Right from the start I’m going to be clear, I’m going to take today’s topic as who I miss the most that was once in WWE that no longer is on the active roster or has made appearances recently on WWE TV, I’m not talking about those who have passed away. So up until earlier this year my answer immediately to this question would have been Edge. And many others may say CM Punk… I was considering going for maybe AJ Lee or Paige. But then I thought about who, right now if I’m put in charge of WWE, who am I going to first about coming back? And then I had my answer.
Ronda Rousey is one thing that not an awful lot of women or even men in WWE have ever been, a MEGA star. And that’s not a knock on anyone else on the roster, it’s just when Ronda was with us for that 15 month spell she just had that aura around her that just made everything she put her hand to feel bigger and better… and badder. And it was a sign WWE had learnt their lesson, or maybe it just had something to do with they got Ronda first, in a pro wrestling sense, anyway. When WWE had Bill Goldberg for a year in 2003/04 he had moments were he looked like the WCW monster, but their mindset was they can’t have him beat everyone because then when he went away there was no leg for everyone who remained (who he had beat) to stand on… which is… an interesting opinion… but Ronda Rousey came in at the perfect time. Women’s wrestling was on the rise, almost to the top, but they just needed… something… and then as 2018 began rumours began circulating… and they did everything to throw us off the scent… even having Ronda herself say she was in South America that weekend filming a movie… and in typical pro wrestling fashion, when we least expected it… she arrived…
Note who posted this video by the way… ESPN… As in HUGE-MAINSTREAM SPORTS NETWORK… So we knew she’d be at WrestleMania, but they did a clever job of leaving it open ended as to who she’d be facing. Asuka? Charlotte? Alexa? But it was in fact the woman she shook hands with at the commentary desk at the Royal Rumble, the woman she confronted in the ring at WrestleMania 31… Stephanie McMahon… and yes you may moan and groan at Mrs HHH being in a big time match. But honestly the build-up to this match was FANTASTIC! Ronda got cheered all over the place, they painted her up as a huge star, they had her even…
So they were quickly able to combine Ronda coming in with the ongoing storyline between Raw GM Kurt Angle and Stephanie and Triple H, and we ended up with a mixed tag match at WrestleMania. Expectations for the match were LOW, but they did the best job of promoting it it really felt like a huge deal.
A great hype package if ever I’ve seen one… and for all my sins I LOVE me some Stephanie McMahon, I think she’s an AWESOME asshole heel. And she was fantastic in this video and feud too… but after all the hype possible… what about the match…
****3/4. The best debut of anyone I’ve ever seen. Incredible stuff, and sure I’ve no doubt they went over this match move-for-move for months, but executing it at WrestleMania in front of tens of thousands in a packed stadium? Incredible stuff.
From here on out Ronda was a STAR in WWE. She’d go on quickly to be put in the title picture, and even against Nia Jax she had a pretty good match that was only interrupted when Alexa Bliss cashed in her MITB and won the title. They’d go on to SummerSlam where Ronda would win the Raw Women’s Championship. Too early? No not for me, there was nobody then but Ronda who should have been champion… and so after a couple of successful title defences, including against Nikki Bella in the main event of the first ever all women’s WWE PPV ‘Evolution’, We went on to Survivor Series… where things changed… Ronda faced Charlotte Flair and after a post match beatdown that was intended to be a heel move for Charlotte, the people cheered wildly and booed Ronda with chants of ‘you deserve it’ as she left the arena battered and bloodied… Ronda began to take this personally, or at least on screen she did anyway… after beating Sasha Banks at the Royal Rumble the next night she was confronted by Rumble match winner Becky Lynch, who was the hottest star in the company. The two of course were due to face eachother at Survivor Series, but at long last on the grandest stage the match looked finally to be happening.
Of course it wound up being a triple threat with Charlotte Flair too, but the main thing was the women went on LAST, at WRESTLEMANIA! And cold hard fact without Ronda, that aint happening, it’s just not. They did all the tv interviews you could do, Ronda front and central sure but Charlotte and Becky were alongside her getting just as much of that spotlight. But Ronda wasn’t just a big name draw, just there to bring in the MMA and mainstream fans to WWE, she was actually a very good professional wrestler. It takes two to tango, and you can’t have a good pro wrestling match if one of the participants was garbage, Ronda was somewhat of a natural. Sure being a champion MMA fighter and Olympic athlete in Judo helps, but people have been wrestlers all their lives and not had close to as good a debut match, or been just as good on the mic, or had close to her star quality.
Ronda showed in her run that she can indeed be a good babyface and a great heel. And that’s not as easy as it sounds…
Get you a WWE Superstar that can do BOTH!
So in short, I really like Ronda Rousey. And sure she might shoot on the business here and there, but who the heck cares. She’s a star, she main evented WrestleMania, she had the best debut match maybe in the history of the business. The women’s division has not been the same since she left, it’s been fine but it’s not felt as big time as it did when she was around. Right away if she came back, there’s the Becky singles match you could do and maybe have to do… especially given how the Mania main event finished… In fact in a dream world where SummerSlam is back in an arena full of fans, I could think of worse ideas than having a main event of Becky Lynch defending the Raw Women’s Championship she won (and STILL holds) from Rousey against the baddest woman on the planet. And you always have the 4 horsewomen vs 4 horsewomen match that is always going to be talked about until they actually do it. Of course I don’t know if they could or if she’d even want to come back, but honestly even if just for the Becky match I would move heaven and earth if I’m WWE to get her back.
I miss you Ronda Rousey. Please come back to WWE.