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Wrestling is a television show. The cast doesn’t need to earn its spot in the show. They just have to matter enough, in terms of value, to have a spot in the credits in each episode.

Ronda Rousey is an unknown talent in terms relative to pro wrestling. She is a proven commodity, however.

Some fans have taken umbrage not only with the way Rousey debuted at the Royal Rumble, but with her being in the WWE in any form — as if she is supposed to fight her way onto the company’s programs, rather than the WWE seeing the obvious value she has and attempting to benefit from it.

Thing is, despite gripes, it doesn’t only have to be the WWE and Rousey who benefit from this. It could be the rest of the women’s division.

The historic, first ever Women’s Royal Rumble went off without any Rousey-related happenings. Asuka won, shared a moment with the WWE’s two women’s champions, and the former UFC star did not debut until well after that portion of history was made.

It did not take away from that great moment… unless you let it.

Moreover, as Nikki Bella and Nia Jax took to Twitter to express frustrations with the WWE using Rousey to promote the women’s division, what Rousey is bringing to the table is something the company’s current performers couldn’t do themselves — bring in casual, non-already-committed fans.

Was the women’s division already in the greatest place possible? You bet.

Would Johnny McCasualfan watch because of a Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss or Asuka, even if all three are changing the landscape of women’s wrestling forever? Nope.

That doesn’t inherently mean our pretend fan will know that Rousey has joined the fold. At the same time, we know shows like Good Morning America, ESPN’s billion programs, etc., would not be covering the WWE with the same fury it did the day after the Royal Rumble had the show ended without Rousey debuting.

Basically, Rousey isn’t a guaranteed superstar. She is, though, certain to bring more attention to the WWE and its performers.

Even if you’re on team “Rousey is bad” (working team name), it would be backward to opine for a world in which the women get more attention in the realm of pro wrestling, then be upset that it is getting it, but only because you don’t like the medium transporting that attention to the masses.

Rousey, if for no other reason than her non-WWE accomplishments, elevates each performer in the world of pro wrestling in terms of appeal. Likely not to the degree Vince McMahon is assuming, as there’s obviously the chance for her to flop. But increasing the popularity of the division by even a tenth of a percentile should be considered a win for fans of the women’s division.

More attention is good, especially when it is not at the cost of fans.

And that’s the main point here. How is Rousey actually hurting your viewing experience? She hasn’t done anything in the ring yet, and there’s a solid chance the WWE uses her sparsely until she becomes a semi-competent in-ring performer.

She’s not going to be beating Flair in under five seconds on Smackdown Live or humiliating Asuka. She will be, in a Brock Lesnar-ish way, operating within the WWE Universe from an outsider’s perspective.

For awhile at least, she is unlikely to be immersed in the weekly happenings of storylines. Instead, the WWE will pick and choose spots for her, allowing her to not alter the trajectory of any of the talented women already on the roster.

More bluntly put: If Flair, Sasha Banks, Asuka, {enter any relevant performer here}, are destined to be stars, they will be stars — Rousey’s mere being in the WWE be damned. Furthermore, she is only likely to help each reach that crossover level few — men or women — WWE Superstars have ever reached.

Could Rousey not work? Of course. But being angry over her signing with the WWE, without yet keeping an open-mind about the potential she brings with her to elevate others, is similar to being mad at Vince McMahon for his supposed predetermining Roman Reigns to be the guy.

We won’t know until we see. Being down on it now, without seeing, is only doing a disservice to yourself as a fan, as you might miss out on sincerely unique and special moments coming down the road.

People upset over Ronda Rousey in the WWE are missing the obvious positives Harry How/Getty Images
Joseph has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade. He's also the co-host of the Off The Wall podcast. Marty Jannetty is better than HBK.
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