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  1. #1

    Hardtime: Ronda Rousey Needs To Show More Respect To Pro Wrestling

    Hardtime: Ronda Rousey Needs To Show More Respect To Pro Wrestling

    “Wrestling is scripted. It’s made up. It’s not real. None of those bitches can fucking touch me. The end.”

    The above quote is an excerpt from an out of character rant that Rousey posted on the internet back in March of 2019, talking about a promo she did on Raw where she didn’t follow the script WWE had given her. She was currently a part of the storyline that would main event the upcoming WrestleMania 35. Not too long after WrestleMania that year, she appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She had her finger in a splint, an injury she got from her match. When Stephen asked her during the interview about her hand, she replied “I need to get better at faking it.”

    The quotes from Ronda that I have presented show a clear lack of respect for professional wrestling. She may have been a long time WWE fan before she became a wrestler, but by using the word “fake” to describe WWE programming, we can see she views WWE as something that is beneath her. A lot of people in society who don’t know much about wrestling also look down on WWE because it’s scripted, and sadly most of those people are never going to change their opinions. But when a major WWE superstar has the same mindset, they are going to be a public relations nightmare whenever they make out of character appearances. If an actual professional wrestler doesn’t respect pro wrestling, it will only reinforce the opinions of the closeminded public who don’t take wrestling seriously.

    I can understand why Ronda in particular has that mindset, despite being a part of WWE. She was so dominant in UFC, a real combat sport, and still thinks of herself as a great MMA fighter. She only joined WWE because her UFC career went south, getting knocked out in her last two fights. In her mind she directly compares WWE to UFC on a competitive level, without placing an importance on the artform of pro wrestling. Kurt Angle had the same mindset before he became a pro wrestler. Being an Olympic Gold Medalist in freestyle wrestling, he looked down on WWE because it wasn’t real and his wrestling was. Then while he was watching Raw one night, he realized that WWE superstars were great performers who made great entertainment, and completely changed how he viewed the industry. Hopefully Ronda will come around some day the way Kurt did.

    Many wrestlers have said over the years that fake is not the right word to describe professional wrestling. I was at an independent wrestling show in 2005 and George “The Animal” Steele was there signing autographs. I heard him tell the person in front of me in line about the lasting injuries he got from wrestling and how his body felt the effects of it to that very day. He then said “Just because its predetermined doesn’t mean it’s fake.” When Ronda uses the word “fake” to describe wrestling and emphasizes the point that wrestling is not a true competitive contest, then she is demeaning what every pro wrestler works so hard for, and she is also minimizing her own contributions to the WWE product. It disrespects most WWE superstars who wake up sore every day and every retired wrestler who can’t live a comfortable life because pro wrestling took a lasting toll on their bodies.

    Regarding the part about Ronda saying “None of those bitches can fucking touch me.”, that is something you should never say about someone you are currently working a program with. It can be interpreted as her just being arrogant and in character, but we all know what she means. Because she is a former UFC Champion, she believes she could easily beat up any woman in WWE in a real fight, and if WWE were real her matches wouldn’t be nearly as competitive as they have been. I would like to point out that while Ronda could easily defeat all the women in WWE in real fights, she is far from the first wrestler in WWE history who had to have competitive matches with someone they could manhandle. The 450 lb. Vader had to put the 230 lb. Shawn Michaels over. Steve Blackman practiced martial arts his whole life and had to lose most of his matches. The Road Warriors had to lose to physically inferior tag teams. The Steiner Brothers, who were accomplished college wrestlers, also had to put over inferior tag teams. And while I respect Ronda for not physically bullying other women backstage like the Steiners did with the male wrestlers of their era, Ronda going 50/50 with Charlotte was not too much to ask of her. Plenty of legitimately tough wrestlers have had to lose to guys they could dominate in real life.

    The quote at the beginning of the column was said by Ronda during the Road To WrestleMania, as they were in the process of building up her main event match. Emphasizing that the show is scripted downplays everything that happens on the show, especially her own storyline. If she shines a light on WWE being staged, then she’s basically saying no one should care if she wins, loses, gives a promo, gets into a backstage brawl, or does anything at all on Raw. If she makes it seem like nothing on the show matters, then it shouldn’t matter to the fans who watch. Why should they pay to see her? Why is she wasting her time with WWE in the first place?

    I’ll give credit where credit is due, she has put a lot of work into her WWE career. Her promos and acting are far from perfect, but she’s a respectable worker, in my opinion, and it seems like she really does put a lot of effort into her segments and isn’t just phoning it in. She injured her hand during her WrestleMania main event match and still finished the match, so she shares the mentality of most pro wrestlers that “the show must go on”. In that regard she is showing respect to professional wrestling.

    But she needs to go further than that and respect WWE with her words when she is speaking out of character. It only makes sense for her to appreciate wrestling verbally after she obviously puts so much physical work into it. But instead she insults her coworkers by pointing out how they could never beat her in a real fight and emphasizes how “its all made up.” She may be able to destroy Charlotte and Becky in a real fight, but all the women and all the men of WWE, Ronda included, make great sacrifices in order to put on the show. For her own sake and for the sake of everyone in the locker rooms, she should stop minimizing WWE programming just because she dominated in the world of UFC. Whenever Ronda comes back to WWE I think she should still get a strong push, because she is a proven draw, but Vince should reprimand her in some way if she demeans wrestling in media appearances. Vince can’t have his wrestlers talking about the product like that.

    Ronda Rousey is the most believable women’s wrestler in WWE but is disrespecting the company with her closeminded comments. With the position she has been given in WWE, making negative comments like she does is only going to reinforce people’s negative opinions of the product and it also disrespects her coworkers who make such huge physical sacrifices to make the show happen. She demeans her own sacrifices in the process. Her attitude of thinking WWE is beneath her may not change in the near future, but like Kurt Angle, I sincerely hope she changes her mind.
    Last edited by RIPbossman; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    I think the word predetermined is the perfect way to describe wrestling. It's not fake in my book. Yes, its like they're stuntmen. However, their athleticism is real. The pain they experience is real. And just like boxers, the after effects from years of abuse is very real.

    You're right in saying Rousey has no respect for the business. Perhaps if she was in the business for years, and actually experience the toll this business takes on your body she would have much more respect to the world of wrestling.

  3. #3
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    I think this goes for all wrestlers these days. With all the access they provide to themselves over social media, they're all guilty of over exposing the business.

  4. #4
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    A few thoughts here...

    I'm not a fan of Ronda's comments, particularly putting down her opponents for their "real" combat skills. It's stupid and I don't think it accomplishes anything. But the sad fact is, wrestling itself was the first to introduce this kind of "shoot" promo in order to drum up interest for a match. Be it Heyman or Russo, the idea of tearing down the curtain originated within wrestling itself. I would honestly not be remotely surprised if Vince or others in WWE suggested to Ronda that she start "shooting" to create buzz for the match. I don't like it one bit as far as it goes, but I don't think the issue is limited to Ronda, though I admit she's a rather extreme example with these comments.

    Another way to look at it, particularly with the Colbert appearance, is that other performers and actors don't have to play this game in wrestling, so I think there is a way to break away from the character in these appearances. I do agree there's a much better way to put it though, since "fake" is a typical trigger for wrestling fans due to years of ridicule. Though, to take *another* look at it, WWE has created it's own problems in this area at times for failing to decide if they want to fool fans or try to be open about wrestling works, and how to execute that (see other "shoot" promos over the years, for example).

    Ultimately like I said, I don't like Ronda's comments mentioned here, but I find it hard to believe someone who worked so hard in her year in WWE (and from the matches I've seen, she actually did a great job) doesn't have respect for wrestling, doubly so considering her real life friendship with Roddy Piper prior to his passing.

    An interesting look at this Rip, and perhaps timely as rumors swirl about Ronda returning in the near future!

  5. #5
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    ^ I've always suspected it was WWE-led, too. Almost like they want to sell the idea that Ronda might be unpredictable enough to shoot, and that you've gotta watch in case she does. Crazy as it sounds, the thought has crossed my mind that they might try it as a promotional tactic.

    Broadly, I think I'd echo Dynamite. I'd like see more respect for wrestling from the people in it, for whom it's been their only career and livelihood, before I worry about extending that to Rousey. If everyone is doing it, I'm not sure you can hold it against her for what basically then becomes telling the truth.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #6
    I'll do proper feedback later, but I want to address something.

    I wasn't criticizing Ronda for simply exposing the business. Most wrestlers do that in out of character interviews. I'm criticizing Ronda for making a point to emphasize the fact that wrestling is predetermined in a manner that degrades it. She specifically said "It's all made up." and "I need to get better at faking it". There's a difference between just discussing what goes on behind the scenes and demeaning the business because it's staged.

  7. #7
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    At the very least, the choice of language is poor!

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