Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 33 could be closer to reality, according to rumors reported by Cageside Seats. WWE is definitely interested, the site notes, and if they can land her, it presents an interesting situation.
First of all, there is the woman herself, who is in a good position to continue her career beyond combat sports in a way that continues to legitimize her as a physical competitor.
Ronda Rousey has long since been exposed as a beatable MMA fighter as evidenced in her loss to Holly Holm and her underdog standing in the buildup to a match with Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30.
If Rousey defies the odds and regains her UFC Bantamweight Championship, she will be poised for a big money payday with her current employer, and her role at WrestleMania 33 would be either jeopardized or greatly reduced.
After all, the UFC will want to cash in on the next Ronda Rousey fight by mid-year.
If Ronda loses to Nunes, then her schedule is likely to be cleared up moving forward, and she could not only appear at ‘Mania, but work a continuing role with the sports entertainment organization.
— TFG Wrestling (@tfgwrestling) November 23, 2016
Ronda Rousey has a big personality, and she could step into a profitable role as WWE competitor no matter what happens with Nunes next month.
But then the question becomes, how do you book her in a way that also protects Charlotte and, by extension, the WWE Women’s Division?
Vince McMahon and company have worked hard to turn the perception of WWE’s female talent from talentless divas to legitimate drawing attractions. They even recently headlined their very first pay-per-view with Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell.
Having Ronda Rousey come in and lay waste would be a bit of a double-edged sword in that it would establish a certain degree of credibility by landing the future UFC Hall of Famer, but it would also force women like Bayley and Sasha Banks to the back of the line after they worked hard to establish themselves and the division.
It’s probable that no one would buy Bayley vs. Ronda Rousey or Sasha or Alexa Bliss, etc. Ronda beat up people for real, and many of those people were legitimate competitors in their own right.
Bayley and Sasha and the rest are skilled in the ring, but Charlotte and Nattie Neidhart, and, by sheer size, Nia Jax, are the only women on the horizon who could sell an authentic program with “Rowdy” for WWE executives as well as crossover fans of both MMA and professional wrestling.
If WWE wants a long-term relationship with Ronda Rousey, they would be giving up their best feud — Charlotte — with very little build up for their biggest show of the year.
One way of introducing Ronda to WWE audiences and getting a good gauge on how to handle her with the rest of the Women’s Division could be having Charlotte and Ronda do a legitimate shootfight for WrestleMania 33.
Such a program would build with Royal Rumble. From there, great care would be taken to keep the two women apart until they can step into a cage for the actual showdown.
— wwe.wrestlemania (@WWEWrestlemenia) November 23, 2016
If Charlotte won, her character would break the boundaries of professional wrestling and become one with general appeal — perhaps even open up another channel between the WWE and the UFC.
It would also build intrigue for how the company might use Rousey moving forward. A legitimate Charlotte win would open possibilities for other competitors in the Women’s Division and send a message that Ronda Rousey isn’t going to run through everyone.
That possibility has more appeal considering that Rousey herself has admitted she’s near the end of her MMA career.
If Rousey does as expected and defeats Charlotte, however, then the company might then work an angle where Charlotte joins with Nia Jax and Dana Brooke for a sneak-attack.
This would allow use of Ronda for future programs against the two underlings and set up a world title match at SummerSlam in the traditional scripted style.
But what do you think, readers? What is the best way to use Ronda Rousey in the WWE Universe? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by UFC]