Rowdy Ronda Rousey: The Star of Wrestlemania 34

If you told me a year ago that Ronda Rousey would have a better Wrestlemania match than AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, I’d call the nearest mental institution. Well, you’d better call one for me, because I’m the one making that call.

Wrestlemania 34 was one of the weirdest Wrestlemania in years. Asuka’s streak is over, KO and Sami are unemployed, and Braun Strowman won the tag team championships with a 10-year-old kid he picked out of the audience. Perhaps even more unexpected, Ronda is being universally praised as the star of the show.

Having her first match on the grandest stage of them all was ambitious, to say the least. If she were to fail, it would be in front of her largest audience.

“I’m trying my best to deserve it. That’s, like, the biggest stadium I’ve ever performed in front of. It’s, like, the size of four fights.”

I’ll be the first to admit, I had absolutely no expectations for the mixed tag match of Ronda teaming up with Kurt Angle, against authoritative figures Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. I thought Ronda would look awkward in the ring, Angle would show ring rust, Stephanie isn’t a true wrestler, and Papa H can’t possibly do EVERYTHING.

I couldn’t be happier to have been proven wrong.

The former UFC star proved to be more than capable to hold her own in the squared circle. She moved incredibly swift and smooth, NAILING the execution of every move, and running the ropes better than any woman wrestler I’ve ever seen. There was even a spot where she rolled over a downed Triple H and hoisted him up over her shoulders with relative ease.

What was even more impressive, was how she looked battling the McMahon princess. Someone who’s NOT a consistent wrestler, and has only had 2 matches as one in the last 15 years. Stephanie deserves credit too, as she surprisingly kept up with Ronda.

This was the match of the night. It was classic good versus evil. Not a single person was on their ass in that arena. And it had enough time to let each moment breathe and make the climaxes more satisfying. When Ronda was finally tagged in after Stephanie got some cheap shots in from behind, the crowd exploded with excitement. When Triple H teased giving Ronda a pedigree, only to have her reverse it, the crowd went nuts again. This was so good, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ronda going to war with her bosses again as Stone Cold did in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. My favorite part of this match was when a cocky Triple H was met with successive punches from Ronda.

Another aspect of this match that I loved was how it portrayed intergender competition. Many of the women in the WWE locker room have said that they hope they can go one on one with the men someday, and this could be the start of that. It’s never been done more correctly in the WWE than it was here, and it makes me hopeful that it can become a regular occurrence in due time.

I don’t know if it was purposefully done this way or not, but pairing Ronda with Kurt makes a ton of sense now. They both were established athletes from outside sports and were proven to be natural wrestlers from the start. This was only her first match and she’s already stealing the show. Who knows where she’ll be in merely a year’s time?

“I thought I would never say this, but I’m so happy I lost those [final UFC] fights because it led me here.”

There’s talk that Ronda will be main eventing next year’s Wrestlemania along with Charlotte Flair. Good. She deserves it. Ronda is a goddamned prodigy. She belongs in that ring, and she belongs in the WWE. I’m so proud of her for following her dreams and silencing the naysayers. She’s the first true female main event in the business and will lead the way for the all of women’s wrestling going forward.

Images provided by http://www.WWE.com

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