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Ronda Rousey not only no-showed WWE Raw last night, she has been removed from the next two Raws and the original article announcing she would be on every Raw leading up to WrestleMania has been removed from WWE’s website (WrestlingInc first noticed and reported these changes). Something is going on.
While WWE is shining a spotlight on Brock Lesnar no-showing Raws he is advertised for, presumably completely storyline based (although possibly also sparked by WWE booking Brock for more dates than they had him under contract for), they are in the awkward position of having to ignore what appears to be exactly the same thing happening with Rousey.
WWE posted a statement last week touting that Rousey “will appear on every single episode of Raw leading up to WrestleMania.. What impact will Rousey have on the Road to WrestleMania? Tune in to Raw every week to find out!”
The fact that Rousey missed this Raw and is only advertised now for the final Raw before WrestleMania is ominous and awkward. Was WWE so satisfied with last week’s angle they decided not to overexpose her and end on a high note and just replay ad nauseam recaps of the angles she’s been in? Are they disappointed by the paltry effect Rousey has had on ratings and are cutting back on her dates to try to save money? Is she already turning into a problem to deal with?
She is scheduled to be on “Ellen” this week. That might give some hint. Reports should begin to surface any time now unless WWE keeps a tight lid on this situation.
Can WWE keep burying Lesnar as a part time guy who doesn’t event want to be there, while also just ignoring that Rousey was once going to be on every Raw and now isn’t?
If WWE is intentionally false advertising Lesnar in order to try to get Roman Reigns over, is that fair to the fans who paid for tickets and, in some cases, drove hours to see Lesnar in person (as our correspondent on today’s Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast did, driving hours to Raw in Detroit specifically to see Lesnar and Rousey in person)? It’s bad enough that WWE routinely advertises dark matches to help sell tickets to Raw and Smackdown events and has a very low batting average on actually delivering (no exception last night, as they advertised a loaded eight-man tag match with John Cena & Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins vs. Kane & Miz & The Bar; the match didn’t happen and no announcement was made to the crowd.) Now top attractions are not appearing, and it’s either ignored to weaved into a storyline, as if that’s a valid excuse.
So if you attended Raw in Detroit, you didn’t see the two special attractions who were prominently advertised – Lesnar was blamed for no-showing but fans were told by the lead babyface that the boss wouldn’t punish him because he’s a “Vince guy” and Rousey wasn’t even addressed at all – and you didn’t get the main event that was advertised.
I witnessed Brock Lesnar vs. The Miz last Friday night, the top matches advertised. It went less than two minutes, consisted of Lesnar suplexing and F5’ing Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel, and then the ref simply stopped the match. No explanation was given to fans why the match was just ended and not restarted. Lesnar just walked to the back and it was on to the next match.
Nobody can pat themselves on the back like WWE these days with video packages on all of their charity work and causes and revolutions and movements, but they can’t lose sight of the fans who make it all possible (and according to Roman Reigns are solely responsible for all wrestlers’ children not starving to death) and maybe start putting them first.