Shortly after Ronda Rousey's big debut closed the Royal Rumble, several female WWE Superstars did not hesitate to oppose her arrival. Nikki Bella was one of the first to raise her hand, which fed speculation that the women's locker room is anti-Rousey. But that's not exactly the case; they're protesting WWE's booking.
When Asuka won the first ever Women's Royal Rumble, it was a transcendental moment for not just women's wrestling but for the entire sport. However, just minutes into her coronation, Ronda Rousey burst onto the scene, arguably stealing thunder from both Asuka and the Women's Revolution.
WWE flipping from Asuka to Rousey in a short period of time drew the ire of Nikki Bella on Twitter. However, in the days that have passed, Bella is making her argument, but clarifying its premise.
Nikki's distinction is worth underlining. When she originally bucked Rousey, it left plenty of room for speculation. And in that space, fans began crafting a narrative that the women of WWE are lining up against Ronda Rousey. And given the reaction by Nia Jax and Sasha Banks, those theories look like they hold water. But as Nikki states above, it's not Rousey that's the issue, it's the way WWE used her.
Bella is right, Rousey absolutely overshadowed a historical moment. But what other alternatives did WWE have?
Nabbing Ronda Rousey was a coup for Vince McMahon and Co. Not only does she have a decorated history with UFC, but one that is relevant. even more, Rousey is embedded in American pop culture. While guys like Kurt Angle, Ken Shamrock, and Brock Lesnar all set the precedent for Rousey, none of them possessed the popularity she does in 2018. So, by WWE signing a golden goose, how else were they expected to debut her?
WWE has never been one for subtleties - instead they manufacture big, if not hyperbolic moments. And that's exactly what Rousey's debut was.
Sure, she could have done only a backstage interview or appear mid-show, but that's asking WWE to be something that isn't.
WWE will continue to "overbook" Rousey, but they may not have a choice. Slow playing Rousey would be like ignoring your Chrismas gifts until July.