Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey: Which WWE star is most needed for the women’s division?
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Earlier this year, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey engaged in a feud that dominated the airwaves and spawned two high-profile premium live event matches (WrestleMania 38 and WrestleMania Backlash).
The women split those matches, with Rousey emerging from contention for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
But, which is more valuable and necessary for the current WWE?
By removing personal preference from the question, the answer may be surprising.
The case of Charlotte Flair
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Charlotte Flair is a generational talent whose success is unmatched by any woman on the current WWE roster.
A thirteen-time world champion on the main roster and a two-time NXT champion, she has been at the pinnacle of women’s wrestling and delivered some of the best in-ring work of her generation, against every major star the company has ever had to offer. to offer. .
She can be trusted to enhance the importance of any story, match, or angle based solely on her reputation, not to mention what she brings between the ropes. She has been secretive to such a degree that fans believe her to be the best and any woman who is selected to instantly beat her is thought to be a big deal.
Sure, sometimes she gets pushed too hard and fans get tired of seeing her win all the time, but as a result of WWE Creative’s devotion to the second-generation star, she has achieved credibility and legitimacy in the world of professional wrestling that makes her an undeniable asset in helping other women outperform.
As important as it is to have someone who can be used to help make stars, whether it’s losing to them or taking them down to their level, today’s wrestling fan appreciates and demands a certain level of work in the ring and Flair gets it. has in abundance.
Look no further than her battles with Becky Lynch in 2018, her classic with Trish Stratus at SummerSlam 2019, any number of NXT matches with her fellow Four Horsewomen that helped spawn the Women’s Revolution, or her main roster series with Sasha Banks. as evidence. of Flair’s importance to the overall quality of in-ring work in WWE’s women’s division.
Even her WrestleMania Backlash “I Quit” match against Ronda Rousey can be included in that collection.
Despite fans’ frustration with what can be considered overexposure, there’s no arguing that Flair is not a great professional wrestler and that element of her game is just as important, if not more so, than her star power or what she brings to the women she works with.
The case of Ronda Rousey
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Ronda Rousey’s appeal is and has always been her star power and credibility.
An entire generation of fans watched her establish herself as one of the greatest and most influential mixed martial artists of all time, en route to induction into the UFC Hall of Fame. Her addition to the women’s division in 2018 in WWE instantly provided her with the name pull she needed to help elevate her even further than revolution in the ring.
Flair and Becky Lynch are perhaps two of the most influential female wrestlers of all time, and the latter’s popularity undoubtedly had something it has to do with WWE’s decision to book him in the position he was on the card, but there is a very real and credible argument that women would not have main evented WrestleMania 35 had it not been for the name value of Rousey being omnipresent in that historic Triple Threat Match.
He may not be as hot as he once was, and certain creative issues have plagued his most recent run, but it would be silly to suggest that he’s not done with fans just yet, has a certain level of credibility with her, and is a believable badass. that he can raise any opponent simply by selling for them.
Is she a perfect pro wrestler? No. She doesn’t have the level of training that the women around her have and she clearly misses out on some points. She has been very open about her flaws.
“Well, it’s hard to remember, I’m not like a seasoned veteran or anything like that. At this last ‘Mania, I was like, ‘I don’t have this under control at all.’ We were about to leave and I was like, ‘uh, I still don’t know this whole match.’ But all the parts where I wasn’t sure what was next was a part where I could queue up or something from someone else,” she said. Twrestling wives podcast (m/t WrestlingInc.com).
“I’m very dependent on who else I’m there with to do the match itself and to guide me when I’m there. I’m like a smoke and mirrors bitch. I’ve only had a year and a half of experience, and people know forget a lot about it.”
Rousey isn’t going to go out in the ring and she wants someone to go to a five-star match like Flair would, but she’ll still elevate them the same way The Queen does because beating a legendary heel still means something. mainly because it is not something that has been done repeatedly to the point where the effect wears off.
Look at Liv Morgan and what it meant to her to be able to beat Rousey, even if the execution wasn’t always perfect. She is a bigger star now than she was before and a focal point of SmackDown’s creative efforts.
That might not have happened without headline wins over someone with Rowdy’s star power.
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On the surface, this felt like an easy argument to make.
In an era where die-hard fans demand a certain quality of workmanship in the ring, Flair is the obvious answer. After all, those fans make up the foundation of any audience and go a long way in determining who is successful and who is not.
However, digging deeper into the argument, it becomes clear that Rousey is the pick.
She may not be a polished worker in the ring and if there’s anyone who could benefit from reading a pre-written script straight off the sheet of paper, it’s her, but there’s no denying what she’s done to help create stars for WWE during her career. Relatively brief career with promotion.
Lynch discovered her “The Man” persona, but it was verbally and physically clashing with Rousey that helped improve her and bring her to the main event level. Morgan was a popular competitor with the aforementioned die-hard fan base, but by working with Rousey, she achieved a level of credibility that allowed WWE to book one of the main matches of a premium live event (Extreme Rules) around her match. with former MMA student. .
Can Flair claim to have created so many stars?
Through no fault of their own, it’s hard to argue that anyone came out of a feud with The Queen better than they went into it. Was Carmella better by working with Flair? What about Dana Brooke? Nikki Cross?
Flair is a great, great professional fighter and there is no denying that. His legacy is already established and if he were to walk away from the ring tomorrow, he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer whose contributions to legitimizing women’s wrestling on a large scale are undeniable.
But Rousey is an invaluable asset because there are women on the WWE roster who are not top stars who can become one strictly by working on a show with Rowdy. Do they have to win in the end? Not necessarily, but just by representation, they are perceived as more important and higher profile and that is something no five-star couple can make up for.
The Pick: Rousey
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