WWE signing Ronda Rousey was a big move. The company knew what she brought to the table in terms of mainstream exposure and legitimacy. WWE officials knew Ronda would help bring excitement, sell tickets, and merchandise, but the company had some additional reasons for signing Rousey to a full-time deal. The biggest reason was to use her as a key to open specific doors that had previously been unavailable to WWE.
For instance, WWE officials are trying to utilize Ronda Rousey’s mainstream exposure to elevate Stephanie McMahon into a much bigger star and make her name more recognizable outside of the wrestling industry, which is why the two women are feuding at WrestleMania 34. More recently, WWE’s bigger ulterior motive is to use Rousey as leverage to bring WWE programming to the FOX Network after the company’s current deal with USA Network runs out in 2019, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Apparently, FOX and UFC were negotiating some kind of television deal, but now the network is a lot more interested in doing business with WWE because the company can feature Ronda Rousey every week on either Raw and SmackDown Live. With Rousey at their disposal, WWE has a much greater opportunity to sign a TV deal with FOX. On paper, a move to the network would result in better ratings and business for WWE.
With Brock Lesnar leaving the company and WWE officials relying less on John Cena and The Undertaker to sell merchandise and sell tickets, Ronda Rousey is expected to become WWE’s most important asset. At WrestleMania 34, her star power will be tested, and she’s already done a ton of work promoting her match on ESPN and other outlets. It’s been reported that she’s being primed for a top spot at WrestleMania 35.
Bleacher Report has also reported that a lot of people in the WWE locker room are not happy with Rousey walking into the company and being pushed so quickly. The WWE Universe has had some harsh criticism for her as well, but it’s clear that Ronda has already made a massive impact on the company and her role in WWE is only expected to get bigger. Some people may complain, but Rousey is still learning the tools of the trade and her involvement should only help the company grow. It’s just a matter of how WWE uses her.