Ronda “Roundhouse” Rousey is an American Olympian, UFC champion, and now, WWE wrestler. After starting her fighting career in 2010, she has made quite the name for herself in sports history, being dubbed as “The Baddest Woman on the Planet.” A bad she is, with a record of 12 and two, she's a lean, mean, fighting machine.
Similar to Ronda’s passion for fighting, the WWE has also been working on expanding their women’s division for the past two years. The “Women’s Revolution” has taken over with wrestling personalities like the Bella Twins, Becky Lynch, and Alexa Bliss. Knowing how hard WWE has been working on expanding their women’s division, having a celebrity like Ronda Rousey join their roster was a huge addition. Not only is she already capable of fighting, but she's well known in the sports world.
Since this is Ronda's first year with the WWE, there has been an assembly of mixed emotions regarding her stay on the roster. Is her addition to the sport really for the better or was it a big flop? Fans seem to be divided with where Ronda belongs in the ring and how long she’s actually going to last. Sure, she has the athletic capabilities to take down anyone in the ring, but is she charismatic enough to be a WWE sensation?
10 Stabbing Other Divas In The Back
When Ronda made her first WWE appearance, many took issue with the fact that there were many other ladies who could have been in Ronda’s shoes. Climbing up the WWE/NXT ladder to getting the main slot as a WWE Diva takes years of training hard and creating the right persona for the fans. So for WWE to sign Ronda on as the new female star is a slap in the face to the many other women who were battling to get where Ronda is now.
The other women training in NXT have at least been training for wrestling as a whole; Ronda comes from a completely different sport. Yes, she’s tough as nails but it’s a big slap in the face to the other women. (Of course, this isn’t Ronda’s fault, however. It’s a slap from the sport itself.)
9 Is It All For Fame?
Many of the WWE ladies (and men) wrestle because it’s their passion. They’ve grown up watching the WWE and knew they wanted to be apart of that world early on. Heck, even wrestlers’ children are brought up in that world, only to become wrestlers themselves! Jimmy and Jey Uso are twins who perform as a tag team. Even Natalya Neidhart comes from a long line of family wrestlers; it’s in their blood. That being said, what’s in it for Ronda? Is it just a chance to stay in the spotlight? Considering she signed a contract with the WWE for a year, is this 12-month gig simply a filler until she finds out what she wants to do next?
8 Her Character Falls Flat
Every WWE athlete has a character or a persona they’re showing off to fans (i.e. Alicia Fox was a “wedding planner” turn superstar), but what’s Ronda’s? Many fans enjoy the notoriety Ronda has brought to WWE, but most don’t really understand her role.
One fan took to Reddit saying “every time she has been in the ring she looks tense and has no emotion or charisma she is completely flat. I find myself being so bored during her segments.”
Fans know she’s new to the arena and needs to gain their respect, but maybe she doesn’t have the acting talent the sport needs. Sure, she has the strength but the WWE is way more than being athletic.
7 Is The WWE Setting Her Up For Failure?
Ronda conquered everything she wanted during her UFC career. She had a 12-2 record and was labeled “The Baddest Woman on the Planet.” With her dreams fulfilled in that particular profession, stardom in another similar arena seemed like the next logical step. But to be a WWE sensation, you need to have charisma, a shining personality. And many don’t think she has what it takes to live up to WWE standards (especially compared to the other ladies).
Forbes mentioned Al Snow, a former WWE fighter, was worried about what Ronda would bring to the ring. “It takes a very special person to work the opposite. If she's capable of taking the charisma she had in MMA, she'll need ten times the charisma in the WWE.” It’s not enough to worry about your own record and to win the match. Now, she needs to prove herself as a wrestler—a teammate of sorts—to create a fan base, and show off her acting skills while doing it.
6 She's Strong, But Does She Have What It Takes?
NXT (the next generation) is essentially WWE’s farm team. It’s where developing talent goes to train, become stronger, and compete against others to rise to the big ring. Some NXT wrestlers make while others fall short, but it’s a place where wrestlers should be respected.
One NXT fan told Reddit, “There’s a reason wrestlers train years and years and wrestle 1000s of matches before they make it....... she sucks because she has 1% of the WWE WRESTLING training she needs.”
This goes back to the very start: Ronda is an incredible athlete and she’s been training her entire life to fight. But fighting in the UFC is entirely different than being in the WWE ring. This is exactly why the WWE has a developmental program.
Many fans believe WWE should have hired Ronda on as pop-in entertainment from time to time; a celebrity face coming in to kick butt at random, big-time fights. But a spot on the big-show’s roster?
5 One And Done
In June of this past year, it was leaked that. Ronda signed a one-year deal with WWE. Considering it’s only October and she already has one Raw Women’s Champion title under her belt, it makes fans wonder what the point of her joining is. Is she swooping in for a year, easily taking away these amazing accomplishments, and then opting out? Many fans don’t see the point.
Ric Flair, former WWE legend was asked about Rousey joining the WWE, “I’m not involved obviously in any of the thinking but if they’re ever going to put the women where they belong, this is the year because I think Ronda has only signed a one-year deal and then she’s out of there.” Is Ric insinuating that Ronda is merely there as a hype-chick, getting fans excited to watch the women’s division and then exiting?
4 She Was Booed
While all fans get into it WWE fights—chanting, booing, and screaming—I don’t think the WWE expected fans to boo their biggest celebrity signing in women’s history.
After doing an on-air interview for NXT’s preshow in Chicago over the summer, Twitter erupted with the fact that booing was heard over the mic. One fan tweeted, “Was at Take Over Chicago, Fun night overall. Some notes: People booed whenever Ronda Rousey was shown on screen for MITB promos. Don't be surprised if she's booed tomorrow. Crowd was zapped after Dream and Ricochet match.”
WWE fandom noted that diehard fans would probably never accept Ronda to the sport, but for youngsters and newcomers, she’s probably their top favorite considering her fighting history.
You don’t need to be a WWE fan to notice that Ronda’s distracting. Just like how she’s had no training at NXT, WWE expected her to train and fight like a WWE pro in a short matter of months. While many understand WWE’s take on signing Ronda, many think she’s distracting from the sport.
There are many women who have given their lives for the sport who have finally received some acknowledgment from WWE, fans, and haters, but they’re all swept under the rug now that Ronda’s in town. Though her image is potentially good for the sport, her stardom casts a large shadow on all the other wrestlers who made this their career; their life’s work.
2 Difference In Sports
One of the biggest questions WWE fighters get is if they’re “really” fighting the other wrestlers. Are those punches real? Does a dude really get kicked in the privates five times in a row and live long enough to tell the tale? Well, not all of it is fake, but it is very much scripted (which is what sucks us in for more). Knowing how not every blow to the head is necessarily “real,” there are multiple maneuvers wrestlers can do to achieve the look. This is a whole new ballgame for Ronda, who is used to actually punching and kicking people with the intent to harm.
One fan thinks the WWE shouldn’t have rushed Ronda to the spotlight (nor let her win the Raw Champions Title so quickly). She needs time to adjust to the sport. “As far as her ring work, seems like she’s still in the MMA mindset. She doesn’t know how to story-tell or come up with solid moves. Nevertheless, I’m willing to give her a chance in a few years.”
1 She Should Not Be The Face Of The Company
There are a handful of incredible wrestlers who should be the face of the company — especially in the women’s division. If the WWE wants to pay tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the sport, they should give respect where it's due. Then again, maybe the WWE is hoping Ronda will bring attention to the women's division so that when her contract expires, fans (and newcomers) will already be familiar with the franchise by her name. Regardless of notoriety, there are a handful of women wrestlers who deserve to be the face of the women's division instead of Ronda. Rousey is a famous fighter, don't get me wrong, but there's no way she's put in the effort or sweat that the other women have.