No, it wasn’t a botch.
Ronda Rousey is not finished in WWE.
Multiple sources close to WWE have confirmed that the controversial finish of the WrestleMania 35 main event went off as planned, with Becky Lynch pinning Rousey in a “Winner Take All” match for the Raw and SmackDown women’s titles that also included Charlotte Flair.
The finish saw Rousey go for the “Piper’s Pit” (her signature spinning Samoan drop) on Lynch, but when Lynch hit the ground she pinned Rousey’s shoulders to the mat and the referee made a quick three-count. The controversy was over Rousey’s shoulders briefly but clearly lifting off the mat before the count of three, leading some fans to question whether she had botched the finish.
The loss marked Rousey’s first defeat in WWE, and the finish of the match was designed to protect Rousey and keep her character strong. Because Rousey got her shoulder up for part of the pinfall that ended the match, the finish protects her and allows her to say Lynch did not legitimately defeat her.
WWE officials have tentatively slated Rousey to wrestle Lynch in a rematch at WrestleMania 36 in Tampa on April 5, 2020.
In the interim, Rousey is likely to step away from pro wrestling to pursue having a child with her husband, former UFC star Travis Browne. Based off comments Rousey made last year to TMZ, the rumor has been a popular topic—and the timing would make sense considering that Rousey has spent the majority of the past year on the road.
The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported that Rousey broke her hand during the match. Sports Illustrated has learned Rousey will have official confirmation on whether the hand is broken after visiting her doctor today.
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.