Editorial Columns

Ronda Rousey is Not a Heel

James Hayes takes an interesting take on recent events, and talks about how Ronda Rousey is not heel in WWE.

We have seen WWE try to force wrestlers into roles that simply don’t fit before. For example, watching Randy Orton as a babyface is painful. 

I also think it’s going to be hard to buy Ronda as a heel. She is just too sweet-natured, too classy, too humble, and too shy.

On Raw, at the March 4th  event a little after 11 on Monday Night Raw Ronda Rousey began a heel turn that is destined to fail.

As if that wasn’t enough she double downed with this. 

Some people wonder why Ronda was facing such a backlash after the Holly Holm fight. Isn’t it pretty simple? Dana White decided to book her as a heel.

Ronda never wanted to insult Holly Holm. These two are old friends. They met at a boxing school.

I thought Vince was smarter than Dana White because he understood that he had just purchased America’s Sweetheart, and he booked her as the babyface, she always has been. I suspect it was that egomaniac known as Becky Lynch. She used her well known political connections to force Vince to turn Ronda, so she looks like an even bigger babyface.

My friend Bob disagrees and says, “What you saw was the birth of wrestling’s best heel. I know you are thinking that title should go to her idol, Roddy Piper, or Ric Flair. What about Jake “The Snake” or Chris Jericho? With those guys, there was always a knowledge that they were just playing. None of them have the kind of off-screen rascality that Ronda has.”

For the last year, Bob has been saying Ronnie Rousey is a heel. He says, “This whole awe-shucks act was just that. She doesn’t care about the fans. She is only doing this because her abysmal acting and shattered tough girl persona turned her into box office poison. And we all know she can’t beat any of the top women in UFC anymore. The sport has passed her by. And Dana doesn’t want to see his crush get crushed. So, what other options does someone with her character traits have?”

Bob is wrong. He doesn’t know Ronda as I do. Did you guys know Ronda started a fund to save the world’s most endangered animal, The Chinese Pangolin Anteater? 

No, because Ronda doesn’t like to talk about her charity work.

Bob laughs and tells me she is arrogant.

No, that is confidence. For her to become the global force she has become it takes confidence. 

Bob argues that her confidence has turned into arrogance. He reminds me that Ronda actually said she is doing a favor the other women in the Bantamweight division because if they were in her shoes they could never take the pressure she does.  He says, “A villain that actually thinks she is doing everyone a favor is a great one, indeed. It’s kind of like the villain in Schindler’s List. Amon Goeth played by Ralph Fiennes, thought that mercy killing his Jewish Maid would be a kind reward for all of her hard work. Because she could never survive without him.”

I told Bob to keep Liam Neeson out of this!

He laughed and called me a word that starts with a B. Then continued his character assignation of Ronda. “That is some heavy duty arrogance. But not surprising considering she also believed she would retire undefeated. If that’s not an arrogant statement I don’t know what is.  You never heard MMA good guys like George Saint Pierre make comments like this. Arrogance is needed to be successful in life and especially in athletics. But when you say you can beat even the male fighters, that’s slipping into ego trippin.”

Maybe Bob can’t accept the fact that women can indeed beat men at many things. Including fighting. In fact, I saw Bob get hit by an old lady, and he never even fought back. 

Bob ignores this fact when I bring it up and instead says, “Perhaps Ronda assumed she could beat the men, the same way she boasted about physically attacking her ex-boyfriend. It’s a bit hypocritical considering her criticism of Floyd Mayweather and his history of hitting women. And since we are at it let’s discuss her husband, UFC punching bag Travis Browne. There were some domestic abuse accusations directed at him also.”

Okay, so her boyfriend was cheating on her and got what he deserved. As for her Floyd comments? Her and Floyd were setting up a match for Wrestlemania 31, which never worked out. Floyd got busy building a missionary in Central Africa.  Her criticism was a work!

And for the record Travis Browne never hurt anyone. (Especially in the UFC)

I add the one thing I have always respected about Ronda is her sportsmanship. 

Oh, wait.

There were all those times that she refused to touch gloves. This is a customary way to show respect for an opponent. Even Lady Gaga, who is an arch villainess that lives in Gotham City, called her out for not touching gloves. Mix Martial Arts were always based on combatants fighting with a level of mutual respect. 

Bob quickly adds, “She created beef with Miesha Tate for no real reason. And if I remember correctly she injured an opponent, then bragged the opponent  will have to learn to “wipe her a** with the other hand.”‘ 

Okay, Bob, I’ll give you that one.

Next Bob tells me  Ronda has a fragile ego, and the fans were always eventually going to turn on her.  I disagree vehemently.

Bob laughs and says, “I guess you never heard the story about Ronda lashing out an another MMA fighter, Paige Van Zant for simply congratulating Holly Holms. She called Paige, and I quote a “Featherweight b***h!”‘

Okay, Van Zant was asking for that when she refused to break eye contact with Ronda first. Everyone has heard the stories from The Expendables 3, about when Stallone pulled this stunt. He is still recovering. What did Paige expect?

Bob concedes that PVZ should’ve known better. Finally, we can agree on something.

Just when I think we can end this debate on a friendly note he says, “WWE is playing with fire when it comes to Becky Lynch. Ronda can talk trash and we’ve seen her rip The Kardashians, Miesha Tate, and Holly Holm, pretty much every opponent but Amanda Nunes. Because Ronda knows as well as everyone else The Lioness is not to be fooled with. And neither is Becky Lynch. Not on the mic. She can’t compete with the quick-witted Irishwoman.  The frustration boiled over on Twitter last week. Ronda does resent Becky’s success, the same way she resented Holly Holm’s success. That’s why she lashed out.”

For the last time, Dana White booked Ronda to say all of that stuff.  As far as Becky is concerned, it was her that threatened to quit if Ronda didn’t turn heel. Ronda tried to teach Becky how to properly apply an armbar, but Lynch got insulted and ran to Vince. This is a well-known fact.

And I’m going to bring this up before anyone else can. There were several interviews she did for WWE where she seemed to get upset at the questions.  You can see that below. 

Here is the backstory: Ronda was told she would have the day off, and like always on a day off, she decided to go feed orphaned kittens at a nearby animal shelter. She was stripped away from the crying mini felines, to do an unplanned media day. Yes, she got a little frustrated.  For the record, she sent all those journalists a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild from her vineyard in Tuscany. All was forgiven.

I will concede Ronda is not perfect, but at least she is not some materialistic debutant that is obsessed with looking good. Wait a minute.  It pains me to say this, but I do remember when she pulled a Michael Jackson and covered her face as she walked through the airport after the Holm fight.

Bob pounces, “This was a defining moment for her. The second she decided she was ashamed of her face after a fight she was no longer a real fighter. True fighters wear their scars as a badge of honour. “

That’s fair. Call her vain, but do not call her unstable. 

Sure, after she lost she admitted that she went to hide in the woods with her man, using only leaves to wipe her a**. But haven’t we all done that at least once?

I will admit Ronda does not do well when it comes to disrespect. She loved the WWE Universe when they cheered her but when she got booed at the Survivor Series it all turns on itself. She was clearly embarrassed and did not know what to do. That’s not ego. That’s awkwardness.

Bob says something about how she viewed the media and fans as tools to help her become legendary, until betraying her after she lost to Holms. Then she punished the media by not granting them the gift of interviewing her. 

But I feel like she ducked those interviews because she was afraid of answering questions. That kind of makes her sound like a coward. Which she is not. Although Ronda did duck Cris Cyborg for years. But… but… Cyborg was on the juice for a long time. Would you want to fight a tainted fighter? Huh?

Bob does not answer, instead, he says, “Ronda brought eyes to the WWE. But what if she is really only doing this for the money? What if her shoot interview really was a shoot? What we end up with is a spoiled, disrespectful, multi-millionaire, already famous heel, who can legit say and do what she wants. That’s a Hell of a character but it’s also the real person.”

I tell Bob he doesn’t know her. He says, “You don’t know her either. You are delusional.”

He then tells me that when Ronda posted this she was speaking directly to me.

My “friend” and I are about to come to blows over Ronda Jean.

Bob promises to shut up after he makes this prediction.

“I see Ronda leaving WWE, then going on some podcast and trashing the company. She’ll call them fools for paying millions of dollars to fake fight. A perfect way to keep herself elevated after lowering herself to become a pro-wrestler.  She’ll go on about how jealous Sasha Banks and Charlotte really were. She’ll tell us she came this close to legit beating the s**t out of Lynch. And she’ll never apologize for any of it. And then guess what will happen.”

“Vince will welcome her back for her big Wrestlemania rematch with Becky. She will have kayfabe exposed and buried the industry then done it again it, for real this time. And then make millions to start the process all over again. At that point, she finally becomes the greatest (legit) heel in pro wrestling.”

Based on what’s written above could you ever see Ronda doing what Bob predicted? Me neither. She’s too classy.

Ronda is just not a heel.

“I think she’ll just go back to teaching ballet.”

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