Another strong episode of WWE Raw on Monday.
Another show stolen by Ronda Rousey.
Yep, the same woman who didn’t even appear live on the USA Network broadcast is who grabbed headlines afterwards. On the same show where John Cena (again) challenged The Undertaker, The Miz delivered another patented worked shoot, Asuka defeated Alexa Bliss, and Roman Reigns getting brutally attacked by Brock Lesnar – it was Ronda Rousey and a four-minute video package that had fans buzzing.
Why you ask?
It was real. It was genuine. It was gut wrenching. It was heart breaking. It was heart WARMING but above all else for the WWE Universe, her words made you feel excited for WrestleMania. Right now, there is nothing more important. From January through April, the endgame is easy. Get your customers jacked for the biggest event of the year on pay-per-view. As a proud wrestling fan and somebody WWE is clearly targeting, their job was well done Monday night.
All thanks to the true headliner of WrestleMania 34, Ronda Rousey.
Here are just a few reasons why her story got to me…
Legitimacy – Kurt Angle hyping her up is invaluable. Same reason Jason Jordan was paired with him. It is instant respect with fans. Opening with Angle talking about all of Rousey’s great attributes was wonderful. Don’t forget he is in this WM34 match too! He set the table here as the supporting actor and then laid back. This woman is 100% as tough as is presented. Kurt Angle can attest to that. Perfect endorsement from a fellow Olympian and WWE Hall of Famer.
Goals – Ronda Rousey spoke about the Olympics. The UFC. Judo. Then WWE. When you follow somebody on a journey, you need to know what they are fighting for. If it is a Super Bowl, then you know that when the NFL season begins. If it is a gold medal, then you know that is the finale for an athlete every fourth year. If it is a WM main event, then you know a Royal Rumble victory is in their sights. Very straight forward and to the point. Rousey wants nothing more than a WrestleMania win. Cool. Now we know why we should root for her.
Vulnerability – Believe it or not, she was not undefeated in Judo. She didn’t win the GOLD medal in the Olympics. She was crushed her last two times in the octagon. All of those are facts. WWE is wise to stay away from them (just as they did with Brock Lesnar). However, you can absolutely mention her failures and turn them into positives. Motivation if you will. I mention this a lot, but when Rousey lost in the UFC for the first time, she contemplated suicide. That is nothing to joke about. She used the phrase “God hates me” on RAW. That is strong stuff. She disappeared from the world for nearly a year after her shocking defeat. Just two months ago, ESPN asked her about it, and she stopped the interview. It obviously means a lot to her and is difficult to talk about. To have her open up gives her a human quality we can all relate to. Those tears weren’t for show ladies and gentlemen. Ronda Rousey wants to be the best at everything she and as wonderful as the wins may feel, the losses stay with you longer.
Redemption – This was where the money was made for WWE. Rousey talked about her life as an athlete, her triumphs and then her failures. After getting emotional about being so depressed over it all, the discussion turned to her husband and how she must move forward. Move forward to WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. All roads lead to New Orleans and Ronda Rousey living out this dream come true and competing in WWE. Forget the gold medal, the UFC undefeated streak and judo. Forget it all. The past is the past, but the future has all eyes on April 8th, 2018. In her own words, she was always meant to be at WrestleMania…
*points at sign*
By Justin Watry (@JustinWatry)