On the previous episode of SmackDown Live, Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka to once again win the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship. As a result of this, the SmackDown women’s division was left without a major match on the WrestleMania card. In an attempt to atone for this gap, WWE has announced that the second annual WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal. So far, the list of names include Asuka, Naomi, Carmella, Lana, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Mickie James, and Zelina Vega.
The format at MetLife Stadium will be similar to last year’s which will be a “complete free-for-all” that “will begin with all participants in the squared circle at the same time.” Last year, the winner was Naomi, who lastly eliminated Bayley after Sasha Banks was eliminated and many forgetting that Naomi was still in the match.
20 women were involved in the battle royal last year, which is the expected number to be involved this year. Although Naomi won the match last year, this achievement did not do much to propel her status on SmackDown Live, as she spent the year in various feuds without winning the title.
The SmackDown Women’s Championship was originally supposed to be defended at WrestleMania 35, with a number one contender match pitting Naomi, Carmella, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville scheduled to happen. However, the decision was made to have Charlotte Flair the Women’s Champion on the same day, and plans were abruptly changed. Rather than defend her title alongside Ronda Rousey’s Raw Women’s Championship, the triple threat title match with Becky Lynch will not feature a unification of the two titles.
The WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal was a part of the kickoff show last year. This year, WWE has not yet made an announcement on whether it will be on the preshow or main card in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In addition to the names announced, WWE also confirmed that it will feature names from the NXT brand. Last year, NXT names such as Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane, and Dakota Kai were featured.