How well will Ronda Rousey do in the WWE?: Before her signing with WWE, Ronda Rousey was one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. Her arrival at the biggest professional wrestling promotion in the world kicked up a storm of fan excitement and intrigue.
In the first few months of her WWE career, she seemed like a perfect signing for WWE. Gifted in the ring and insanely popular, Ronda Rousey might have turned out to be the greatest WWE signing of all time.
Now that she has left the company following a disappointing match against her long-time friend Shayna Baszler, Rousey’s WWE run can be looked back at with critique lenses on. Today, we will answer the question, how well did Ronda Rousey do in WWE? To answer that, we will examine three factors of her WWE run – her accomplishments, he in-ring performances, and how fans interacted with her.
Ronda Rousey’s WWE Accomplishments
Making her first WWE appearance at Royal Rumble 2018, Ronda Rousey had her first match in the company at WrestleMania 34. Only four months following her debut, she was already the RAW Women’s Champion.
Across her two stints with WWE, The Baddest Woman on The Planet is a Triple-Crown Champion – which means she has won the RAW Women’s title, the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and the Women’s Tag Team Championships (with Shayna Baszler).
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Ronda’s pre-WWE popularity played a big part in her being in the main event of WrestleMania 35 in 2019. This made her, along with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, the first woman to compete in the main event of WrestleMania.
Apart from that, Rousey is also a Royal Rumble winner, winning the prestigious battle royal at the titular event in 2022. This was her first WWE match since losing the RAW Women’s Championship to Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35. So yes, in terms of achievement, Ronda Rousey’s WWE run can be considered a massive success.
Ronda Rousey’s In-Ring Performances
Ronda Rousey made her WWE debut teaming with Kurt Angle to take on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Despite the match being heavily choreographed, it was clear to see that Rousey had a knack for professional wrestling.
After wrestling in one of the best WWE debuts of all time, Ronda quickly became a crowd favorite due to how quickly she was picking up the art of wrestling. Her first stint with WWE, which lasted only a year, had several memorable matches. Her WrestleMania main event against Lynch and Flair, her brutal bout against Charlotte at Survivor Series, her iconic RAW Women’s title defense against Nikki Bella at Evolution, and her excellent match against Sasha Banks at Royal Rumble 2019.
The quality of her matches fell drastically in her second run with the company. After winning the Royal Rumble on her return in 2022, she challenged Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38. The match was a massive let-down as the average-at-best match ended in a disappointing Rousey loss.
Things did seem to let up when she had a few decent matches against Liv Morgan throughout the summer and fall, despite non-satisfactory finishes to most of these matches. But then it all came crashing down after her match with Shotzi at Survivor Series stunk up the arena. Following this match, fans were questioning not only whether Ronda was a good worker, but also whether was she a safe worker.
It is safe to say that Ronda Rousey did not have any memorably good matches from that point on. Her farewell match at SummerSlam 2023 against Shayna Baszler, which was supposed to cap off an interesting storyline, fell flat on its face.
Judging Ronda Rousey’s WWE career based solely on her in-ring ability is an exercise in 50/50 decision-making. While she did have her merits and memorable matches, she also had her fair share of stinkers.
As mentioned above, fans were excited and intrigued to see Ronda Rousey signing with WWE back in 2018. It is also fair to say that the WWE Universe was completely behind her for the first few months of her WWE run, as she seemed to be getting the hang of professional wrestling fairly quickly.
This started to turn around at the time of her RAW Women’s Championship victory at SummerSlam 2018. A portion of the fan base suddenly turned on her, claiming that Rousey did not earn her title matches and was given them solely based on her star power.
From that point on, a bigger and bigger portion of the WWE Universe was turning on Rousey week-on-week. This came to a head at Survivor Series 2018 when she was booed out of the arena following a DQ win over Charlotte Flair. In the months following this, the Rowdy-one adopted more of a tweener role, embracing fan backlash.
Once she returned after an almost three-year hiatus from the company at Royal Rumble 2022, fans were excited to see Ronda Rousey again on WWE TV. This excitement soon turned sour as fans realized that the former UFC star had a lot of ring-rust to dust off.
While she did gather some form back as far as in-ring ability is concerned, Rousey did not capture the imagination of the fans as she did during her first run. For much of her second run in WWE, fans did not love or hate Ronda, they simply did not care enough.
While a few of her storylines, especially with Shayna Baszler and fan-favorite Liv Morgan, excited fans, the matches were never good enough to maintain fan interest.
So, if Ronda Rousey’s WWE run is judged based only on the reactions she received from the fans – considering how big of a star she was before coming to WWE, one might come to the conclusion that it was not a success for the most part.
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