Ronda Rousey is awesome at pro wrestling
If it wasn’t clear at WrestleMania 34, it was crystal at Money in the Bank when she gave Nia Jax the best match of her life in her very first singles match: Ronda Rousey is really, really good at pro wrestling. There are too many reasons to list but she did so many things well in this match:
- She bumped like crazy and sold unbelievably well. She never stopped selling either, outside of that hulk up bit (hey, it’s wrestling, the theatrics come with the territory). I’m not sure anyone has gotten Jax over to this degree.
- Everything she did made sense. There was never a time this looked like two people who choreographed a match by laying out spots and worked together to execute those spots. This looked like a fight, where she was always trying to win. Whatever clumsiness she may suffer through actually works to her advantage because of this. It’s not supposed to be some smooth exhibition between two performers putting on a show! It’s two competitors fighting to win a prize! She makes it look exactly as it should.
- There were so many awesome little moments that showcased that, like shortly after kicking out of Samoan Drop, she was recovering and looked up to see Jax sitting with her back to her so she just threw a kick. There were SO MANY little moments like that throughout this match.
- To talk about another one, when Jax put her in a bear hug, she never stopped trying to fight out of it, working to get underhooks, trying to gain separation, doing anything other than just sit there in the hold acting like it wasn’t bothering her. This despite the worst commentator alive, Jonathan Coachman, actively trying to bury her by saying she was taking a rest (thankfully Corey Graves and Michael Cole literally wondered aloud how he’s employed because he’s so bad at this, and they were right to do so).
- Her facial expressions and body language are already pitch perfect. At one point, she was in the corner selling and looked at Jax, who was about to charge, as if she was thinking “my god.” When Jax charged in, by the way, Rousey threw her legs up to counter with a kick. Later, she made going to the top rope a legitimately big deal by showing she was tentative about it as a novice but willing to go up and do it because she had to do whatever she could to get, and keep, Jax down.
- Her offense looks this good:
Rousey has all the little things down, and is rapidly improving where she’s shown struggles (such as her promos). Folks within WWE have compared her to Kurt Angle with how fast she’s picked up on pro wrestling and while that seemed like hyperbole at the time, it sure doesn’t seem like it anymore.