Ronda Rousey’s push hindered the women’s division long-term booking and that mistake needs to be avoided if she returns for a second WWE run.
The women’s division is an area where the WWE has an advantage over its competitors. The promotion boasts many of the best women available to step into the ring. Unfortunately, that group is not consistently booked at that level. Ronda Rousey’s involvement from 2018 to 2019 helped draw a lot of attention to the division and the WWE. As rumors of her potential return grow, there is a wonder whether her involvement would help or hinder the division at this time.
FightFul Select revealed news on Sunday that Rousey is back to training and has done so in California for several weeks. Not only is she training, but her husband and former UFC title contender, Travis Browne is also spending time in the ring. Rousey’s involvement helped WrestleMania have it is first women’s match headline the show at WrestleMania 35.
However, along the way to that match Rousey dispatched of many women on the WWE roster, building her up as the top name in the division. That push did not help everyone else at the same time. The perceived momentum the division gained by her involvement was lost when she left after being defeated by Becky Lynch. It dissipated not because the other ladies on the roster could not carry it, but because the WWE failed to continue pushing the group in the same manner. The result of this was the eventual relegation of the women’s divisions on the main roster.
This opened the door for the challenges seen on television today. Outside of the Four Horsewomen, the women on Raw and SmackDown struggle to get ample television time. Asuka, the current Raw women’s champion, did not even have a match at Hell in a Cell. Could Rousey’s return to television help? Potentially, but only if WWE Creative dedicated more time to build up more of the roster instead of feeding everyone to Rousey, one after another. WWE has long leaned out “mainstream” stars to draw attention to the product but doing so continues to hamper the true men and women on the roster when those individuals are gone.
Is there a benefit of having Rousey on the WWE roster? Yes. There is a potential to see her have intriguing storylines and matches with the likes of Asuka, Shayna Baszler and others. However, WWE must recognize the long-term value in the entirety of the roster, meaning that all the ladies should not be squashed like Rousey’s initial run with the promotion. There is no telling how long she will stay with the company if she is to return. It is not worth serving up ladies like Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair or even Rhea Ripley to Rousey’s next run. In fact, it is perhaps better to have those women defeat Rousey in long-term booking, while having others involved in mid-card feuds so their value increases over time.
A potential return of Ronda Rousey would draw attention to the WWE, that is for sure. But the promotion cannot make the same mistake that they made with her in the past. A mistake that hindered the growth and relevance of the women’s division on the main roster.