SummerSlam 2018: Bliss vs. Rousey

LaToya Ferguson

“This is for Jim Neidhart! This is for ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper! This is for all of you!”

Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss (c), for the RAW Women’s Championship (RAW)

Ronda Rousey promised to kick Alexa Bliss’ “pink-haired ass” once she came back from her 30-day (and some change) suspension from Monday Night RAW, and while there have been some close calls these past couple of weeks, nothing has been sweeter than seeing said promise come to fruition at SummerSlam.

With a returning Natalya—rocking her late father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s jacket in tribute—nearby at ringside, Rousey seemed to have a little extra motivation this time around in the WWE ring. (The same could be said for the Bella Twins’ presence, as they watched from the front row to root Rousey on.) But honestly, Rousey was ready for a fight (check the war paint) regardless and had nothing but ass-kicking on her mind—a hell of a purpose when it comes to the concept “walking with a purpose,” don’t you think?

While there were obvious expectations for “The Baddest Woman On the Planet” to be all business here, no one really could have expected just how much she wasn’t going to take crap from the RAW Women’s Champion. Yet somehow, Alexa Bliss refused to show any fear before the bell rang and after… for a time.

At first, Bliss was amused with herself for getting into the ropes and away from Rousey, using the rules of professional wrestling to her advantage. But that could only last so long, and after weeks of non-stop talking and running her mouth about how Ronda Rousey was an “overhyped rookie,” it was surprisingly that same rookie who had a lot to say during this match. In fact, Rousey might just be better at trash-talking than now-former SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella claims to be.

As Bliss’ game plan of… Well, it’s not clear what her game plan exactly was. But as whatever it was ended up failing her, she considered running (after Rousey told her, “You better not run.”), only changing her mind once the challenger came down to her level: sitting criss-cross applesauce in the middle of the ring, telling her to just come on over and do her worst.

The writing should’ve been on the wall for Bliss then and there, as the challenging Rousey wasn’t quite playing games with the champion; instead, it was more like a cat playing with its food. Rousey’s trash-talking wasn’t just letting Bliss know she was coming for her, it was letting her know her time was up. And even as she asked if Bliss was “ready,” the answer wasn’t going to matter. (A point which commentator Corey Graves admit scared him, but as his colleague Jonathan “Coach” Coachman pointed out, at least Rousey was asking Bliss is she was ready.)

However, when Rousey asked, “Should I break it?!” regarding Bliss’ arm, that answer did matter: And the answer was a resounding “YES” from the WWE Universe. A “YES” that led to Bliss tapping out almost immediately once Rousey locked in the armbar. NEW CHAMP. NEW ERA. According to Michael Cole, “It’s time to get Rowdy! It’s Rousey time!”

After all this time spent ducking challenges and using back-up (or Money in the Bank contract briefcases) to make it through unscathed, Alexa Bliss couldn’t back away from this fight and had no back-up to save her or distract Ronda Rousey. And with that, a new RAW Women’s Champion was crowned on a night that saw three other new champions emerge—including another new Women’s Champion. At least Bliss got in one good strike on the “overrated rookie” before it was all over for her.

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