Let's get this out of the way - yes, Ronda Rousey is going to be involved with the WWE in some capacity in 2018. Between her appearance at the Mae Young Classic, her friend's involvement in NXT, her social media photos from a wrestling training school and months upon months of reports from credible sources, the idea of Rousey being on the card at WrestleMania 34 has evolved way past mere fan fiction.
And with Rousey's introduction comes a question - once you get past the initial hype of her showing up on WWE television, what is WWE supposed to do with her? There have been a few potential matches floated out there, but the idea of having her win the the Women's Royal Rumble on her first night actually makes the most sense.
But wait, I hear you say, wasn't the an eight-man tag match between the WWE's Four Horsewomen and MMA's Four Horsewomen supposed to be the plan? Now in theory that match does seem like an easy choice, and it was probably WWE's first idea when they heard about Rousey's group.
Also for as good as Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks
Which brings us back to the Rumble. Based her assumed asking price and busy schedule, WWE will likely use Rousey as the female Brock Lesnar, both in the ring and in her position on the roster. She'll come in for a match every two to three months along with a few appearances on television to hype things up, and she'll look like a nearly-unstoppable monster during matches. But where Lesnar had years of in-ring experience leading up to his return 2012, Rousey has none.
So how can WWE make this woman look like a must-see monster while hiding the fact that her wrestling ability is highly questionable? By putting her in a match where all she needs to be able to do is throw strikes, hit a couple of judo throws and be able to toss her opponent over the top rope. The Royal Rumble is the only kind of match where WWE can sweep Rousey's inexperience under the rug while she tears her way through the roster.
Once she wins, WWE buys themselves almost three months worth of time to build up a match against either Charlotte Flair or (let's assume they finally give her the title by then) Asuka, two women that can easily carry Rousey to a good match.
There are plenty of other options out there - a match with Stephanie McMahon, a squash against Alexa Bliss or that eight-man tag match to name a few. But none of those bring the kind of a hype that a debut Rumble win would. And in a world where WWE wants everything hyped up as "for the first time ever," when else will they get the chance to have a rookie win the Rumble?
Want more Royal Rumble manifestos? Here you go: