Ronda Rousey has gotten a lot of attention in the past for her criticisms of pro wrestling and its fans. Shortly after winning the WWE Women’s Tag titles with Shayna Baszler last night (May 29) on Raw, Rousey took aim at her employers — and her co-workers took some fire in the process.
The remarks Ronda made to The New York Post after she & Baszler beat Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi, Bayley & IYO SKY, and Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville for the vacant belts are in line with some criticisms she made of how WWE books their women’s storylines earlier this year. They also strike me as being partly in-character; if that’s right, it’s a smart way to leverage the heat the UFC legend’s gotten in the past for things like calling pro wrestling “fake” to start her run as a Tag titleholder.
But you be the judge. Here’s what Rousey told The Post’s Ryan Glasspiegel about how the teams she & Baszler beat weren’t on their level, and why she thinks that will continue to be a problem for their reign:
“Well, the lack of competition is really the problem. I mean, we want to be the most active champions out there. I want to be able to defend this title every week and even twice a week on both SmackDown and Raw.
“But with how dismally shallow the women’s division is right now, there’s not enough women around here to keep us busy for a month. And so that’s the biggest challenge that we have is to get this company to actually care and invest into this tag division.”
Referring to her time away from WWE, when she left after WrestleMania 35 and returned in 2021 after having a baby, Ronda said:
“It was like the entire women’s division just got stripped clean. And now we’re the women that are the women that are left trying to piece together, you know, stories and a division, a tag division with around 10 women or even less on each roster. I mean, we’re trying the best that we can to make chicken shit into chicken salad, and we made some amazing chicken salad [Monday night].”
And Rowdy isn’t worried about the tendency of pro wrestling tag teams eventually breaking up for feuds between their partners:
“No, I think that’s the one thing that really sets us apart from every single person, every single tag team in, in the history of this company is that we’ve, we came here already tested and we came here already closer than anyone’s ever been.
“We’ve literally fought together, bled together, cried together everything. And so there’s nothing that’s going to tear us apart, especially not a fantasy-land company like this.”
To whatever extent Rousey’s shooting here... she’s not entirely wrong. The women’s roster was hard hit by WWE’s pandemic era job cuts. And while top level storylines featuring the women have gotten more time and better promotion since the so-called “Women’s Evolution”, the tag scene and other secondary programs remain notoriously neglected.
Triple H has rehired talent to bolster the roster, and NXT has a lot of exciting prospects that were either recently called up or should be in the not-too-distant future. But there’s a long way to go.
Could Rousey & Baszler lead them there? Do remarks like these help or hurt that cause?
Let us know what you think, Cagesiders.