Should Tony Khan Go After Ronda Rousey?

11/18/2023 5:15 AM

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Should Tony Khan Go After Ronda Rousey?

Should Tony Khan Go After Ronda Rousey?

November 18, 2023 5:15 AM
Should Tony Khan Go After Ronda Rousey?
AEW News

Should Tony Khan snatch up the former WWE and UFC star?

Ronda Rousey is officially gone from WWE. After being with the company for six years, the former WWE RAW Women’s Champion quietly exited the company following her loss to Shayna Baszler at Summerslam. However, the wrestling bug isn’t gone from the former WWE and UFC star. 

Ronda announced her departure from WWE by popping up at a live event and teaming up with her friend Marina Shafir in an impromptu match against Taya Valkyrie & Brian Kendrick. The 36-year-old also wrestled at the Revolver show on November 16th. There was even an after-match angle that seemed to suggest more was to come between Athena and Ronda Rousey.

There’s no telling what the future holds for Ronda. There are also whispers that she could be making a return in time for UFC 300, but Dana White shut down the rumor pretty quickly. Ronda has yet to shut down the notion that she’ll never compete inside of the squared circle again. 

The former WWE and UFC star was a huge reason that a revolution began for women in WWE. Rousey was a massive draw and a huge reason women of today get such great opportunities in sports. With all of that in mind, would it be wise for Tony Khan to break out the paycheck and sign the former WWE and UFC Champion?

Ronda’s Second Stint In WWE Was A Bust

Ronda Rousey’s first stint was magic. Her match with Kurt Angle against Triple H & Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34 was the perfect combination of timing and execution. Ronda was still a massive star at this time despite being gone from the UFC. Plus, there was genuine excitement and curiosity over her wrestling for the company. She had one of the best debuts in the company’s history. But her entire first stint was filled with great matches and memorable moments.

It was by no means perfect, but Ronda brought a spark and breath of fresh air that was much needed to the division. However, her second stint was not good. Coming back, there was still a bit of excitement for Rousey’s return, but you can instantly tell that the fans booing her got to her mentally. That came across in her performances early on. Furthermore, WWE made the misguided decision for Ronda to challenge Charlotte Flair for the title at WrestleMania, even though Becky Lynch was the champion at the time too.

That feud killed any momentum she had coming back. The story was bland and forgettable, and Flair’s character was as cold as ice. Even after winning the Smackdown’s Women’s title at Backlash, Ronda was fighting an uphill battle since the division was extremely thin during this time. Her run was plagued with lackluster matches and forgettable feuds. Even her heel turn at Summerslam flopped because WWE somehow managed to bury Liv Morgan in the process. Even then, there weren’t any worthy challengers to step up and face the former WWE star.

You can also tell that Ronda just wasn’t into the stories she was given. She criticized the company’s booking on multiple occasions, most notably during her tag team title run. Ronda called the division “dismally shallow”. And she was correct. Ronda’s love for professional wrestling never went away as it is clear she’s still a huge fan, but any passion she had working for the company was killed because they weren’t giving her anything good to work with. Ronda was no longer a draw because she lost what made her special and became just another woman on the roster. 

Can Tony Khan Handle Ronda Rousey?

In theory, having a name like Ronda Rousey would be good for AEW’s roster. Though she isn’t as popular as she was in 2018, her name does still have some value left. But let’s be honest, Tony Khan isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders when it comes to booking the women’s division. 

He has Saraya, Ruby Soho, Athena, Riho, Taya Valkyrie, Penelope Ford, and Nyla Rose as some of the names on the roster and they barely get any television time. It’s great that Full Gear has two women’s matches on the card, but the problems with the women’s division haven't gone away. Ronda was very vocal about her issues with WWE booking throughout her time with the company. 

If the former WWE star isn’t happy, she won’t hesitate to speak her mind about the issues with the division. It isn’t particularly that Rousey is selfish when she speaks out. Rousey was an advocate for Morgan beating her for the Smackdown Women’s Championship and just wanted the tag team division to be booked in a meaningful way. She loves this sport and just wants better booking for the women. 

But her words can be damaging to Tony Khan’s image. When AEW formed, Tony Khan promised fans the best women’s division in North America. He has all the tools to create one, but the commitment to booking a meaningful one just isn’t there. Signing Ronda Rousey means that he’ll likely push everyone else down the card just to showcase his shiny new toy. What’s the point of signing Ronda Rousey when it likely won’t lead to increased television time and stories for the women in AEW?

Should Tony Khan Go After Ronda Rousey?

No. At least not yet. Tony Khan needs to address the issues that plague the women’s division. The good news is that more stories are starting to come out of the division, but it isn’t bringing out the depth and dimension of different wrestlers because the main focus tends to be on the two AEW titles. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Ronda Rousey was the free agent promised for Full Gear. She’s a solid hand who can have great matches with talented names, but if that means that wrestlers like Saraya or Taya Valkyrie will get even less television time, then adding another female would only do more harm to a division that should be so much more. 

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