It seems that FOX feels Ronda Rousey is one of the biggest stars currently signed to the WWE roster, as a report from Wrestling Inc. indicates that the network wants to see Rousey moved to SmackDown Live by the time the show makes the move from USA to FOX in 2019.
According to the report, FOX believes that because of Rousey’s MMA background, popularity, and credibility as a legitimate professional athlete, she will be able to move the needle and draw more viewers to the show, which will be on a network for the first time since it was moved to SyFy in 2010.
As soon as FOX signed a deal with WWE to bring what is currently the “B show” to the network, rumors began circulating about how things would change for SmackDown. One of the most prevalent reports indicated that FOX would look to give the show a more sports direction, and having one of the best female MMA fighters of all time on the show would certainly push things that way.
It’ll be interesting to see what other WWE Superstars FOX targets. If it’s trying to grab the legitimate athletes, Brock Lesnar is almost certainly on its radar. We’d also expect FOX to be interested in other big names like Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns (if he returns), and others when the move happens, though there have been no confirmed reports of who could change brands.
Further hinting at FOX’s interest in MMA stars is the fact that UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier was recently invited for a tryout as a WWE commentator. Many reports indicated that FOX was fond of Cormier from the network’s time as the home of UFC, and that it wanted to WWE to bring him into the fold.
Cormier’s audition was postponed because of his last-minute title defense against Derrick Lewis, but the fighter told Busted Open Radio that he is still interested in trying out.
Exclusive: FOX Wants Ronda Rousey On SmackDown In 2019 https://t.co/T4oAcnjsam
— WrestlingINC.com (@WrestlingInc) November 28, 2018
Rousey became a full-time WWE performer in January of this year, and she’s since skyrocketed through the company, both in terms of popularity with the fans and the push she’s received.
She is the current Raw Women’s Champion after having defeated Alexa Bliss for the belt back in August at SummerSlam, the WWE’s second-largest event of the year.
Most recently, Rousey faced Charlotte Flair in a champion-vs-champion match. She won via disqualification, but she suffered a massive beating at the hands of Flair after the match.
Rousey is scheduled to face Nia Jax again at TLC next month with her championship on the line.