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Ronda Rousey Breaking Kayfabe is the Next Evolution of Her WWE Persona

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Before I begin, I just wanted to point out that until this week, I haven’t been a fan of Ronda Rousey -not because of her in-ring ability, but her character and her promos. In fact, she’s done a relatively decent job of moving from MMA to professional wrestling. Sure, some of her transitions are a bit off, and she’s not landing all her moves as efficiently as she could be, but she’s only being doing it for a little over a year. Ronda’s made great progress in the ring, and with more practice she’ll grow stronger with each performance.

When she arrived at the 2018 Royal Rumble, it was evident from the start she dwelled on the all too familiar tropes of professional wrestling promos. The intense looks that overstayed their welcome, continuous pointing at the Wrestlemania sign – you know the stuff. But it was her debut, so it was unfair to scrutinise her on that one moment. What followed, however, was the same generic cliches and that annoying frown that just wouldn’t go away. It’s not like she hasn’t tried her hand at ‘acting’ before joining the WWE, if you could call it that.

Shortly after arriving, she feuded with Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, and Nikki Bella, but none of which made much of an impact on her. I waited for this ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey shtick to simmer down a bit, and something bigger to happen. She definitely grew as a performer in the ring, but I desperately wanted her to stop screwing up her face and giving us the same boring promos. She wasn’t working as a face. The crowd were growing tired, and something needed to happen.

Then came Becky Lynch.

Ever since Becky Lynch began to taunt ‘Ronnie’, we were treated to some of the finest mic work Becky had to offer. The fans monumentally turned on Rousey, and that led to her loosing her composure on the mic countless times. On a recent episode of Raw, her most awkward promo made the world cringe. The fans got to her. They got under her skin, and she completely lost where she was. It was as if Vince McMahon sent Bailey out just to rid us of that horrendous moment, realising that maybe Ronda Rousey wasn’t ever going to work in the WWE.

After even more Twitter spats between Ronda and Becky (with Becky killing her every single time), and every RAW appearance becoming staler with each week that passed, we witnessed a turning point. Acknowledging that professional wrestling isn’t ‘real’and that it’s scripted is something you don’t do, but in one of Rousey’s tweets at Becky Lynch she did just that. At first, I was annoyed by it, but the more I thought about it, I liked it.

On last Monday’s RAW, Ronda snapped. She changed, and it was fresh. She destroyed Becky Lynch with a barrage of strikes, leaving her broken in the ring. Ronda finally realised that trying to be a face in the company was never going to work. The day after that attack, she released a video on her own YouTube channel ripping into professional wrestling, and more importantly us, the wrestling community – the WWE Universe. Now, if you think this is a shoot, you’re wrong. Vince McMahon is fully on board with this character development, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s behind the whole thing.

In the video, Ronda Rousey discusses her disdain with the WWE Creative Team. “It wasn’t a promo. They gave me other things to say. I didn’t f’ing say it. I’m not going out there and doing their f’ing act anymore,” Rousey continued.
“I’m going out there and doing whatever the hell I want. And they can explain it however they want, but f*ck’em. Everybody. WWE Universe included.”

Yes, Ronda!

“I meant that I’m going to disrespect the sport that they all love so much.” This is a type of heel we’ve never had before. Breaking kayfabe so publicly with such vitriol is an abhorrent thing to do, and that’s why it’s such a fantastic move. Nobody’s done it before; it’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s going to get so much heat. The entirety of social media is talking about it, with a lot of people saying she’d done with WWE. However, this is just the beginning.

Ronda Rousey decimated Becky Lynch in the ring on last Monday’s RAW, igniting a new side to Ronda Rousey’s aggression in the ring. In the same video, Rousey said, “Rebecca Quinn talked s*it about my husband, and I told her I’d beat the f*ck out of her next time I saw her. And guess what — I beat the f*ck out of her, didn’t I?” Now, if this video was real i.e. Ronda’s honest thoughts without the support of Vince and the WWE, Becky Lynch would’ve ended up in hospital. Rousey used to fight for real in the UFC, and therefore knows how to strike legitimately. Those ‘strikes’ would have killed The Man, or at least broken her ribs. It’s all part of a plan to legitimise Ronda Rousey as a heel, and it’s working.

Ronda Rousey isn’t going anywhere. If anything this video is the first of many to make Ronda Rousey the most exciting star we’ve seen in a long time. WWE wouldn’t put it on their own site because of the language, and if the rumours about FOX wanting Smackdown to be more ‘mature’ when it switches to their channel later in the year, it makes a lot of sense. Obviously I could be wrong, but I believe this is a smart move. Vince has pulled the wool over our eyes countless times, and this is just another example.

Chris White loves to write, and is a huge fan of wrestling of all kinds. He supports the Boston Celtics, listens to hip hop, and wishes Ric Flair was his granddad. He's a pretty cool guy, just ask his mum.

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