Becky Lynch is the winner of the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match, after finally eliminating her rival Charlotte Flair. Lynch replaced Lana at number 28 due to a debilitating ankle injury incurred during Rusev’s unsuccessful title defense on the kickoff show. Lynch faced off against Asuka for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in the opening bout of the pay-per-view, but lost by submission. She now has the opportunity to challenge either Asuka or Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35.
Lynch has had an exciting few months after turning on her best friend Charlotte Flair to huge applause at last year’s SummerSlam. She reclaimed the title from Flair at Hell in a Cell, and defended it in the WWE’s first-ever last woman standing match at Evolution. Lynch was scheduled to face off with Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series before a botched punch from Nia Jax resulted in a concussion and broken nose. She lost the title to Asuka at TLC in a triple-threat match that also included Flair, thanks to interference from Rousey.
The second Women’s Royal Rumble match featured thirty competitors. In addition to the twenty-three competitors previously announced, including Lana, there were seven surprise entries before Becky Lynch. Mae Young Classic competitor Xia Li was first at number 11, followed by former NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane at number 14. Candice LeRae and Sane’s best friend and tag partner Io Shirai also represented NXT at number 17 and 23 respectively. Former American Ninja Warrior winner Kacy Catanzaro joined Li among this year’s Mae Young Classic competitors at number 19. The inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley, entered at number 24 and eliminated Catanzaro before she was eliminated in turn by Bayley. Maria Kanellis entered at number 15 and was eliminated by Alicia Fox.
Charlotte Flair scored the most eliminations in the match with five, eliminating Lacey Evans (#1), Tamina (#10), Xia Li (#11), Carmella (#30) and Bayley (#27). Natalya lasted longest in the ring, at just under 56 minutes, breaking the record set last year by number 1 entrant Sasha Banks. Lynch faced off with Flair as the final two competitors despite suffering a knee injury from an eliminated Nia Jax.
Becky Lynch was the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion, and would hold the record for most reigns as SmackDown Women’s Champion, at three, if she defeated Asuka at WrestleMania. However, it is highly likely she will challenge Rousey in a do-over of their cancelled Survivor Series match.
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