Ronda Rousey Loses Title Following Shocking Comeback On WWE SmackDown

In a shocking turn of events, Ronda Rousey was dethroned as "SmackDown" Women's Champion on the final "WWE SmackDown" of 2022. However, her loss didn't come against the superstar she was advertised to defend her title against – Raquel Rodriguez.


Instead, Rousey was confronted by a returning Charlotte Flair immediately after her victory over Rodriguez, which led to an irate Rousey accepting The Queen's challenge for an impromptu title match. Almost immediately, Flair struck her old nemesis with a big boot and nearly scored the pinfall victory. Thereafter, Shayna Baszler – Rousey's ally – tried to slow down Flair's momentum only to be taken out of the equation.

Flair would then attempt a spear on Rousey, who countered with an arm bar. Thereafter, Flair would reverse Rousey's armbar attempt into a roll-up combination for the pinfall victory. The crowd in Tampa, Florida showered Charlotte with "Welcome Back!" and "Holy S**t" chants as the second-generation wrestler celebrated her victorious WWE homecoming! 


On commentary, Michael Cole acknowledged Flair had "made history" and referred to her as a "14-time champion" in WWE. 

Flair had been away from WWE programming since dropping the "SmackDown" Women's Championship to Rousey in an I Quit Match at the WrestleMania Backlash premium live event on May 8. Subsequently, she took time away from WWE and got married to AEW star Andrade El Idolo. Over the past month or so, Charlotte made several social media posts that hinted at her imminent WWE return. Furthermore, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer reported in October that WWE creative began working on plans for Charlotte's return and that there was uncertainty over the brand she'd be returning to. It appears those questions were answered Friday.