Opinion: Why the Triple Threat match at WrestleMania with Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Ronda Rousey is the only thing that makes sense
The internet is in uproar at Vince McMahon's last-minute decision on Monday Night Raw to overrule Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and refusal to accept Becky Lynch's apology, instead replacing her in the, as yet alleged, main event of WrestleMania against Ronda Rousey.
People are vowing never to watch WWE again, they're cancelling their networks and they're sending death threats to Charlotte, who showed on SmackDown just how capable she is as the top heel in the WWE's women's division (but still not deserving of death threats, people)
But, a report surfaced from Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer that stated that this has always been the plan and isn't just a last minute decision from Vince to capitalise on the WWE Universe's real-life apprehension that Charlotte could be added to the match by adding her. Basically, the Triple Threat match between the three women is the only thing that makes sense, and here's why!
First you have to go back to SummerSlam of 2018 and the SmackDown Women's Title Match between Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Carmella. A match designed to turn Becky Lynch heel after Charlotte was 'inserted' into the match and give Charlotte something to do until 'The Baddest Women on the Planet' was free.
However, the crowd sided with Lynch during her feud with Charlotte and swiftly and organically created the biggest star the WWE has had in a long time, changing plans, as people would say. Even then though, a lot of people don't think WWE saw Lynch's popularity and thought they weren't booking her right.
That's something that's been incorrect from the start. You can tell the WWE were leaning into the fan reaction with how she was interacting with Charlotte, Lynch was eviscerating anyone and everyone on Twitter, and then there's the iconic moment she figure-headed and led the SmackDown Women's invasion of Monday Night Raw.
Then we had Survivor Series, where Becky, the current SmackDown Women's Champion at the time was supposed to face Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey, in what originally would've seen Ronda beating Becky. Instead, a moment of serendipity would happen. Nia Jax would throw a wayward punch and Lynch would be injured, leading to Charlotte facing Rousey in the match.
After this moment everyone wanted to see Lynch and Rousey wrestle, instead of it being just another stepping stone in Rousey's journey. The eventual result also protected both Charlotte and Rousey by ending in a DQ when Charlotte briefly went full heel and annihilated Rousey with a Kendo Stick.
This decision set up the need for Rousey to need to get revenge on Charlotte for the brutal attack and for Rousey and Lynch to finally meet, it also began intertwining the narratives for all three women.
Something that was solidified at Tables, Ladders and Chairs when Asuka, Charlotte and Becky Lynch did battle over the SmackDown Women's Title and it would be Ronda Rousey who decided the outcome of the match when she appeared and pushed both Charlotte and Becky Lynch, who were fighting on top of a ladder, over. If their fates weren't connected before, they certainly were after this!
Next up in the story of these women is the Royal Rumble. Charlotte was heading towards a victory when suddenly Becky Lynch replaced an injured Lana despite competing earlier in the night. This was a fun role-reversal on Charlotte usually being the one to impose herself into title matches and opportunities simply because of who she is. The match would come down to only Charlotte and Becky Lynch and Lynch would triumph despite Charlotte injuring her leg.
What people don't realise is that both Charlotte and Becky Lynch were fighting in that Royal Rumble match to face Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania, both women knew the significance of taking on Rousey on 'The Grandest Stage of Them All' and for Charlotte, it was snatched away from her from someone who doesn't deserve to be there, someone the crowd adore whilst they hate her. A taste of her own medicine.
Naturally, as soon as possible after the Rumble win, Lynch was on Monday Night Raw squaring up to Rousey and the match was set. Until she attempted to be hiding the full extent of her injuries the following SmackDown and then assaulted Stephanie McMahon and Triple H on Raw and SmackDown the week after. And then finally removed from the match by Vince McMahon this week.
It's excellent long-form storytelling for many different storyline and practical reasons. Everywhere Lynch has turned, even before the moment that made her 'The Man', Charlotte has been there, when Lynch was on SmackDown for the first time after winning the Rumble Charlotte was there to 'congratulate' her, when Triple-H was asking Lynch to reconsider not seeing a doctor, Charlotte was there.
When Vince pulled Lynch from the match - who was there? Every face of the company needs a nemesis. To put it plainly, you cannot have Becky Lynch be 'The Man' without a 'Queen' to oppose her.
Then there's the insertion of a true heel into the equation. Again it's hard to get behind a match where no-one is the villain. I know that Rousey by default was earning the crowd's hatred when Lynch confronted and challenged her, but that's not the plan. Charlotte is someone the crowd can chuck all their vitriol towards and it works.
Rousey, meanwhile, is spared the pressure of carrying a 'Mania main event match as the villain, a role she clearly isn't suited for if that disastrous Monday Night Raw is anything to go by, with Bayley having to come out early to save Rousey's promo. This Instagram post from Rousey has also cemented her firmly as the pure babyface in this match.
So you have the pure heel in Charlotte, the babyface in Rousey and 'The Man' Becky Lynch as a tweener. The dynamic of the match has been made ultimately far more interesting because of this decision.
The singles match between Rousey and Lynch would have been great, but it would've been ignoring the story that's being told, and impossible to carry successfully all the way to 'Mania without Rousey capitulating under the heat.
Not to mention the quite genius meta-commentary that is people being concerned that Charlotte would be added to the match because of her legacy and that Vince McMahon would do it even though no-one wants it, and then Vince McMahon himself literally goes out there and does it, live on television. This, of course, further cemented Charlotte as the heel and Becky as the hero of the story.
And we've seen this before. This is the tried-and-tested, age-old wrestling storyline of the crowd favourite overcoming every obstacle against all odds to finally triumph at the end. As I've already mentioned, they know Lynch is the star here, that's why she has had angles with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Vince McMahon within two weeks, that's why she won the Rumble.
But look at what they've done, they've stacked the deck so firmly against her. She had to enter the Rumble despite not being in the match and having already competed to win the opportunity, she has a leg injury and an arch-nemesis trying to thwart her at every turn, she has almost every member of management trying to screw her over, she is literally suspended, and she's no longer in the match.
All of these after she compromised who she is and apologised. Next week on Raw is Ric Flair's 70th Birthday Party Celebration. Imagine the carnage that Lynch will create in seeking revenge for sucking up her pride to get the Rousey match and then losing it anyway, imagine the pop she'll get when she breaks Vince McMahon and Ric Flair's arms. Imagine the moment at WrestleMania when she overcomes everything thrown against her to win the title.
Then, going forward, you still have Lynch as the star, you still have Flair as the antagonist and you still have singles matches with 'The Baddest Women on the Planet' Ronda Rousey for both women.
You still have the inevitable debut of the Four MMA Horsewomen, the inevitable reconciliation between Lynch and Charlotte Flair and the reuniting of the Four WWE Horsewomen. All of this predicated on the basis that Becky Lynch is professional wrestling's top star.