Can Ronda Rousey Make a WWE Submit?

February 1, 2018 - WWE

I’m not certain how Ronda Rousey’s pierce to a WWE will go, or if she will be means to recapture—or even redefine—the kind of excellence that landed her on Ellen’s couch. What we do know is that Rousey left a UFC in such a pant that it verged on dispiriting and petulant. After transcending a foe of churned martial humanities as not usually a initial womanlike champion in UFC story yet as an iconic pitch for womanlike empowerment, Rousey didn’t hoop losing opposite Holly Holm during UFC 193 unequivocally well. She incited a small Howard Hughes there for a while, not doing media, staying out of a spotlight (except for pre-scripted appearances on SNL and Ellen), not (seemingly) doing anything too well. Basically, a shop-worn figure perplexing to put herself behind together.

When she returned 13 months after to face Amanda Nunes during UFC 207, it was on a condition that she’d be compulsory to do no media beforehand. She didn’t wish to speak about a detriment to Holm. That kind of desert didn’t lay good with everybody—fans, media, even other fighters. Dana White insisted that she was merely “psychotically competitive”—that was one thing. But postulated power-sulking for a full year was utterly another. After Nunes knocked her out in 48 seconds, Rousey—somewhat some-more predictably this time—disappeared once again, with one succinct comment to a media. For a champion that came in during UFC 157 as a Trojan equine for women’s MMA, she went out like a compare being pinched by soppy fingers.


Still, even if UFC fans saw a side of Rousey that incited them off toward a end, a larger open remembers a glowering, judo-throwing, arm-barring, Tyson-like figure who broken women in small seconds. That Rousey is a one being reimagined in a WWE, where narratives can some-more orderly align to attitudes and intentions. If Rousey couldn’t accept a disharmony of a book being flipped on her in cagefighting, a new book is … indeed a script. After she came out during a Royal Rumble on Sunday and news broke that she sealed on with a WWE as a full-time pro wrestler, it was flattering clear we were saying a critical remove of a Rousey brand—the badass who not usually storms out to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation,” yet totally embodies it.

Can it work? These fact-to-fiction transitions in party are always weird, yet for Rousey—a wrestling left-wing who got her “Rowdy” nickname from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper—you get a clarity she knows accurately what she’s removing into.

Just 3 months before her final quarrel in a UFC, during an Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) eventuality in Cleveland days before UFC 203, Rousey’s longtime crony and associate MMA fighter-turned-wrestling-queen Shayna Baszler (now a WWE performer as well, wrestling in NXT) was removing set to pretension opposite Heidi Lovelace during Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. Rousey was in city given her then-boyfriend (now husband) Travis Browne was fighting during UFC 203 opposite Fabricio Werdum. It incited out to be an engaging weekend in Cleveland, given it was one of together universes. Dan Severn, a cult favourite from a early no-holds-barred UFCs, kicked off a AIW event. Also appearing on a label was Matt Riddle, a Spicoli-like figure who’d found his approach to pro wrestling from a UFC after removing destitute for regulating pot (several times).

Meanwhile, debuting dual nights after during UFC 203 was nothing other than CM Punk, a WWE star who was transitioning from a choreographed ring to a verbatim cage. Plenty of MMA fighters are drawn to a philharmonic of pro wrestling—many who wouldn’t even acknowledge it in open were drawn to a octagon precisely given of Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin—while some pro wrestlers fetishize doing a damn thing for real.

Though he finished adult losing, Riddle fared distant improved in a squared turn than CM Punk did in a octagon. Riddle—whose meta-gimmick is that of being an MMA fighter—took a inexpensive shot from Louis Lyndon, a knee to a groin while a arbitrate was preoccupied. The people booed, yet they desired it. The “King of Bros” Riddle, a pro wrestler, was a farfetched chronicle of his fighting self, and it translated perfectly.

CM Punk got choked out by a gimmickless Mickey Gall usually 2:14 into a initial round. His transition wasn’t scarcely as smooth. You never know with these things, yet a genuine things are somewhat some-more predictable.

Rousey was in assemblage for both. The 250 or so people that incited out to see Baszler take a AIW pretension from Lovelace stranded around after a categorical event. Why? Because everybody knew Rousey was behind there to support her friend. Sensing this, even in her post-Holm Wuthering Heights moment, Rousey came out and took a crawl to howling applause. She unequivocally seemed to adore it. The common imagination is still unequivocally most sum when it comes to Rousey, and wrestling is a one place she can go to feed that imagination in a semi-controlled environment.

It will be strange, though, given Rousey is a unequivocally critical chairman who got on usually excellent when a universe noticed her as she noticed herself—that is, as a winner. When she was on tip of a world, she played a purpose of informative idol like no other warrior in UFC history. Nobody dripping adult a word “pioneer” utterly like Rousey, and nobody enjoyed a Mike Tyson comparisons more. But can she accept her sum career arc—the wins and a losses—as partial of her new WWE chaff and narrative? Can Stephanie McMahon, for instance, strike next a belt a small bit and poke her about a waste to Holm or Nunes? Is that things off-limits? Or are we still traffic in protected words?

These intersections of existence and pretence done Brock Lesnar a PPV aristocrat when he ventured from a WWE into a UFC. It was a clever government of curiosity—allowing a WWE persona to play over a record in a genuine fight—that helped make him a large draw. (Well, that and his ability to move heavyweights, yet he was sketch large numbers from a start.) It was tough to tell a disproportion between a male and a behemoth character, what was fact and what was fiction.

In Rousey’s case, everything that happened in a UFC should be partial of a story, as reinvention should not have to contend with a miss of resolve. There are a million ways to work it, to fuzz a lines between what’s genuine and what isn’t, if Rousey is usually peaceful to keep a book open.

To this indicate she hasn’t been. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne found that out in a new interview, when she asked Rousey and—after a thespian few moments in that she fought her emotions—Rousey pronounced she didn’t wish to speak about it. The sore-loser opinion that alienated her fans persists, even as she creates a transition from Ronda Rousey a arm-barring UFC colonize to “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, a WWE’s latest intrigue. But can a WWE usually omit all of that?

At some indicate things need to be addressed, even if it’s to emanate a heel. Rousey will need to apart a self-serious aspirant from a big-picture performer. She was good when she showed adult in assist of a Rock during WrestleMania 31 in 2015 and tossed McMahon and Triple H around. That was 8 months before Holm pennyless her glaze of invincibility, and nudged her—in a devious way—toward creation a WWE her some-more permanent home. It competence be correct for a WWE to collect adult where things left off from that night in Santa Clara—pair her with a Rock in a tab compare opposite McMahon and Triple H, and let a bulk of her star energy settle into a new role. Allow people to remember just what a star she is. MMA fans will be tuned in for that, even if they don’t caring about pro wrestling; MMA fans will wish to see her off, given she never pronounced goodbye.

What stays to be seen is if her star energy from a tallness of her career will transfer. For all those holding their exhale in Philadelphia to see if she’d come in as no. 30 in a Royal Rumble, it’s easy to consider it will. But when she comes out and doesn’t do most other than point—three times—up during a WrestleMania pointer unresolved in a rafters, we consternation how all this will go. You consternation if she competence be best with an “advocate,” like Lesnar’s possess Paul Heyman, doing all a talking. Somebody to build her adult and concede her to get behind to all mean-mugging and genocide stares, to sharpened a kind of pleasing hatred by a camera that we can’t assistance yet commend an strange flame.

One thing we do know is that Rousey is an spooky competitor, and she has been given she began forgetful of winning Olympic bullion in judo as a small girl. Her new gig isn’t to complete, yet to perform well. And now behaving is a competition. It’s been an open tip that she’s been training given Jul to get there. If she feels she is winning during a new gig—that people see her as a success, and a WWE loves a new star—that strut is expected to return. Rousey loves success usually as most as despises losing. With a right priming, as Dave Meltzer says, she could turn a womanlike Goldberg.

And that, no matter that form of party you’re traffic in, is a ruin of a lot improved than shop-worn goods.

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