Ronda Rousey Challenging for Her First WWE Women’s Title

Rousey vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women's Championship has been set for WWE Money in the Bank ...

WWE found itself in a precarious position. Ronda Rousey hasn’t been prominently featured on WWE television since her tag-team debut at WrestleMania, and she’s also one of the biggest names in the company.

Overexposing Rousey makes her less of a draw — look at the formula WWE has used with Brock Lesnar as an example of a formula that works — but not exposing Rousey to the audience can also diminish her drawing power and make her feel less important as far as stature on the roster.

WWE needs to find a delicate balance.

So, WWE was backed into a corner. Rousey wasn’t on the Greatest Royal Rumble (for obvious reasons) and she wasn’t on Backlash. WWE felt like it had to push Rousey in a match at Money in the Bank, because keeping her off the pay-per-view again could send the wrong message.

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That being said, where do you put Rousey on the card? WWE chose to have her challenge Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Title, and I don’t see any other logical choice. Having her beat another mid-tier woman on the roster diminishes Rousey as a star unless it’s a total squash. But regardless of the result against a “lesser” opponent, for lack of a better term, merely rubbing elbows with someone who is lower on the card could define Rousey downward. It’s a risk.

WWE chose the opposite. They chose to put Rousey in a match with Jax for the Raw Women’s Title at Money in the Bank. Again, this match makes sense. WWE can justify Rousey getting an early title shot because of her past MMA success and she did look pretty dominant every time she’s set foot in the ring thus far.

Perhaps the biggest question is where WWE goes from here. Can Rousey afford a loss to Jax? Probably, but it wouldn’t be a wise choice to have her lose in her first big title match. Can WWE afford Rousey to win the Women’s Title and then vanish from TV for several weeks until the next pay-per-view? I mean, they probably can. No offense to the women’s title, but it’s generally featured in the mid-card on television. Despite WWE’s women’s revolution — and the championship has main-evented shows over the past year — the focus on Raw is still on Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Seth Rollins.

Despite how good Rousey looked in her WrestleMania match, she was protected by having other people around in the match. Can she carry a 1-on-1 match at this point? I guess we’re about to find out. Hopefully it’s more than just judo tosses and armbar attempts, because the Chicago crowd might not be too receptive to a two-move match, even if it’s Ronda Rousey standing in the ring.