Ronda Rousey took a big loss at SummerSlam and perhaps it is time her run with WWE is truly over.
SummerSlam 2023 was a show that produced mixed results along with some of the bigger moments. One of those moments came when Shayna Baszler defeated Ronda Rousey. While the “fight” wasn’t well-received, it is perhaps the most important win in Baszler’s run with the company. Rousey has since taken to social media to proclaim that her time is done in the WWE. Hopefully, this is more true than storyline as WWE should bring the Ronda Rousey experience to an end.
Is Ronda Rousey an icon in women’s sports and entertainment? Yes. Without her, there’s a very strong chance that women’s mixed martial arts would not have bloomed to the levels of the UFC. It was her presence that enticed Dana White to bring women’s divisions into the Octagon. That star power allowed Rousey, a bona fide wrestling fan, to make the transition to the WWE. Those moments helped the women’s division here as well, but five years later, it’s time to close the book on this story.
Rousey’s presence offered an immediate boost to the women’s division. She played a major role in women moving into the main event role for WrestleMania and subsequent shows. There was an initial boost, but unfortunately, that momentum wasn’t maintained as the women’s division continues to have issues across main roster programming. That is tied directly back to WWE Creative and their lackadaisical booking of the women’s division across the board.
Unfortunately for Rousey, she never truly progressed as an individual that fans could truly get behind. The push and main event opportunities that were placed her way, many wished for individuals like Baszler to have those same chances. Rousey attempted to embrace the ire of the fanbase and become a heel character, but it was too late, the interest in her as a top personality in the women’s division was done. Hardcore wrestling fans refused to buy in, and casuals didn’t continue the investment. Listen to the reaction to her match against Baszler at SummerSlam as an overall indictment of Rousey’s latest runs in WWE. Or the reception to her victory at the Royal Rumble in 2022 as another. Fans were over the experiment.
The truly sad part is that WWE has the resources and the know-how that could have elevated Rousey into a special attraction akin to Brock Lesnar. With so many similarities within their backgrounds, it’s amazing to think that WWE refused to put a true effort into her booking and the rest of the women’s division around her by default. But again, much of the same happened with long stints of Lesnar’s time with the company as well.
As with Brock Lesnar, fans have finally moved on from the idea of Ronda Rousey as the focal point of the main event for any division. If she’s truly finished with the WWE as she stated, then it’s best to bring the test to a close as it has run its course. Could she come back as a major surprise at some point in the future? Sure, but time away is certainly needed now more than ever.