Ronda Rousey dominates headlines on the Road To WrestlMania, making her the perfect example for Rob to use for Wrestling Newz!
This is a continuation of what I started on last week in regards to wrestling media. You might want to, in fact you should, go check that out first. But instead of just hitting the media at large it’s time to drill down a bit and see how some of this stuff takes shape. These stories don’t get clicked on and believed by so many people just out of whole cloth, they take weeks and months and sometimes years of narratives being laid down first in order to make the premise believable in the first place.
Remember, the three rules for publishing NEWZ stories:
- It’s plausible (translation: circumstances exist that make it possible, and it confirms an existing opinion)
- Can you walk it back easy if it ends up false (‘plans changed’)
- Will people click on it? (if #1 is a yes, and the names are big enough then this is a yes, too)
A quick example that I mentioned previously was the ‘Lacey Evans getting a top level push after Ronda Rousey leaves’ story. The story itself ended up just being Meltzer giving his opinion and not even leaked info from a source, but it relied on a long standing narrative about the WWE creative team, particularly Vince’s preferences. Lacey is blond, and it’s been a long held belief that Vince loves his blond women so there you go (that’s not false, but there are some layers and nuances to it that we never get into). Also, the way Lacey portrays her character (super conservative and a throwback to the Mad Men era) on social media irritates a lot of so called smart fans, which supposedly is something Vince loves doing. That’s it. Seriously, the plausibility of the story all lies in Lacey being blond, evoking thoughts of every blond woman Vince has pushed from Trish Stratus to Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss, and because she pisses off a section of Wrestling Twitter so Vince might do it just to get to us. There is literally no other there there.
Now not all NEWZ stories end up false but even when they’re true the intent wasn’t to inform you, it was to get you to click on the link and share it (Hate shares count as much for the click numbers as love shares, btw. Don’t help people whose work you hate by sharing it.)
Which brings us to the real subject of this piece: Ronda Rousey’s speculated departure from WWE after WrestleMania. It has become almost gospel truth that Ronda is gone after the biggest show of the year, maybe for good, because she wants to start a family (and now also because she can’t hack it in the world of wrestling). Meltzer has weighed in and there are multiple pieces that simply copied and pasted or transcribed his words along with dubious headlines. Now before you say ‘yeah, she is leaving’ ask yourself where you got the idea from. Was it from someone stating it as fact, just giving their opinion, or one of those ‘WWE is preparing for the possibility that Ronda might leave’ stories? And how did so many of us end up thinking so quickly and strongly that come the Monday after WrestleMania 35 she’s outta here? The story was built on a few blocks and because a big house of confirmation bias. Here they are:
Ronda Rousey is an outsider who doesn’t really want to be here anyway
This essentially comes from Ronda being an MMA legend, which invokes bad thoughts of Brock Lesnar his big paycheck/small schedule agreement. That’s it. Ronda left MMA after losing and didn’t do much afterwards, and she’s made a ton of money already, so this clearly has to just be a big score…..right? She didn’t toil in the indies, didn’t even do a stint in NXT, and since she wasn’t willing to pay her dues (that sound you just heard was me throwing up) it’s obvious that she doesn’t really care for it………sure, buddy, whatever you think. Nevermind all the evidence we’ve seen to the contrary.
Rebecca Quin, I don’t care what the script says, I’m beating the living shit out of you the next time I see you.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) February 28, 2019
Ronda Rousey can’t handle the road
A video clip surfaced a few months back of Ronda lamenting life on the road in the WWE. Now it probably isn’t much different from what many newbies and veterans of the business have said to their families but hey, let’s take this out for a ride because it supports point number one.
Ronda Rousey is losing at WrestleMania
We got no proof of this but we do know that the original plan was for her to face Charlotte one on one (with Charlotte probably winning), we know that Becky Lynch has become the hot act over the last six months, and we know that Ronda hasn’t lost yet so WrestleMania seems like the right time to do it. That’s it. I explained my rationale for each woman winning that match here, and in my opinion there’s plenty of logic for Ronda winning. But so far a lot of us have assumed she isn’t because she just has to lose here, right? Which leads to the next brick:
Ronda Rousey can’t take losing
She didn’t handle losing well in MMA, so she obviously isn’t going to like losing in WWE and she’ll want to take her ball and go home. There is no evidence to back this up but it sure sounds good.
Ronda Rousey is freaking out because of the crowd noise and the Tweeting from Becky
Ronda isn’t great at promos, the crowds are booing her more now because she’s facing Becky, and she’s fired off some far out responses to Becky’s twitter jabs that suggest maybe the ribbing is getting to her. So she must clearly be having some kind of emotional meltdown that is souring her on the world of pro wrestling. Again we have don’t have any confirmed facts as to her true emotional state (for all we know it’s a work that’s gone a little off the rails) but it sure feels good to type that she just can’t handle the banter.
Now we have the proverbial feedback loop. We think Ronda doesn’t love the business, she hates the road, she wants to start a family, we just know she’s losing at WrestleMania, she doesn’t handle losing well at all, and now she can’t handle the ribbing. Each one of these things feeds into the others, and if you were a Ronda skeptic from day one or you just don’t like her for other reasons then each one of these things is very easy to believe individually, as it’s consequently very easy to put them together into one big ball of what is sure to happen. Remember always that the way NEWZ works, be it in wrestling media, other forms of entertainment, and even politics is that they bait you with things you want to be true based on what you already have come to believe. If you believe wrestler X is a jerk then everything that backs it up is believable no matter how flimsy the evidence. Here we have a bunch of ‘truths’ based on little real information that feed into what a lot of people already thought, and now we have one big ‘truth’ that we just know to be true.
Of course if Ronda wins at WrestleMania, loses some time later, and sticks around for the rest of her contract then the vaunted wrestling media can just give us the tried and true explanation for everything that doesn’t pan out the way they led us to think it would: