Should Ronda Rousey climb into a WWE ring, she would be a catalyst, a game-changer and a hell of a big deal.
In the midst of a revolution in women's wrestling, WWE is loaded with female talent. Charlotte Flair is an artist between the ropes, moonsaulting and chopping her way to great match after great match. Alexa Bliss is a world-class heel, a sneering, nasty scoundrel. Asuka is a compelling, dominant force set to be a centerpiece for the company for years to come.
Rousey, though, is a bigger name than any of them.
The former UFC bantamweight champion put female fighters in the forefront. In an ESPN.com poll in 2015, fans voted Rousey the best female athlete ever. UFC President Dana White (h/t Hot 97, via Fox Sports) once called her "the biggest star ever."
Stats don't lie for @RondaRousey 👀 #UFC207 https://t.co/zlLATP2Ysi2016-12-30 20:02:35
Rousey may soon be bringing that star power to a new realm. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported that she has begun to train as a pro wrestler.
And Rousey, a vocal pro wrestling fan, made an onscreen challenge to a trio of WWE Superstars. She showed up at WWE's Mae Young Classic tournament to support her friend Shayna Baszler at the event. A showdown between Rousey's crew and Flair, Becky Lynch and Bayley later unfolded.
Yes, her acting was dreadful here. Yes, she's going to enter the ring as a novice.
But it's no surprise that WWE's women are fully onboard with Rousey making her way into the squared circle.
Inaugural SmackDown women's champ Lynch spoke to Al Arabiya English (h/t Wrestling Inc) about the possibility of MMA stars invading her turf. "I feel like if it's going to get more eyes on us, then that's wonderful," Lynch said. "... And of course, Ronda, with all she's done for UFC, would be a great asset."
Nikki Bella told TMZ Sports: "I'd love to fight against her or with her."
The timing is right for Rousey's arrival. Women's wrestling has become a key part of WWE TV.
The first-ever Mae Young Classic women's tournament is set to conclude next week. Women have headlined Raw several times in the past two years. SmackDown hosted the first women's Money in the Bank ladder match this summer.
Change is afoot, but it's not complete. Celebrity and star power will help push the women's division further into the limelight.
Despite all her accomplishments, note how TMZ referred to Charlotte Flair in a recent tweet:
Ronda Rousey Challenges Ric Flair's Daughter in 1st WWE Promo Since WrestleMania https://t.co/3GZiqVQVIi2017-9-5 20:30:14
Never mind that Flair is a four-time Raw women's champ, that she and Sasha Banks were the first two women to headline a WWE pay-per-view and that Flair was named Woman of the Year in 2016 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
As great of a pro wrestler as Flair is, she's not yet a transcendent star. She's not a part of pop culture the way Rousey is. She and her peers aren't in movies like Furious 7 and Entourage or asked to host Saturday Night Live.
WWE has long increased attention around its events by way of welcoming outsiders like Rousey.
Mr. T teamed up with Hulk Hogan in the first WrestleMania. Mike Tyson sided with Stone Cold Steve Austin 13 years later in a WrestleMania that helped launch The Texas Rattlesnake into megastardom.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Lawrence Taylor and Muhammad Ali have all crossed over from sports to sports entertainment in some fashion.
Rousey herself made a cameo at WrestleMania 31 where she wrenched Stephanie McMahon's arm for all the world to see.
And each time, their presence upped the amount of mainstream press covering it all. Each time, these household names elevated pro wrestling's shows.
Rowdy Ronda Rousey can continue that tradition, creating major league buzz for the women's division.
Rousey and her "Four Horsewomen" against Flair and NXT's Horsewomen (Flair, Bayley, Banks, Lynch) at Survivor Series would be huge. Rousey vs. Flair at WrestleMania 34 would simply be the biggest women's match in WWE history.
If @RondaRousey were to compete in @WWE, which Superstar would YOU want to see her battle first? https://t.co/yUEaFdqDcA2017-7-15 07:00:08
Neither of those would be the most technically sound matches. None will be work-rate classics.
But they would create headlines and generate buzz that no WWE combo could right now.
Simply put, Rousey is a marquee attraction. And she will lead to new fans watching what women like Flair and Lynch are doing.
The judo master will turn up the wattage on the spotlight pointed at women's wrestling, pushing the revolution forward.