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WWE reportedly makes a bold choice for Charlotte Flair’s WrestleMania opponent (possible spoiler)

On Raw last night (Mon., Jan. 27), Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair declined to reveal which champion she’ll challenge at WrestleMania 36.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer reported Raw champ Becky Lynch would be facing Shayna Baszler at the April 5 event in Tampa, and that Flair would not she would not be working with current SmackDown titleholder Bayley. Which meant either a new champ for the blue brand, or something more outside the box.

As we all now, plans can change. But as of now, it appears plans call for the outside the box option.

On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer says Charlotte will go after Rhea Ripley and her NXT belt. PWInsider claims Flair is headed to Orlando for an appearance on tomorrow night’s episode of NXT.

It’ll be interesting to see how they justify the ten time “main roster” champ going after the belt she held back in 2014 - 2015. Ripley’s team defeated Charlotte’s at Survivor Series, but there wasn’t any issue set-up between the two of them (Team Raw imploded due to Asuka and Charlotte’s beef). The Queen’s been leaning more into her heel side, so she could just claim she has nothing to prove by facing her fellow Horsewomen again - even though they’ve both gotten the better of her in their recent encounters.

While it might be a narrative stretch, this certainly fits with WWE’s business objectives. Having Flair on Wednesday nights will help in their ratings fight with AEW Dynamite. The women’s division is also somewhere NXT has a clear advantage over All Elite. Moves like dropping “Women’s” from the name of the brand’s title (Charlotte’s reason for wanting the belt being that it’s free of gender-specific adjectives would call more attention to this), putting NXT over at Survivor Series, and featuring much of their roster in Sunday’s Rumble match signal to fans of women’s wrestling they need to be watching the black-and-gold brand.

The presence of the most decorated wrestler of the revolution/evolution amplifies that signal.

Interesting times...

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