7 Fresh Opponents Ronda Rousey Needs to Face in 2019 on WWE Raw
Ronda Rousey's first 12 months with WWE will go down as one of the greatest rookie years in wrestling history, and for someone who only worked pay-per-views and a few episodes of Raw, she faced most of the women on the Raw roster.
Stephanie McMahon, Nia Jax, Tamina, Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Dana Brooke, Natalya Neidhart, Nikki Bella and The Riott Squad have all felt the pain of Rowdy Ronda's strikes and submissions.
As we begin to look forward to what 2019 will bring, everyone will start talking about who they want to see fight each other throughout the year.
As one of WWE's biggest mainstream stars, the former UFC star is a special attraction who won't end up facing just anyone. Her opponents are going to be selected based on star power, wrestling ability and storyline potential.
This article looks at who WWE should select as some of Rousey's opponents in 2019.
We will just go ahead and get the most obvious choice out of the way first. Everyone knows Rousey is going to end up in the ring with Becky Lynch at some point. It's just a matter of figuring out the best time to do it.
They were supposed to do battle at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December, but an injury in the week leading up to the PPV kept The Man from competing.
With Lynch's star on the rise and Rousey continuing to impress critics with each performance, it would be foolish for management not to capitalize on the hype this contest would generate.
WrestleMania 35 would be the best opportunity to make the most out of this match, and it would give WWE time to build it up into a Four Horsewomen of WWE vs. Four Horsewomen of MMA storyline.
Before Rousey showed up in WWE, Asuka was viewed as the most dangerous striker and submission expert on the women's roster.
The Empress of Tomorrow has finally reached the top of the mountain on SmackDown as the women's champion, so it's time to start looking at what her next accomplishment could be this year.
Being the first woman to beat Rousey in a WWE ring would help Asuka regain some of the momentum she lost when WWE ended her undefeated streak and started having her lose when it was unnecessary.
This would be a violent and physical contest that could headline just about any PPV. If they are both still on separate brands when Survivor Series rolls around in November, this would be a fantastic Raw vs. SmackDown matchup.
Sasha Banks had a strange 2018. She enjoyed a strong start to the year by lasting almost an hour in the first women's Royal Rumble match and had a standout performance in the first women's Elimination Chamber bout.
Around March is when her storyline with Bayley began dominating her schedule. The best friends went through some rough patches for the next few months, but Dr. Shelby helped them work out their issues and they have since become a formidable tag team.
The Boss 'n' Hug Connection could become the first women's tag team champions, but Banks should still have individual goals, and one of them should be facing Rousey.
Banks is a four-time women's champion and remains popular with the WWE Universe despite some poor booking choices by the company in 2018. If she isn't on the shortlist of possible opponents for Rousey, somebody isn't doing their job at WWE HQ.
It would be better if Banks returned to being a heel for this feud, but it wouldn't be entirely necessary due to the popularity of both Superstars.
Sonya Deville was one of the first women in WWE with a background in mixed martial arts, but she was overshadowed by the hiring of all the Four Horsewomen of MMA.
The Tough Enough standout has embraced pro wrestling and become a good hand in the ring, but she is stuck in a tag team with Mandy Rose and little direction for her character at the moment.
WWE needs to build her up into a monster before she can be put into the ring with Rousey and considered a real threat, and the only way to do that is for her to go solo and start dominating everyone on SmackDown.
The storyline practically writes itself. Deville can be made into the jealous heel who thinks the Raw women's champ stole her thunder by following her from MMA to pro wrestling with one promo.
Rousey has been killing it on the main roster, but many would argue Shayna Baszler has already proved she is the better performer in NXT.
The Queen of Spades has been nearly unstoppable as a bruiser who cares little about the damage she inflicts on her opponents.
She is likely going to join Rousey on the main roster in 2019. What will be interesting to see is if she shows up as an ally or enemy.
Like with Deville, it would be easy to create a storyline based around Baszler being fed up with the Raw women's champion hogging all the spotlight. It would be even better if she was the one to cost Rousey her title so their feud could focus solely on their personal conflict.
While Rousey was becoming one of the most famous athletes in the world fighting for UFC, Candice LeRae was having bloody matches with men in the indy wrestling scene.
LeRae is a bona fide badass who, quite frankly, didn't even need to put in time in NXT. She could have been brought right to the main roster.
She has a marketable look WWE management loves, a legit background to appease the hardcore fans and the skills to keep up with anyone in the ring. She is the total package as a pro wrestler.
This is more of a dream match than a realistic possibility in 2019, but if LeRae is successful when she is eventually called up to the main roster, it could become a reality.
This might seem a little far-fetched, but Bayley is the kind of Superstar who can have a good match with just about anyone, so she would be a prime candidate to face Rousey at some point.
It would be even better if management chose to take a risk and turn Rowdy Ronda heel for this feud. It wouldn't be needed to sell the storyline, but a hero vs. a villain is almost always better than babyface vs. babyface feuds.
The Hugger hasn't found the same level of success as her fellow Four Horsewomen on the main roster, so a high-profile match against someone such as the former UFC star would do wonders for her career.
Bayley needs something to get her back on track after a rough 2018. Fighting Rousey would be a good start, even if she comes up short in the end.
Who do you want to see fight Rousey in 2019?