Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship is destined to happen in the near future.
Ever since Ronda Rousey came back to the WWE at the Royal Rumble in 2022, she’s been on a rampage. From her Royal Rumble win in St. Louis to her memorable I Quit match against Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania Backlash in Providence, there’s been no denying Rousey. However, the best thing that ever happened to her was Liv Morgan cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase, and taking the title from the former UFC Bantamweight champion.
The switch suddenly flipped Ronda to slowly turn heel in her feud against Morgan. The feud culminated at Extreme Rules in Philadelphia when Rousey made Morgan pass out to her submission hold, thus winning the SmackDown Women’s title for a second time. It’s very clear now that the Riverside, California native doesn’t care what the fans think about her, as she is finally completing the transition to being a full-fledged heel on the SmackDown brand.
Who will target Ronda Rousey next? She’s beaten most of the WWE roster, and at this point, I don’t think the fans want to see another Rousey and Morgan match for a long time. I also think that she needs a new fresh opponent that we’ve never seen against her before. Ironically, I think it should be against a woman that she knows more about than anyone in the women’s locker room. That opponent should be Shayna Baszler.
Want your voice heard? Join the Daily DDT team!
Rousey and Baszler haven’t had many moments together at all in WWE besides a small face-to-face in this year’s Royal Rumble match, and sharing a few tag team matches at house show events. These two were best friends and training partners back in their Mixed Martial Arts days, and they still remain very close today. Both fought in the UFC, and obviously, Rousey has more accolades, fame, and shine. Yet, that never got away from their friendship, as Baszler showed support throughout Ronda’s run in the UFC.
The two were in the crowd together at Wrestlemania 31 as The Rock hand-picked Rousey from the first row to have one of the most memorable Wrestlemania moments against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. From that point on, it seemed like the plans were in motion to get Rousey in the squared circle at a Wrestlemania some point down the road. For Baszler, it took a little longer than expected.
Baszler was an absolute wrecking machine when she was first introduced in NXT. She became NXT Champion twice, and in her second reign, she held the title for over one year. And when she was booked to lose on very few occasions, she still felt strong in the end. She was booked as a pure Goliath in NXT when Triple H was Head of Creative at Full Sail.
Since her call up to the main roster, it’s been very lackluster booking for the former mixed martial artist. I’m not sure why Vince McMahon cooled her jets, because I see a perfect heel who just likes to beat people up and make them suffer. With Triple H taking over the main roster as Head of Creative, one of his first priorities is to build Baszler back up to monster status.
The million-dollar question is, how do you get there from here? Well, it’ll be insanely difficult, but the WWE must play their cards right. Having Ronda cut promos on the fans is the way to go for now. While in the meantime, you start building up Baszler by having her get on that mean streak with a series of wins against the SmackDown roster in a tournament to see who faces the champion at Survivor Series in Boston.
The trick is getting the crowd to cheer for Baszler. Sometimes the crowd loves cheering for a dominant babyface, especially when the heel starts disrespecting the fans. This feud will not work if both Rousey and Baszler are playing heel characters who are best friends in real life. There’s so much more juice to the story if you can get the crowd to show sympathy for Shayna by the end of this feud.
Getting these two women to have an epic clash would be an incredible booking. It’s been impressive how long they’ve steered clear of each other. The teases have already been placed on an episode of SmackDown with Rousey and Baszler talking backstage about perhaps being a team on an episode of SmackDown.
Lots will still need to happen for Shayna and Rousey to get in the ring together. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a slow build to an eventual match at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio. Only time will tell because there’s a pretty sizeable gap between Survivor Series in late November, and the Royal Rumble in late January.
What do you think Triple H has in mind when it comes to these superstars? Let me know how you think these two former MMA stars should be booked going forward!