Ronda Rousey isn’t ready to wrestle long one-on-one singles matches in WWE. She’s without question the toughest woman on the roster, and in a shoot situation, she’d win 99.9 percent of the time against anyone in the locker room. But in the world of wrestling, she hasn’t exactly mastered the art yet.
You can see it in her wrestling. There are pieces of her game that are very clunky and she looks like a rookie, especially up against well-seasoned wrestlers.
So, WWE didn’t leave itself much choice. If the company wanted to protect Rousey and not have her take a clean loss to Nia Jax in the women’s title match at Money in the Bank, and they also weren’t willing to put the title on Rousey, the only option was a disqualification finish. That’s exactly what WWE presented, when Alexa Bliss took her newly-won Money in the Bank contract and cashed it in hours after winning it, beating down Rousey and Jax and ultimately winning the Raw Women’s Title.
On Raw Monday night, the fallout from Bliss’ cash-in was felt. Rousey entered the ring while Bliss was cutting a victory promo and attacked her, as well as attacking Raw GM Kurt Angle, with Angle subsequently suspending Rousey for 30 days.
When she returns, hopefully she leaves the smiling and hand slapping with the fans at home, and she continues to become the more intense Ronda Rousey we saw on Monday night.
In reality, Rousey probably needs a break from TV. She’s been on the show in a somewhat regular capacity for the last month, if not slightly more, in building up her title match against Jax. The suspension angle is a neat and clean way to get Rousey off TV with fans not thinking anything of it. Also, with Jax getting the automatic rematch against Bliss, there isn’t much of a reason for Rousey to be on the show anyway. The main women’s feud on Raw will continue to center around Bliss and Jax, and Rousey will come back a month from now likely to feud with Bliss after she comes out on top in the feud against Jax.
Pushing Rousey into a title match so soon was probably a mistake in the long run, but I’m also not sure WWE had many options with Rousey. It’s not like she’s going to start doing job matches and if she’s on the show, her angle and match is going to be viewed as one of the top attractions on the card. If that’s the case, WWE might as well center the Raw Women’s Title around Rousey’s involvement.
But, does having Rousey not win the championship hurt her drawing power moving forward? Given the shenanigans around the finish, it shouldn’t. Rousey still looked strong, especially after the Raw angle on Monday. But WWE will have to keep her presentation that way.
Rousey wasn’t the typical smiling Ronda Rousey we’ve seen in recent weeks and leading up to Money in the Bank. She was all business Monday night, and that’s the Ronda Rousey MMA fans remember from her days in UFC. It was her intensity (and her ability in the cage) that made her such a draw in the UFC. That element to Rousey’s character needs to remain as WWE continues to tell more stories with her.
The intensity Rousey showed in the angle on Monday night hopefully carries over when she returns to television in a month. Her character desperately needs it.