wrestling / Columns

Would Ronda Rousey Succeed In WWE?

August 11, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
Ronda Rousey Stephanie McMahon - The Rock

Ronda Rousey may or may not be heading to WWE. If recent rumors are to be believed, she’s been training for a potential in-ring debut and we know WWE has significant interest. If you’re a non-wrestling star, WWE always has significant interest.

While Rousey would give the company a profile boost, would it work?

How she’d fair in the ring is anyone’s guess. Many former fighters have successfully transited to pro wrestling. There are a lot of similar movements and habits that translate between the two sports. If she’s willing to put in the work, she’ll be ok in the ring. She’s athletic and fluid enough to pull of the grappling aspects. Just don’t have her engage in a striking battle.

It’s the out of ring stuff that I’m worried about. Rousey has a star quality thanks to her time in the UFC, but she’s not comfortable in front of the camera. She’s awkward, a bit wooden, and masks how uncomfortable she is with anger. The good news is that most of the women on the roster are mediocre at best promos. Just keep her away from Alexa Bliss on the mic.

If WWE were smart, they’d pair her with someone like Paul Heyman who can do all the talking while she stands there and looks tough. If they do that, “Rowdy” Ronda will be fine. She’ll be the female Brock Lesnar. A tough looking ass kicker who doesn’t take shit and backs up everything Heyman says.

However, if they trust her with her own promos, it could be about as good as a Sid promo. The second she loses her train of thought, things could get really weird.

There’s also her fragile ego.

MMA fans know what happens when Rousey doesn’t get her way. She’ll lash out at people who have nothing to do with the situation, turn something minor into a nuclear war, get announcers fired, and go on a media strike because she doesn’t want to deal with questions about her past.

Obviously in pro wrestling, the situation is different. Wins and losses matter in MMA whereas they’ve lost almost all importance in wrestling. Wrestlers don’t train for months for one match and only get paid half their money if they lose. I’m assuming that Rousey understands how the business works and is willing to do business. If she signs, she’s going to be protected much the same way Lesnar is protected.

But Lesnar gets it. He was a pro wrestler before he was a fighter and doesn’t care about his reputation, only his money.

Rousey might snap if she’s made to look weak or, God forbid, lose a match. This is a woman who was told throughout her entire MMA career that she was not only the best female fighter of all-time, but one of the best fighters of all-time. People thought she could beat men. People thought she could challenge Floyd Mayweather. The exaggeration when it came to Rousey prior to the Holly Holm fight was unlike anything I’d ever seen in MMA. And Rousey believed all of it. That’s why she took the Holm loss as hard as she did. That’s why she went on a media blackout prior to the Amanda Nunes fight. And that’s why she disappeared for months following the Nunes loss.

I would hope that she not only understands that MMA and pro wrestling are two different businesses, but that she’s been humbled by those losses.

There’s no downside for WWE in courting Rousey. If she’s as passionate about wrestling as reports indicate, they have an automatic ratings boost on their hands. They have a legitimate star for the women’s division, even if she’s only a part-time player. They’d be happy to get a WrestleMania match out her, anything more would have Vince McMahon doing backflips. And if she doesn’t commit, they aren’t losing anything that they didn’t have.

There’s not much downside for Rousey either. She’ll be paid handsomely and given every chance to succeed. WWE will treat her like the star that she is and she might regain some goodwill she’s lost over the years.

Follow me on Twitter @jeremylambert88

article topics :

Ronda Rousey, Jeremy Lambert