When Ronda Rousey won the RAW Women’s Championship from Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam, fans wondered what kind of champion she would be. Could we expect the same kind of fighting spirit and willingness to stand up to authority that we’d already seen during her short time in WWE? Or would the title change her, and would we see her avoid defending it like Bliss? Or disappear with the belt, like fellow UFC veteran Brock Lesnar? During a title presentation orchestrated by Stephanie McMahon, on the August 20 episode of Monday Night RAW, we got our answer.
The RAW women’s division had been summoned by McMahon to stand around the ring—on the floor—while the businesswoman made her speech—standing above them, of course. She played a video package about the RAW Women’s Championship and praised Rousey for being the first woman to win both a UFC and WWE Championship… but also took credit for Rousey’s pro wrestling success and even called her her “protégé.” “Bad Reputation” hit and Rousey entered the ring, with everyone being able to tell that McMahon was about to eat her words.
But before Rousey took McMahon down, she built the other women on the roster up. She told them to get in the ring and criticized McMahon for putting the champion above the rest of the roster. She said the Women’s Evolution is about all female wrestlers and specifically pointed out the accomplishments of Natalya as a cornerstone of the women’s locker room, as well as how Sasha and Bayley’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn match did so much for getting the movement off the ground. She did her best to silence her doubters, adding:
“I am not Brock Lesnar. I am going to be a fighting champion, competing every night. And I can’t wait to get in the ring with each and every one of you.”
When McMahon tried to turn the women on the roster against Rousey and each other, the Baddest Woman on the Planet reminded her she’s only out to break the arms of those who deserve. Shen then used McMahon as a reminder to every member of the roster of her signature brand of submission hold-based justice.