Ronda Rousey was oh so close to WWE gold.
The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion had finally pulled apart the hands of Raw women’s champion Nia Jax and was ready to slap on her signature arm bar to likely win the belt at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view Sunday night.
But as Rousey was about to drop to the mat and yank on the champion’s arm, Alexa Bliss – who has won the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match earlier in the night, whacked Rousey in back with the briefcase to cause a disqualification.
It appeared Bliss may have just been helping her former friend as she continually beat Rousey with the briefcase. He even smashed Rousey once for good measure on the outside near the announce table. Bliss returned to the ring to cash it in her championship match contract and pin Jax to become the Raw women’s champions again in a pretty shocking turn of events.
It will be interesting to see where this feud goes, possibly a triple-threat match at SummerSlam on Aug. 19 at Barclays Center for the title. Rousey had been billed for a match with Jax for the championship at Madison Square Garden on July 7. Maybe they just has a normal match now so Rousey can go over.
Sunday’s encounter with Jax was Rousey’s first singles match in the pro wrestling world. The only other televised match for the soon-to-be inducted UFC Hall of Famer was at WrestleMania in April where she and partner Kurt Angle defeated Triple H and wife Stephanie McMahon in a mixed-tag match. Rousey did compete in women’s tag matches on WWE’s most recent European tour.
Rousey, like she did at WrestleMania, acquitted herself well. She continued to show her limitless potential more than any big leap forward in her in-ring abilities in a match the crowed at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago area was really into.
One area she did show improvement was her ability to take and sell bumps. He made Jax’s power moves look great, selling the pain and exhaustion both with her face and her body language. Rousey even – what appeared to be purposely — fell out of the ring to show she was unable to get her footing. She even hit a crossbody off the top rope and ratcheted up her intensity as the match went on.
The match told the story of Jax’s power versus Rousey’s ability to put the arm bar on from pretty much any position and ended with a surprise and feud that should keep the former MMA star pretty busy this summer.
It took WWE just 140 days since Rousey debuted at the Royal Rumble in January for WWE to put her in a title match. Rousey will have to wait a little longer before she finally puts a WWE championship around her waist.
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