Natalya earns Smackdown Women’s Championship match

Jun 3, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

Natalya is the new #1 contender to WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey.

Tonight’s Hell In a Cell go-home edition of SmackDown on FOX featured a Six-Pack Challenge to determine the next challenger to Rousey. Natalya won the match, which also included Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler, Aliyah, Shotzi and Xia Li. Rousey watched the bout from ringside.

The finish saw Rodriguez hit the Tejana Bomb on Shotzi but before she could finish her off, Baszler came from behind and applied the Kirifuda Clutch on Rodriguez. Natalya then took advantage and stole the pin on Shotzi for the pin. After the match, Rousey entered the ring and faced off with her former friend and tag team partner.

While it was announced that Natalya is the new #1 contender, WWE has not confirmed when Natalya vs. Rousey will take place as of this writing. Michael Cole noted on commentary that the match will be held at a later date, but not at Sunday’s WWE Hell In a Cell event.

Rousey and Natalya teamed up several times in 2018 and 2019 during Rousey’s first run with the company. They wrestled on the taped December 24, 2018 edition of WWE RAW, with Rousey retaining the RAW Women’s Title by submission. Natalya and Rousey have also worked together in recent weeks. Last week’s SmackDown episode saw Rousey and Raquel defeat Natalya and Baszler, while the May 7 non-televised WWE live event from Trenton, NJ opened with Rousey, Sasha Banks and Naomi defeating Natalya, Baszler and Charlotte Flair.

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