LOADING ...

Ronda Rousey Basically Called Becky Lynch A Beta Snowflake Cuck On Raw This Week

David Bixenspan Nov 15, 2018. 23 comments

Aside from its concessions to Saudi Arabia as part of a larger business deal with the murderous gulf autocracy, WWE’s recent programming has been as apolitical as it has been in ages. It’s the sort of thing that’s more notable in its absence, but the promotion’s classic xenophobic and jingoistic storylines are gone. Donald Trump, who is in the WWE Hall of Fame and was once a semi-regular presence, has not been referenced in years, which Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer has reported is a move the promotion has made because it doesn’t want to alienate its heavily left-leaning, black, and Latinx fanbase. The fact that WWE’s former CEO, who is the wife of the current CEO, is a member of Trump’s cabinet is never mentioned, either. The only trace of the current political moment, in terms of storylines or rhetoric, has come from the former of developmental/NXT roster member Dan Matha, who routinely goes off on “soy boys” and the like on Twitter and when cutting promos. Even then, Matha is in developmental, is not doing the gimmick on TV, and is at least a heel, which means he’s wrong according to wrestling logic. This is an overstated and overheated moment, but WWE has mostly seen fit to steer clear of its particular manias while doing its usual overstated, overheated thing.

That seemingly changed Monday night on Raw.

The backstory here is this: Becky Lynch has taken to calling herself “The Man” in interviews, which is a play on Ric Flair’s “to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man” catchphrase and part of her feud with his Flair’s daughter, Charlotte. (Lynch is largely written as a heel , but universally beloved by fans and cheered loudly at every show, which has upended the usual dynamics.) Ronda Rousey, who is theoretically good guy in this binary, has mocked Lynch for working as a flight attendant, among other jobs, during her hiatus from fighting to recover from a series of head injuries; last week on SmackDown, Lynch took exception to that, and seemed like anything but a heel. (Lynch also called the former UFC champion weak-minded, in what was seemingly an indirect reference to Rousey’s past of retreating from public for months at a time after her MMA losses.) Monday, on Raw, Rousey explained that she hadn’t been disrespecting what Lynch did to make a living, just noting that she had trained from childhood to be a combat athlete and Lynch had not. Well, at least until she then took off in a frankly weird direction:

“Becky can dish it out, but she sure isn’t that good at taking it. Becky, you are so hypersensitive. You’re not just ‘The Man,’ you are the millennial man. You are the skinny jeans-wearing, v-neck sporting, avocado toast-munching, winged shoe-wearing, millennial man. With a bubble-wrapped ego and a porcelain self-perception. Someone needs to tell ‘The Man’ that I am not Charlotte Flair, Raw is not SmackDown, and being offended doesn’t make you right.

So you can put the violins away, ‘champ.’ You’re not Oliver Twist, and I’m not some trust fund baby golden child, OK? Every fan that I got has watched me sweat for every single ounce of their respect. They’ve watched me bleed for every little inch of progress. They’ve watched me mourn every single setback. And I sure as hell didn’t pour my heart and soul into changing the meaning of ‘fight like a girl’ so the leader of the women’s evolution could call herself ‘The Man.’”

Anyone who has spent time monitoring contemporary stupid internet political arguments knows that Rousey’s promo was close to a full bingo card of right-wing troll rhetoric about left-leaning millennials. The mention of avocado toast, a dumb and dated meme that’s less about a trend in breakfast food and more about millennial lassitude? Check. Check. A lightly repackaged version of Ben Shapiro’s idiotic “facts don’t care about your feelings” catchphrase? A rundown of what was considered stereotypical “hipster” fashion in 2007? Check. It’s lorem ipsum text comprised entirely of Tomi Lahren promos.

(WWE has not responded to a request for comment on if the Raw segment was intended to be political in nature.)

The politics of Vince McMahon are no secret. His record is heavy on Republican donations and he has the dubious honor of being the biggest donor ever to the Donald J. Trump foundation. When called to account for continuing to do business with Saudi Arabia after the country’s murder of a dissident journalist, WWE gave the same basic answer that President Trump had when questioned about arms sales to the country—WWE’s answer had to do with potential effects on their 2018 guidance for stockholders, Trump, who was direct, just said that the deals were too much money to pass up.

Rousey has claimed to be a Bernie Sanders supporter, but her actual politics have been something of a moving target. A few weeks before her first UFC fight, she tweeted a link to one of the earliest Sandy Hook school shooting conspiracy theory videos and then defended her action when called out in the replies. Her manager talked in circles to try to mitigate the damage and UFC president/vocal Trump supporter Dana White backed her up, saying that “people are fucking pussies is the problem.” Even as Sandy Hook truthers have become a legitimate safety concern for victims’ families, Rousey has declined to apologize, or even walked back the tweets.

Rousey’s defiance and success have made her something of a pop feminist icon; her “don’t be a do-nothing bitch” catchphrase didn’t age terribly well, but it had a moment. On the issues, though, Rousey has not been particularly inclusive or informed. She has insisted that transgender identity is a “decision,” and specifically contrasted trans athletes with the intersex athletes she had competed with and against in judo, whom she said dealt with “something they didn’t choose.” She once crudely referred to the since-retired trans female MMA fighter Fallon Fox as having “tr[ied] hormones, chop[ped] her pecker off.” (It’s worth noting that, even when not forth on less politically charged issues, Rousey has always just kind of been a weirdo. Perhaps most infamously, she dismissed legitimate criticism of her uninformed sex advice—“If you need lube, then you’re being lazy”—as just a bunch of female sex researchers being “gritty kitty bitches” who were jealous of her because “you’re working with a sandbox.”)

Independent of Rousey’s personal track record, her promo felt like someone—her, the writers, Vince McMahon, or some combination—trying out a message by trotting out some familiar politically coded rhetoric. As with many of Rousey’s promos, it didn’t land terribly well. But the subtext certainly came through loud and clear.


David Bixenspan is a freelance writer from Brooklyn, NY who co-hosts the Between The Sheets podcast every Monday at BetweenTheSheetsPod.com and everywhere else that podcasts are available. You can follow him on Twitter at @davidbix and view his portfolio at Clippings.me/davidbix.

23 Comments

Other David Bixenspan's posts

All Elite Wrestling's Newest Signing Is As Divisive As Wrestlers Get All Elite Wrestling's Newest Signing Is As Divisive As Wrestlers Get

By the strange but very real standards that govern these sorts of things, All Elite Wrestling’s video announcement on its Twitter page that it had signed Orange Cassidy earlier this week qualified as a relatively significant amount of fanfare. Contrast that with Marko Stunt, who announced his AEW signing himself on July 30 as part of his 23rd birthday...

With Shots At "Gory Crap," Vince McMahon Uses His Old Wrestling War Playbook Against AEW With Shots At "Gory Crap," Vince McMahon Uses His Old Wrestling War Playbook Against AEW

Vince McMahon is nothing if not predictable.In 1984, when McMahon first expanded what was then known as World Wrestling Federation nationally, he signed significantly more wrestlers than he had any idea what to do with, which left once-potent regional stars languishing on undercards or spending their time out of sight on Middle Eastern tours. In 2019, with new competition...

Everyone Is Getting Signed, But Indie Wrestling Will Be Just Fine Everyone Is Getting Signed, But Indie Wrestling Will Be Just Fine

While the rest of the sports world is deep in a summer lull, independent wrestling is in the middle of a hectic 10 days of notable shows. Last weekend, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, everyone’s favorite all-star indie, ran their usual buzzy, action-packed show in Los Angeles; DEFY, the top group in the pacific northwest, had a packed house in Seattle....

Vince McMahon's Defiant Paranoia Was Shaped By His Steroid Trial Vince McMahon's Defiant Paranoia Was Shaped By His Steroid Trial

Twenty-five years ago this week, at the now-shuttered federal courthouse in Uniondale for the Eastern District of New York, WWE chief Vincent Kennedy McMahon was acquitted on charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids. It was a pivotal moment in wrestling history, and the effective conclusion of a case that is both more complicated and...

Suggested posts

All Elite Wrestling's Newest Signing Is As Divisive As Wrestlers Get All Elite Wrestling's Newest Signing Is As Divisive As Wrestlers Get

By the strange but very real standards that govern these sorts of things, All Elite Wrestling’s video announcement on its Twitter page that it had signed Orange Cassidy earlier this week qualified as a relatively significant amount of fanfare. Contrast that with Marko Stunt, who announced his AEW signing himself on July 30 as part of his 23rd birthday...

WWE Needs To Learn From Its Own King Of The Ring Mistakes WWE Needs To Learn From Its Own King Of The Ring Mistakes

It was easy to miss between the next chapter in the Seth Rollins chronicles and Sasha Banks’s triumphant return, but Monday night’s episode of RAW featured a blast from the past: WWE is bringing back the King of the Ring tournament. Or, more precisely, WWE is bringing back a tournament with King of the Ring branding and none of...

With Shots At "Gory Crap," Vince McMahon Uses His Old Wrestling War Playbook Against AEW With Shots At "Gory Crap," Vince McMahon Uses His Old Wrestling War Playbook Against AEW

Vince McMahon is nothing if not predictable.In 1984, when McMahon first expanded what was then known as World Wrestling Federation nationally, he signed significantly more wrestlers than he had any idea what to do with, which left once-potent regional stars languishing on undercards or spending their time out of sight on Middle Eastern tours. In 2019, with new competition...

WWE's Part-Timer Disease Is Now A Year-Round Problem WWE's Part-Timer Disease Is Now A Year-Round Problem

Monday’s episode of Raw closed with The Miz hosting a contract signing for what was supposed to be a SummerSlam match with Dolph Ziggler, which certainly sounds like typical WWE stuff. The fact that it was happening in the main event was a bit suspicious, though, as was the presence of Shawn Michaels a former WWE legend and current...

Let’s Remember Some Guys: When Paul Heyman Was Paul E. Dangerously Let’s Remember Some Guys: When Paul Heyman Was Paul E. Dangerously

Paul Heyman is known today as the advocate for WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar, but about 30 years ago he was Paul E. Dangerously—named, as Heyman says in a WWE DVD, because he looked like Michael Keaton’s character in the 1984 film Johnny Dangerously.However, in one of these WCW cards from Championship Marketing—the first set of World Championship Wrestling cards—Paul E....

Vince McMahon's Defiant Paranoia Was Shaped By His Steroid Trial Vince McMahon's Defiant Paranoia Was Shaped By His Steroid Trial

Twenty-five years ago this week, at the now-shuttered federal courthouse in Uniondale for the Eastern District of New York, WWE chief Vincent Kennedy McMahon was acquitted on charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids. It was a pivotal moment in wrestling history, and the effective conclusion of a case that is both more complicated and...

Transit Records Show How 12,000 WWE Fans Got Stranded After WrestleMania Transit Records Show How 12,000 WWE Fans Got Stranded After WrestleMania

The biggest story of WrestleMania 35 might have been just how damn long the show was, a whopping seven and a half hours, including the “kickoff” show. The card ran until just before 12:30 a.m., which impacted everyone watching both live and at home, but it caused a very specific set of problems for those relying on public transit...

WWE's Intergender Experiment Is Still A Work In Progress WWE's Intergender Experiment Is Still A Work In Progress

When Paul Heyman took over Monday Night Raw last month , one of his reported goals was to make the show edgier. “Edgier” is a catch-all for many different storylines and actions, including intergender matches. Heyman is a veteran of the Attitude Era, where men hitting women was commonplace, often to the detrimental effect of the show. So, though...

Look At This Wrestler's Gross Head Wound, Or Don't. Do What You Want. Look At This Wrestler's Gross Head Wound, Or Don't. Do What You Want.

Warning: Wrestler Reed Bentley's head wound is absolutely disgusting, and photographed so we can't really show you much of a non-gross preview image. Now, click if you want.Via @smartmarkvideo, AHHHHHHHHH: Bentley suffered the enormous gash on his head at Tuesday night's IWA Mid-South March Massacre show. He's apparently not dead, though: And here's a photo of Bentley, all stitched...

Paul Heyman's First Monday Night Raw Showed Real Signs Of Life Paul Heyman's First Monday Night Raw Showed Real Signs Of Life

After three days of embarrassing attendance at the Stomping Grounds pay-per-view and the subsequent editions of Raw and SmackDown, and after months of chatter that the product had sagged and stagnated, WWE finally decided to make a big move last week. That the move in question wound up being the shock announcement of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as...

Language