by a moonsault from Shirai to gain the pinfall. Therefore, Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray are the official winners of the 2022 Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Before they could celebrate though, Toxic Attraction appeared with a declaration.
WHAT A MATCH!! ?
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 23, 2022
NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose proclaimed that Shirai and Ray stood no chance in beating the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne. In an interesting turn of events though, Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray revealed they planned on cashing in their victory by entering the NXT Women’s Championship match and NXT Stand & Deliver.
Now, Mandy Rose will defend her NXT Women’s Championships in a fatal four-way against Core Jade, Io Shirai, and Kay Lee Ray this Saturday. Shirai is a former NXT Women’s Champion herself, while Kay Lee Ray reigned supreme as NXT UK Women’s Champion for over 600 days.
Owen Hart Cup Qualifier Slated for AEW Dynamite
Last Friday on AEW Rampage, a qualifying match for the inaugural Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament was announced to take place this Wednesday.
The Bunny will be competing against a new mystery All Elite Wrestling signee. This new addition to the AEW Women’s division has been speculated to be a free agent with professional wrestling, notably Ember Moon or Toni Storm. Although nothing has been officially confirmed, wrestling fans feel confident that either of these competitors could make their AEW debut this Wednesday.
The Owen Hart Foundation tournament officially begins May 11, 2022.
KAIRI Returns To Stardom
KAIRI has finally returned to a pro wrestling ring for the first time since July of 2020.
Returning over the weekend at Stardom’s 2022 World Climax show, KAIRI partnered with Mayu Iwatani to take on Tam Nakano and Unagi Sayaka. There, KAIRI would perfect her signature top rope elbow drop before Mayu Iwatani landed a moonsault to gain the victory over the Cosmic Angels. The following day, KAIRI returned to singles action, defeating Starlight Kid on day two of Stardom’s World Climax event.
— スターダム✪STARDOM (@wwr_stardom) March 26, 2022
Interim Ring of Honor Women’s Championship Match Announced
On Friday, April 1st, Ring of Honor will be returning for the first time since December. Now under the acquisition and authority of Tony Khan, Ring of Honor’s SuperCard of Honor event is already stacking up.
Due to commitments with IMPACT Wrestling, ROH Women’s World Champion Deonna Purrazzo will not appear on the card, so an Interim ROH Women’s World Championship will be introduced. As announced on Twitter by Tony Khan, Mercedes Martinez will take on Willow Nightingale to crown an interim champion. The winner of that match will also take on “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo at a future date.
ROH Supercard of Honor
Interim @ringofhonor Women’s World Title:@willowwrestles vs @RealMMartinez
Winner to Face Champion @DeonnaPurrazzo (Unavailable on Friday) at a Later Date
ROH tickets @ https://t.co/g7FvET2sJJ +
PPV @FiteTV & https://t.co/4Pv27o5BEX pic.twitter.com/bSCsDAWGnb
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) March 28, 2022
AEW star Anna Jay appeared on Women’s Wrestling Talk to discuss her match with Jade Cargill, Thunder Rosa winning the championship, her relationship with Jungle Boy and more.
Former MCW Women’s Champion Amber Rodriguez chatted with A Wrestling Gal about Mickie James, her favorite self-care activities, intertwining the beauty industry with pro wrestling, the evolution of her beauty routine, and much more!
All Elite Wrestling referee Aubrey Edwards appeared on Busted Open to discuss what being a female referee means in today’s landscape, her commitment to her job during the violent AEW Women’s Championship match involving a steel cage and thumbtacks, and more.
Former Battle Arts Academy Women’s Champion Amy Crimson joined The Hot Tag Hooligans to talk about her career, training with Santino Marella, her MMA Background, the perks of Canada and much more.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair spoke with Bleacher Report’s Graham Matthews about her upcoming clash with Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 38 and what main-eventing the show means to her, why she believes having Rousey around is a positive, an honest analysis of her latest title reign, and more.
Former ZERO1 USA Women’s Champion Savanna Stone spoke with Michael Larkin about Capital Championship Wrestling, Thunder Rosa’s AEW Women’s Title victory, working with LuFisto and more.