Sport News

Supplied by

WWE Analysis: Five potential opponents for Ronda Rousey

7:35 am, 22nd August 2018

The ‘baddest woman on the planet’ confirmed on Raw the following evening that she will be “a fighting champion” and intends to compete in the ring every night.

With that in mind, we’ve picked out five candidates to challenge Rousey for her Raw women’s championship in the coming months.

Alexa Bliss

Bliss will have a rematch as part of standard WWE procedure and a solid argument can be made for her program with Rousey continuing.

The two had decent chemistry in the build-up to their SummerSlam match – largely in part to Bliss’ ability to generate heat through her promo ability.

But after the bell rang it was a complete mismatch and the multi-brand champion was deposed in short order. She may need to be rebuilt before another long-term shot at the gold.

Nia Jax

Jax is the polar opposite of Bliss in the sense that she has the size and the power to make it believable that she could beat Rousey.

In their match at Money In The Bank, Jax got in plenty of offense and the contest was largely even until Bliss’ briefcase-shaped interruption.

They definitely have unfinished business and that could be the key factor in a storyline reigniting their rivalry.

Natalya

It showed enormous courage and determination for Natalya to appear at Rousey’s side at SummerSlam, wearing the jacket her very recently-deceased father had sported at the 1990 edition of the event.

Natalya would be a great opponent for her friend and training partner. She is a great in-ring technician in her own right but her closeness to Rousey in the Performance Center should lead to some excellent matches.

But it would be impossible to turn her heel at this point. She is well loved by the fans and admired and respected by her colleagues. This is a program which might have to wait.

Shayna Baszler

Rousey and Baszler are long-time friends and colleagues in the MMA version of the Four Horsewomen which also comprises Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, both of whom are training with WWE.

But a storyline feud between the two is a straightforward one to write; Rousey was Baszler’s coach on The Ultimate Fighter in 2010 despite having seven years’ more experience in the sport than her. It could easily be portrayed that she is not happy to have been in Rousey’s shadow for so long.

Baszler dropped the NXT title to Kairi Sane at the TakeOver before SummerSlam and is therefore free to move up to Raw. But it would be a major acceleration of her push to face the company’s biggest female star, even if she has shown she is a highly capable operator.

Charlotte Flair

Rousey and Flair are on collision course as the two leading lights of WWE’s women’s division and as the figureheads – and now champions – of Raw and SmackDown.

There really is no rush with this one. The seeds can potentially be sown soon at Survivor Series in November, when the red and blue champions traditionally go head to head.

But the match itself has to be saved for WrestleMania. It would have to involve one of the participants losing their title and then winning the Royal Rumble to earn the chance to win it back as part of a redemption arc. Either would be a good fit for that.

With the correct build-up, Ronda Rousey v Charlotte Flair could easily be the first women’s match to be the WrestleMania main event.