WWE has announced that Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch will compete in the main event of WrestleMania 35 on April 7 at MetLife Stadium. They will become the first women in WWE history to appear in a WrestleMania main event.
This announcement is the latest and largest step in the "women's revolution" that has taken place in WWE over the past few years:
2015: Bayley and Sasha Banks compete in the first Iron Woman match at NXT TakeOver: Respect. That also remains the only time that a women's match was the main event of an NXT TakeOver event.
2016: Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks compete in the first women's Hell in a Cell match. This also was the first time in WWE history that a women's match was the main event of a pay-per-view event.
2017: Carmella wins the first women's Money in the Bank ladder match.
2018: Asuka wins the first 30-woman Royal Rumble match. This also was the main event of the 2018 Royal Rumble pay-per-view event.
2018: WWE produces Evolution, the first all-women's pay-per-view event in WWE history. Ronda Rousey defeated Nikki Bella in the main event to retain the Raw women's championship.
2019: Sasha Banks and Bayley are crowned the first women's tag team champions at Elimination Chamber.
But this is WrestleMania, after all, WWE's version of the Super Bowl or the World Series. Why were these women selected to close the show?
How about a combined 10 championships in WWE, with Rousey arguably the hottest athlete in the world just a few years ago as she dominated in the UFC. Her rise in wrestling during the past year has helped the trio become the center of WWE's most compelling current storyline, their popularity comparable to the likes of longtime mainstays Brock Lesnar and John Cena.
Here's a look at the WWE career accomplishments of Rousey, Charlotte and Lynch:
At SummerSlam last August, Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to win the Raw women's championship. She joined Ken Shamrock and Lesnar as the only athletes to win titles in both UFC and WWE.
On WrestleMania Sunday, Rousey will have been Raw women's champion for 231 days, the longest-reigning active champion in WWE. That is also the fourth-longest women's title reign of the past 25 years. WrestleMania 35 will be Rousey's 11th televised title defense.
Rousey is 10-0 at WWE pay-per-view events, tied with Seth Rollins for the most PPV wins in WWE since she debuted at WrestleMania 34 last year. That is the second-longest PPV undefeated streak to begin a career in WWE history, behind only Charlotte Flair.
Overall, Rousey is 27-1 in a WWE ring as of March 25. The lone loss came in a tag team match on Monday Night Raw, but her partner Natalya was the one who was submitted.
Charlotte is a seven-time women's champion. If she wins at WrestleMania, she will break the WWE record for most women's title reigns. Charlotte is the daughter of two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, whose 16 world titles are also tied for the most in WWE history with Cena.
Most Women's Title Reigns: WWE History
Charlotte Flair: 7
Trish Stratus: 7
Mickie James: 6
Charlotte has the third-best win percentage at pay-per-view events in WWE history behind only Brock Lesnar and Hulk Hogan (minimum 25 matches).
If Charlotte wins at WrestleMania and hands Rousey her first PPV loss, it wouldn't be the first undefeated streak she snapped at WWE's biggest show. Last year at WrestleMania 34, she defeated Asuka to retain the SmackDown women's championship. Asuka had entered WrestleMania 34 undefeated in her NXT/WWE career.
Lynch is perhaps the most popular superstar in WWE today, male or female. Other superstars who rode an organic wave of popularity into a championship match in the main event of WrestleMania include Steve Austin in 1998 and Daniel Bryan in 2014, both of whom walked out as WWE champion.
To put her popularity in perspective, WWE Shop has 26 different Becky Lynch T-shirts available, more than Cena (24), Roman Reigns (20), AJ Styles (16) and WWE champion Bryan (21).
Lynch originally earned this title match by winning the 2019 women's Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Charlotte. However, on Feb. 11 on Monday Night Raw, WWE chairman Vince McMahon replaced Lynch's spot in the match with Charlotte. One month later at WWE Fastlane, Lynch defeated Charlotte by DQ (thanks to an assist from Rousey) to re-earn her spot in the match, making it a triple-threat bout.
Lynch competed on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show last year, which is comparable to the "prelims" of a UFC event. Lynch is the 12th superstar in WWE history to compete in a WrestleMania main event after not competing on the main card of the previous year's WrestleMania. However, each of the previous 11 were either injured the prior year or were not active WWE superstars at the time of the show.