Ronda Rousey is stepping away from WWE. She lost to real-life friend Shayna Baszler at SummerSlam in what many have called a very disappointing match, but she did her part in trying to ‘make’ Shayna, which was what Ronda had on her mind ever since she returned for her ill-fated second run with WWE following her having a baby.
Her focus seemed to shift between her first run with the company and this one though, and it was indeed noticed by one and all. She suffered through quite a few controversial periods and we don’t really have to go through them all here, as they made headlines previously, but it’s safe to assume she wasn’t as motivated this time around.
Regardless, what can’t be taken away from her is that first run she had and undeniably, she made a lot of people take notice of the Women’s Division in WWE and even main-evented, as the expression goes in pro wrestling, WrestleMania alongside two very accomplished athletes in Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
One legend believes that that main event would have never happened if it hadn’t have been for Ronda Rousey, and he states that losing her, even if it is for a short time, might be a detriment to the company.
He also went on to say that her performances were a little lackluster during her second run, but the message is loud and clear: If Ronda Rousey was as motivated as she was at the start of her WWE career, perhaps it would have been a different story this time around. Here’s some of what he had to say on his Facebook Post:
“It would be easy to dismiss Ronda Rousey’s time in WWE as something of a disappointment. Maybe she never became as beloved as Becky Lynch, as proficient as Charlotte or Sasha, or had a great long term story arc like the one Rhea Ripley is currently enjoying as part of Judgment Day…
I haven’t always been watching the product as intently these past few years as I had for the previous 40, but from what I did see – coupled with a pretty good gut feeling – is that Ronda wasn’t quite as invested emotionally for her second WWE run, as she was for her first. Motherhood has a way of redefining priorities, and rightfully so…
But I firmly believe that her first run was not only incredibly impressive in the ring, but even more consequential in introducing new eyeballs to the product, and injecting a major dose of credibility into the general public’s perspective of professional wrestling…
She teamed with Kurt Angle to take on WWE’s power couple of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon was my personal favorite match of 2018. That’s not to say it was the best match of 2018 – merely my favorite. It was one of those matches I need every once in a while to remind me of why I fell in love with pro-wrestling to begin with…
I specifically remember watching the show with friends, and during this incredible moment where she had Triple H rocking and reeling, I just yelled out, “she’s not phoning it in!” She certainly wasn’t. Ronda Rousey took pride in what she did, worked diligently to become really good, really fast, and as she progressed, had good-to-great matches with a variety of opponents.
Without Ronda, it’s highly unlikely WWE would have featured a women’s match as its main event at WrestleMania in 2019. I still believe the real marquee match would have been Becky versus Ronda in a singles match – but nonetheless, let the record show that Ronda Rousey main evented WrestleMania with just one year of professional wrestling experience…
I would put Ronda’s rapid progress up there with that of Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and The Rock – the fastest learning curves I’ve personally seen in our business. But each of those giants had one formidable arrow in their quivers that Ronda never quite got the grasp of – the ability to cut a great promo. That’s really all that was missing, all that prevented Ronda from being considered an all-time great…”
In the end, this is high praise from an in-ring legend…a behemoth in the business, and perhaps his eloquent words can motivate her on some level, especially since Mick ended his post by saying, “For the time being, at least, I will be left to wonder ‘what if’. But while those two words “what if” may remind me of what Ronda Rousey could have become in WWE, they don’t lessen what she actually was – a great worker with a love and respect for WWE that benefited everyone around her.”
*all quotes via wrestlingnews.co
If she was the reason for that match between herself, Becky and Charlotte was indeed the main event of that year’s WrestleMania, then where does that leave the women’s roster now that she’s gone? That’s the big question here. Without those eyes on the product or that big marquee name to bring to the powers that be now in WWE, especially since the same umbrella corporation that owns WWE is the very same that owns the UFC, which Ronda previously dominated in before her run in WWE.
No matter what your opinion is of the athlete, Ronda brought eyes to the product, and if motivated properly, she can still bring in the right type of hype for the product and the division.
Who knows what Ronda’s plans are moving forward, but maybe a third run will be in order to cement her legacy within the company, because as it stands right now, she had one astounding run and one that left much to be desired, and this from a great athlete and performer like her, was sad to see.
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