wrestling / Columns

Ronda Rousey: Ready Or Not, Next Women’s Champ

May 17, 2018 | Posted by Steve Cook
Nia Jax Ronda Rousey WWE MITB Money in the Bank

I had a pretty good idea of how WWE was going to book “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Putting her in her first match against Triple H & Stephanie McMahon made perfect sense. Fans care about the future owners of WWE, and her tag team partner Kurt Angle was there to help too. It was a situation that worked out perfectly & made her look like a million bucks.

After that, pairing her with veterans that know what they’re doing seemed logical. She was aligned with Natalya & had a confrontation with Mickie James, which fit that bill perfectly. Nattie & Mickie are more than capable of hiding any flaws Rousey might have in her game, flaws which didn’t seem apparent in her first match. Either way, the obvious idea seemed to be to protect Ronda for as long as possible. Get her some wins over some established vets, maybe squash some newbies here & there to fill time on Raw.

Enough time passes, and we end up back at WrestleMania with Rousey challenging for a championship. She’s probably won the Women’s Royal Rumble Match to earn a shot. Ideally, the champion she challenges is Charlotte Flair, and maybe the match goes on last as the main event so WWE can promote the Women’s Evolution more. It’d deserve it too, assuming it got the proper build. The most popular women’s MMA fighter of all time versus the daughter of the greatest wrestler of all time, who happens to be a really good wrestler herself? Yeah, that’d be good times.

I don’t think anybody expected what happened at NBC’s Upfront Presentation to go down.

Everything about this seemed random. For one thing, Ronda had been pretty quiet since her WrestleMania match. She tried to rip Stephanie McMahon’s arm out of her socket one time. Then there was the stuff where she came to Natalya’s aid. It all seemed to make sense. Ronda was getting the slow build, which was logical since she needed to go through some training to make sure she had the pro wrestling thing down.

All of a sudden, Nia Jax is challenging her to a title match.

This doesn’t make sense on a couple levels. The first level is everything we’ve already mentioned. Ronda isn’t ready for this. Well, maybe she is, but it’s smart to act like she isn’t in order to protect all the people that train years & years for this stuff.

The second issue is the fact that Nia is allegedly supposed to be a babyface. She overcame the bullying of five foot tall Alexa Bliss to win the Raw Women’s Championship. She defended the title against the still-bullying Alexa at the next PPV, then cut a promo that sounded like a Be A Star promo. It didn’t help that Michael Cole promptly followed it up with a Be A Star promo. It was just an awkward situation all around, like the rest of the show was.

Why would babyface Nia Jax challenge somebody we all know (including the prosective challenger) isn’t ready for a title shot? Why would Charlotte hug them both & put it over? There was no logic involved in any of this. None whatsoever. Don’t let anybody tell you it makes sense, because it doesn’t. It was an attempt to get some attention at NBC’s Upfront presentation, which is difficult because the major networks cancelled pretty much every show they had over the past week. A lot of new shows are getting introduced, so WWE has to do something to get attention.

I’m not a UFC person, so the appeal of Ronda Rousey doesn’t hit home for me like it does for MMA Fan. She was one of the biggest draws that sport ever had. Most MMA fans I know act like they hate her, but they sure aren’t interested in the women that came after her. To be fair, there are plenty of issues with Ronda that would excuse anybody familiar with them for rooting for her. Ask Jeremy Lambert, he’ll gladly go into detail. And the truth is that people want to watch Ronda Rousey. She is quite the draw. Take a look at her YouTube numbers sometime, it’s quite astonishing.

She’s so much of a draw that she deserves to jump the line. Not like there’s much of a line with the current Raw Women’s Division.

Alexa Bliss
Alicia Fox
Dana Brooke
Ember Moon
Liv Morgan
Mickie James
Ruby Riott
Sarah Logan
Sasha Banks

Alexa’s already had her shot. Alicia…are you kidding me? Bayley has a date with Sasha. Dana…are you kidding me? Ember needs more build, as does Liv. Mickie & Natalya have had too many shots already. I think they have big plans for Ruby but it’s not her time quite yet. Sarah would need more build & Sasha has a date with Bayley.

We ran into this problem at the Royal Rumble. As great as the women’s division is these days, there isn’t a tremendous amount of depth. So a number of former WWE female competitors had to be called on to fill the void. Some impressed. Some reminded us how things were back in the day. Most weren’t great, but we popped anyway because old school.

The excuse we’re being fed via the dirtsheets & the favored sources is that they need to get Ronda on a show. I would like to say there are other reasons they could come up with, but from the booking I’ve seen since WrestleMania, there probably isn’t. Let’s be honest, the direction for every division since WrestleMania has been aimless, and we shouldn’t expect more since it’s what we’ve gotten for at least the last decade. The post-WrestleMania hangover is what it is. What’s a good way to hide these issues? Do big things with your top stars.

Ronda Rousey might not be ready to be Raw Women’s Champion. When you’re a star, it doesn’t matter if you’re ready or not. Ronda’s star will likely never be brighter than it is right now. She came in as a big deal, and the odds are pretty good that WWE won’t make her a bigger one. They might as well strike while the iron’s hot. It’ll help with that mainstream press, and it’ll help them get a bigger TV deal. Network executives like having stars on their shows.

Giving Ronda the strap makes too much sense when you think about it.

article topics :

Ronda Rousey, WWE, WWE MITB, Steve Cook