Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle will defeat Stephanie McMahon and Triple H at Wrestlemania 34 by submission. The match will finish with a memorable visible: Kurt Angle will lock Triple H into an Ankle Lock, Rousey will lock McMahon into an armbar, and each victims will scream and faucet within the middle of the ring on the identical time. The photograph and video footage of this submission will likely be blasted to each main information outlet on this planet because the signature “Wrestlemania second” of the night.
WWE has run this story playbook a number of occasions over the previous 20 years. It’s the story of the disgruntled worker vs. the sociopathic boss, epitomized within the late ’90s when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin started feuding with the evil Mr. McMahon. And since then, the McMahon family–Vince, Stephanie, Shane, Linda, and now Triple H–have excelled at taking part in villainous authority figures, who use their cash, affect, and corruption to maintain the great guys down. Remember Stephanie vs. Brie Bella, Vince vs. The Rock, or the McMahon household vs. Daniel Bryan? The opponents change, however the fundamental storyline stays the identical.
The key a part of this basic storyline is its end. The WWE fictional universe is, with uncommon exceptions, a simply universe. When all is claimed and completed, the villain will get his comeuppance–usually on an enormous stage to maximise its impression.
This narrative of this match is constructed on a kernel of reality, as all nice WWE matches are. At Elimination Chamber, Rousey got here out to the ring to signal her WWE Raw contract. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had been all smiles at their newest acquisition. And that is when Kurt Angle needed to spoil every little thing.
The Olympic gold medalist let all of it spill out within the ring. He mentioned that Triple H needed Rousey beneath his thumb. He recalled that backstage, Stephanie McMahon dismissed Rousey as washed up, boasting that even she may take her on. WWE had anticipated the inevitable backlash in opposition to Rousey and spun it right into a storyline–a higher technique than ready for the followers to start out chanting, “Holly Holm!” And this fashion, Ronda may deal with the elephant within the room instantly; Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had been the stand-ins for each social media naysayer.
The match at Wrestlemania 34 will most likely begin off slowly; Angle and Triple H, each ring veterans, will work the vast majority of the match to create suspense and a few back-and-forth drama. Rousey will not be within the ring for very long–she’ll most likely get the recent tag on the finish to shut issues out–but at any level that she is within the ring, she’ll be a home of fireplace. WWE is doing its greatest to recapture the outdated Rousey–the pre-Holm Rousey that teamed up with The Rock at Wrestlemania 31.
That’s the Ronda Rousey that WWE needs for the foreseeable future. Because ultimately, somebody goes to interrupt Asuka’s neverending streak. And if Ember Moon would not get the distinction of doing so (she ought to have already completed it at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III, however life is not truthful), Rousey is the likeliest candidate. She’ll be the Brock Lesnar of the ladies’s division, however with extra appearances and a greater perspective.
Before she was handed back-to-back losses by Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, Ronda Rousey was the reigning “baddest girl on the planet”–the queen of one-round submissions. A bronze medalist of the Beijing Olympics, Rousey was an undefeated UFC champion within the bantamweight division. This, mixed along with her beauty, her take-no-prisoners scowl, and her signature arm bar, made her an MMA icon. Writers devoted hundreds of phrases to “what she meant” for girls in sports activities and for girls normally.
How, precisely did all of it to go to hell? The told-you-so critics would have you ever imagine she was at all times dangerous and at all times overrated, however that is a gross oversimplification. To put a barely finer level on it, she wasn’t well-rounded–she had incomparable grappling abilities on the bottom, however in a stand-up combat, buying and selling punches and kicks, she was utterly outclassed. MMA combating evolves rapidly, and in the present day, the highest fighters should be impeccable in a number of areas reasonably than prodigal in a single.
Rousey believed her personal hype. When she confronted Holm and Nunes–a boxing champion and a hard-hitting specialist–Rousey tried to beat them at their very own sport, toe-to-toe, reasonably than leaning on her Olympic-level abilities. It was pure, reckless hubris, and maybe she did not even understand how outgunned she was. Her horrible coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, did not educate her to strike correctly or transfer her head, as many observers, together with Rousey’s personal mom, famous.
Rousey admitted to suicidal ideas after her loss to Holm. And skilled wrestling is the right profession for somebody who is simply too psychologically fragile to deal with the self-doubt that comes from actual, crushing loss.
Rousey won’t ever have the dread or burden of expectation that she had within the UFC. She’ll be capable to stay the outsized fantasy that followers wish to imagine about her and that she needs to imagine about herself. And Wrestlemania 34 would be the starting of that fantasy making.