WWE

Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair def. Bayley

SAN ANTONIO — Bayley came to the Alamodome with designs on Charlotte Flair’s Raw Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble. However, in the end, more than 52,000 in attendance watched as “The Queen of Pay-Per-View” merely adjusted her crown.

The latest victory for the Flair heiress in her ever-expanding pay-per-view win streak (she now sits at 16 straight victories in pay-per-view title matches) did not come as easily as she predicted — it would be fair to call Bayley’s effort one of the grittier among the fallen — but come it did, ensuring that Charlotte begins The Road to WrestleMania with her most precious jewel intact.

Befitting of her wheelin’-dealin’ lineage, Charlotte took advantage early on by ramming Bayley head-first into the rock-hard ring apron. That took the wind out of The Huggable One’s sails for minutes on end, until a double-clothesline put The Queen on her heels. As Charlotte stumbled, Bayley began a massive comeback, nearly caving in Charlotte’s sternum with a pitch-perfect, Randy Savage-like elbow drop.

Battered and bruised from Bayley’s offense, Charlotte attempted to connive her way to victory again with a rope-assisted Figure-Eight Leglock. The official managed to break up the illegal maneuver, but not before significant damage had been done to The Huggable One’s knee. Bayley’s injury only worsened when she used her knees to block a moonsault from Charlotte, and when her last-ditch effort fell short, the champion capitalized with Natural Selection onto the ring apron to deny Bayley her dream. While The Huggable One returns to the drawing board, Charlotte marches along a gilded path that is beginning to look more and more like destiny.