Ronda Rousey got waxed by Amanda Nunes on Friday night. This opens up a lot of questions about her future, questions which even Rousey does not know the answer to at this juncture.
In the immediate term, UFC is probably out of the question for Rousey. The severity with which she’s lost her last two fights mean that she’s going to have to spend awhile to regroup.
A logical move in the next year or two is for her to do a program in WWE. Rousey appeared at WrestleMania 31 in 2015. She has long professed admiration for the professional wrestling genre, and within the last two months Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have both expressed interest in her services.
However, former WWE personality and current ESPN’er Jonathan Coachman feels the squash means this interest has expired:
Not now — not ever, he says.
It’s hard to know in this instance whether Coach is reporting something he’s been told by a WWE higher-up, expressing his own opinion, or some combination of the two.
However, I vehemently disagree with the idea that Ronda Rousey has no value to WWE. She is a massive star and a marketable draw that extends beyond the brand’s core viewership. Wrestling is scripted. Within the confines of the genre, it does matter that you are supposed to take the fighters seriously, but even in Rousey’s presently diminished stature there she is interesting.
For all of the talk about the women’s revolution in WWE, there are about five or six women at the top and there are only so many times they can wrestle each other. A program between Ronda Rousey and someone like Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, or Becky Lynch would be entertaining and have crossover appeal. (Charlotte is really where the money would be.)
Will Rousey ever be a fulltime WWE performer? Almost certainly not. But she has enough recognizance that she doesn’t need to be. Nonetheless, WWE could absolutely find use for her.
Therefore, I extend a bet to Coach: I wager $100 that Rousey will appear on WWE television between now and July 1st, 2018. Put your money where your mouth is.
UPDATE: Coach, despite saying never, wants no part of this action: