Legendary manager Jim Cornette has given his thoughts on where WWE has gone wrong with Ronda Rousey and how they could ‘fix’ how the Raw Women’s Champion is presented.
Ronda Rousey signed a full-time contract with WWE in 2017 and made her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34, teaming with Kurt Angle to settle unfinished business by defeating Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Within months, she captured the SmackDown Women’s Championship and went on to defeat all-comers including Sasha Banks and Bayley.
At WrestleMania 35, Ronda Rousey lost her title to Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat Match that also featured Charlotte Flair. Following the loss, she went on a hiatus for a company to start a family.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet made her triumphant return at the 2022 Royal Rumble, entering at Number 28 and winning the match. She went on to win the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38 and still holds the title to this day.
However, despite continuing where she left off in the ring, Rousey has been met with criticism from some sections of the WWE Universe who feel she is unlikeable despite being positioned as a top babyface.
Now, speaking on his Drive Thru podcast, Jim Cornette has given his own criticism of Ronda Rousey and offered his take on how the company should be presenting her.
“With Rousey, here’s the thing. I would have to think that she paid little to no attention to wrestling training while she wasn’t in the ring. I’m beginning to think that Ronda Rousey did this because she could. She was a fan of Roddy Piper and got a tickle out of wrestling, her girlfriends used to talk about it.
“So when she became a megastar in the UFC and MMA world and got a chance to sign a contract to get a sh*tload of money and go to the WWE, it probably was a big deal at first, but then she got over it. You can tell now that there is no interest. She doesn’t look like she is having fun, she can’t talk and can’t do a promo that draws you into her personality, which is negligible.
“The work is not getting any better past her strong point, which is shoot style stuff that she is comfortable with. I don’t know if there is anything you can do beyond that. When you’ve got somebody like that who did well in a complimentary sport and went from MMA to wrestling, anything from Dan Severn to Ken Shamrock, focus on their strengths and keep them away from their weaknesses. Don’t have them do anything that looks hokey.
“The whole reason to have Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar is that you want the people to believe them. They are gold medalists, UFC champions, mixed martial artists, you want people to believe them. You don’t want to see them for long periods of time or repetitively, because then you can see through it. You want them to be in big matches, get in and get out, use their explosiveness and make it seem like a shoot, and take advantage of the strong points that they bring to the table.”
Cornette went on to explain that he thinks Rousey should only be in matches where she can focus on one opponent.
“Don’t put Ronda in a Battle Royale where she has to twist in the wind and figure out how to keep herself busy. You want her focused on one opponent that is experienced so she can take all of the throws and the judo moves. You don’t want Ronda Rousey out there, like anyone who can’t talk, doing long explanations of sh*t for a flowery backstory to an issue. You want them to speak, get to the point and get out.”
He also believes that it’s too late to have Ronda Rousey as a babyfaced and thinks she should be a heel in a similar vein to Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman as her mouthpiece.
“They could easily make her a heel, all they gotta do is put Paul Heyman in her corner and let him talk for her, and let her only have 3 or 4 PPV matches a year against only the best women in the company. Bianca, Becky, Charlotte, whatever.
“Even then, you would have to turn them because most of them are heels too. But Heyman could make the little b*tch a heel no sweat, if she kept her mouth shut, put the demon makeup on, get that stink face and do some dirty deeds to people and let Heyman do the talking. Then she could be a heel because people don’t like her anyway. It’s sad when you have that much name recognition, and she was a big fan and tickled to do it. But now it’s like ‘ah I’ve committed to do this, I’ve moved on in my head.’ She tends to get fed up and move on with things quick.”
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