If you’ve been watching Raw recently then you will have noticed that the small contingent of fans that have been booing Ronda Rousey has grown exponentially. Okay, this is partly because she is feuding with the massively popular Becky Lynch but is there more to it than that?
Let’s be honest she is not the first good guy to get jeers instead of cheers. John Cena made his entire career out of it. It always seemed that Cena’s ego was such that he really didn’t much care about the criticism and just carried on doing what he does.
Ronda, on the other hand, does not seem to be cut from the same cloth. When she is jeered by the crowd you can sense her pain. Ronda is a deeply emotional woman. The evidence in that can be seen in how she handled her losses in MMA. She needs to be loved and the fact that she isn’t getting that love is having an effect. She may be many things, but an actor isn’t one of them.
But why the hate?
There are probably several factors as to why this has happened to Ronda. When she first joined the WWE she was wildly popular. From the companies perspective, I expect they saw her as a female equivalent to Brock Lesnar. In many ways, Ronda has delivered. From her first match, she has looked like she “belongs”. From the off her matches were brilliant and she has no right to be as good in the ring as she is after so little time.
So why isn’t she the most popular woman on the roster? Is it because like Cena, she is being pushed too far too fast? We have seen this happen with Roman Reigns as well. It’s funny in a way there is a sliding scale with those three, divisive wrestlers. At one end you have Cena who is hugely entertaining but not the greatest of wrestlers. At the other end, you have Rousey, massively talented and with the skill to improve but her promo work is painful and in the middle, you have Roman who is kind of decent at wrestling and okay on the mic.
Drop the mic
Speaking of the microphone this is an area where Ronda does not excel. It Is painful to watch sometimes as she clams up and responds far too much to audience reactions. There is a simple solution to this – put her with a manager.
The comparisons with Brock Lesnar are pretty obvious ones to make. Brock couldn’t cut a decent promo to save his life. Look how Brock has continued to flourish with the brilliant Heyman by his side. All he has to do is stand there and look menacing and he does that brilliantly. The only problem with that is traditionally only heels have a manager. There is a feeling that Ronda isn’t thick-skinned enough to put up with the boos, even if she was meant to be getting them.
It’s hard to see how this will play out. Unless Ronda’s skills on the mic improve massively or they turn her heel both of which seem unlikely she is probably going to receive a poor reaction from the WWE Universe. Of course, having her feud against the most popular competitor in her division (and arguably in the whole company) Isn’t doing her any favours in the short term. It’s a sad situation because in Ronda they have a star in the making. She could legitimately be the best women’s wrestler the company has ever seen. I just hope she sticks around long enough to get there.