What the hell is WWE thinking? After it was announced that Ronda Rousey, who is as green as any professional wrestler trying to cut their teeth in this business, will face Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax at Money in the Bank, I about lost my marbles. After WWE went to painstaking measures to juggle rosters and Monday and Tuesday nights to promote better matches and straight-forward thinking, this might be the biggest mistake of 2018.
Yes, it’s true, It’s damn true.
After a solid performance at WrestleMania 34, where she Rousey was protected in a mixed tag team match with Kurt Angle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, it is obvious the company is looking for an immediate cash grab and leapfrogging their newest import without a safety net. And in the process, may halt any momentum Jax has and the message her title run is sending to women worldwide.
Ryan Dilbert of Bleacher Report echoed the same sentiments when his story appeared on the website on Wednesday…
Pro wrestling is often a formulaic medium. Variations of the same narrative play out every week: tag team partners turn on each other, an underdog does the improbable, a villain gets his comeuppance. WWE turns to these tropes because they work. If done well, they maximize drama and create powerful climaxes.
That’s in part why the decision to book Rousey in a Raw Women’s Championship this early on is so jarring. It defies tradition and the natural rhythm of wrestling storytelling.
Rousey and Raw women’s champ Nia Jax crossed paths at the NBCUniversal Upfront in New York on Monday. Jax held her recently won championship in front of Rousey’s face and challenged her to a title bout. The former UFC star hesitated but eventually accepted.
It was hokie and nonchalant in a setting that almost made light of the situation. Challenges like this are supposed to mean something. Ronda Rousey may be a household name and she may improve from match to match, but writing her into a title storyline makes as much sense as putting James Ellsworth in a legitimate program with a belt on the line.
If it seems like I am mad, well guess what? I’m a bit steamed about this one. Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Ruby Riott, Mickie James, Natalya… the list goes on. They all deserve a title shot before the former UFC champion.
Ronda Rousey should be part of storylines where she gradually builds on success. A program with Natalya where the veteran “friend” turns on the neophyte. Or a feud with Riott where she must also deal with the other members of the faction. This makes no sense and fans should be outraged.
“Rousey hasn’t climbed the proverbial ladder. She hasn’t overcome a series of struggles. The Baddest Woman on the Planet has only had one WWE match so far,” Dilbert added.
“For her to now jump into a PPV championship contest is like Luke Skywalker skipping the whole Jedi training stuff and going straight from Tatooine farmboy to blowing up the Death Star.”
I love the Star Wars reference by the way. Very trendy right now.
The next seven months should be about building Rousey as a title contender, developing her character and working on her verbal skills. Now she has jumped through hoops at lightspeed. I wonder how the women in the locker room feel about the move other than Charlotte Flair?
Like Dilbert said, Ronda Rousey, earning the No. 1 contender spot right before WrestleMania 35, possibly winning the Women’s Royal Rumble, would have been a better, more strategic move. Now, the chess piece as has been played. It will take months to rework Rousey’s image if she loses. It’s a situation WWE must deal with, given Jax’s platform is critical to her rise to the mountaintop.
Honestly, this match does nothing to help either performer. It can only her both of them, severely.