Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey’s WWE Women’s Tag Title victory may have been a surprise a couple of weeks ago on Raw, but it was also a victory that was a long time coming.
If reports are to be believed, the duo were set for tag title glory at WrestleMania 39, back in April. However, with Rousey carrying an injury into the show, plans changed. Instead, a ‘WrestleMania Showcase’ match saw the two UFC alumni walk away victorious, albeit not with any gold around their waists.
Fast forward a couple of months, however, and after entering as late additions to a Women’s Tag Team Title match featuring Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi, Bayley and IYO SKY and Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green, the best friends were sitting atop the division as a force that could soon become unstoppable.
And on the 23rd June edition of SmackDown, they’ll have the opportunity to add to their title collection.
Baszler and Rousey will face off against the blue brand’s newest team and reigning NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn in a tag title unification match. The match is set to be a baptism of fire (no pun intended) for the young Scottish duo, as they come up against the relatively new on-screen pairing of Baszler and Rousey. Although off-screen, the MMA veterans have enjoyed a close friendship for years.
Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey – A Deeper Rapport
Speaking exclusively to SPORF ahead of WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles back in April, Baszler reminisced over her and ‘Rowdy’s’ close personal bond and how it had been forged over the years, even prior to their respective signings by WWE.
“Man, it’s crazy. This is where it all started. I moved to LA to live with Ronda. Ronda’s one of my best friends. That’s legit. It’s not like we became friends when I joined the company or anything like that. We’re friends outside of this. We talk, we train together. So I think you can see the chemistry right away.
“Even the way we talk to each other backstage, on camera. You can tell there’s a deeper rapport. Ronda’s an old friend from way back. So it’s different from NXT, where all those girls, we moved into the same house.”
This rapport is clear for all to see when the pair appear on television together. Rousey and Baszler are a natural fit as a tag team. Friendship aside, their backgrounds in MMA make them a formidable duo, fending off challengers while re-establishing a division that has sorely needed a proper identity and stability since its inception.
A dominant heel team in the women’s division could, in an ideal scenario, generate a similar energy to Gunther’s run with the Intercontinental Title. A unification next Friday night would set the wheels in motion for such a reign.
2023 could wind up being a long overdue banner year for Shayna Baszler on WWE’s main roster.
WWE Money In The Bank comes to London on Saturday 1st July, available only on Peacock in the US and WWE Network in the UK
Featured Image Credit: WWE