For these of us that had the preliminary burst of hope when Triple H took over artistic for WWE, the standing of the corporate after final evening’s Survivor Collection: Warfare Video games
PPV PLE was about as sobering as seeing flashing lights in your rearview at 3 a.m. The corporate has one champ that places on nice matches… six instances a yr. They’ve tag champs who haven’t any tag groups to wrestle. They took Uncooked’s prime title off of Seth Rollins, who’s magic, to place it on Austin Fucking Concept. If it weren’t for Sami Zayn and Bianca Belair, New York may at the moment be as desolate as essentially the most barren stretch below Vince McMahon.
The unquestioned nadir of final evening’s PLE, which in any other case was excellent, was Ronda Rousey doing no matter it’s she does in opposition to Shotzi in a protection of her SmackDown girls’s title. You’d assume it could have been a clue to what her coworkers and followers consider Rousey’s potential that the corporate’s biggest expertise on the ladies’s facet, and probably general, Sasha Banks, most popular to give up the corporate altogether reasonably than work with Rousey and put her over. Final evening was extra proof as to why.
It’s onerous to know what precisely Rousey is attempting to do, or what the corporate needs out of her apart from getting to make use of her title recognition (and that’s it solely). Rousey has principally sleep-walked by way of each match since she reappeared on the Royal Rumble final January, and but retains being pushed on the prime of the roster. Nearly definitely simply to money in on the truth that individuals have heard the title.
The issue lies in that Ronda can’t… actually… do… something. She ought to in all probability simply be having a string of squash matches to determine her as an unbeatable drive. However her moveset isn’t various or imposing sufficient to make that work. Yet one more judo throw isn’t actually doing it for anybody. And if you happen to’re going to squash everybody in three minutes, you’d higher have one thing else going for you. You’d higher exude charisma like, say, Jade Cargill. Ronda exudes all of the charisma of a saltine (even when we pass over being an totally wretched human being). Which might be why she’s been paired with Shayna Baszler, who’s higher than her in each class, to provide her any sizzle in any respect. And whereas there’s at all times tough water to be present in evaluating WWE to AEW wrestlers or vice versa, at the very least when Jade hits a pump kick or her ending transfer, it seems actually devastating. Rousey at all times seems like she’s finishing the steps. And no, completely different types of Black Swan make-up isn’t sufficient.
However what different story are you able to inform with Ronda? If she’s not in a position to promote convincingly and never keen to take any medium-to-high spot from an opponent, there’s nowhere to go. Shotzi will not be a top-level ring basic however she’s an excellent wrestler who has labored her manner up from the indies and is aware of the best way to placed on a pair completely different model matches. And final evening’s match was an entire mess, largely as a result of this was the extent of curiosity Rousey had in making Shotzi look good:
This was hardly the one dangerous second, however it was the clear winner within the class. They clearly needed to inform a narrative of Shtozi having to throw every part potential at Ronda in a rush, given Rousey’s rep. Shotzi couldn’t slowly put something collectively and go away a gap. However that doesn’t translate when Rousey is barely half-selling a throw into the ring-steps or avoiding taking any kind of bump and is barely centered on trash speaking to the reside crowd who had largely left their seats to get a beer. Rousey’s meandering by way of any a part of the match that concerned Shotzi’s offense doesn’t make her look good, it definitely doesn’t make Shotzi look good, and what does anybody get out of this?
So if she doesn’t have the persona to only be a squash machine, nor the talent or inclination to truly craft a match that tells a special story, what’s it she would say she does right here?
Rousey will nonetheless get a giant time match at Mania, and possibly on the Rumble too. And it’ll be Charlotte or Becky Lynch, or possibly even a returning Banks. All three of these girls are gifted sufficient to tug Rousey into an excellent and watchable match, which is the one manner she’ll get there. They usually could be the solely three who can. Belair nonetheless may be a little bit on the inexperienced facet to should name and drag a less-talented opponent to greatness, although it gained’t be that manner for lengthy.
Sure, Rousey isn’t for wrestling followers. She isn’t for many of these within the area. She’s for individuals watching at residence who bear in mind her MMA profession however neglect it went to shit simply as quickly because it obtained difficult for her, very like her WWE profession. That may at all times be part of WWE’s calculations, regardless of how infuriating it may be.
However the least they may do is ask Rousey to truly strive. She could possibly be serving to different girls on the roster to look higher. Shotzi might have come out of a match final evening trying like a menace sooner or later (she’s definitely obtained the persona). They needed to reinvent Liv Morgan after her feud with Rousey to undo the injury completed by being put subsequent to her, and Morgan had about as a lot momentum heading into the feud as potential. Nobody seems higher after working with Rousey, and neither does Rousey.
As said earlier, the remainder of the present was good to excellent. The 2 Warfare Video games matches had been most definitely the latter, with the boys’s match getting used to vault the corporate’s hottest story — Sami Zayn and his relationship with the Bloodline — to a brand new degree. In the event that they weren’t so fixated on getting The Rock again into the ring for Mania, a Sami flip and Zayn-Roman major occasion in LA is completely worthy of the stage now. The ladies’s Warfare Video games wasn’t as heavy on long-term storytelling, however an amazing platform for Lynch’s return whereas giving all 10 girls an opportunity to shine at numerous factors (and let’s get to Iyo-Asuka already). Although Rollins dropped the US Title to Concept, making one marvel what precisely they’re going to do with Seth now, as there’s no increased title for him to chase with Roman’s highway so clearly set for the following six months, he orchestrated a wonderful triple menace together with Bobby Lashley.
And naturally there was the most recent chapter within the very giant guide, “Wait, has there ever really been a very good Finn Balor match?”
It’s simply disheartening that on the identical present you’ll be able to have an instance of how actually placing time into gifted guys who genuinely care like Zayn, hardly an artist’s rendering of the corporate’s greatest star, can produce among the finest storytelling the corporate’s seen in years. And likewise somebody placing in no effort like Rousey, getting by on individuals pointing at a TV display screen, to provide a dry heave just because.