Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ronda Rousey's European Vacation

So Ronda has now had two PPV matches, and they are among my favorite matches of the year. So now I'm thirsty for more. I'm greedy for the verse of Rousey. But there just isn't very much Rousey footage out there yet. WWE did a European tour last month and it looks like half the trios matches with her are online (these are the Vienna and Paris matches, very possible the Switzerland and Italy ones are out there) so I dove in.

Ronda Rousey/Ember Moon/Natalya vs. Mickie James/Ruby Riott/Liv Morgan WWE 5/17/18

ER: An already short match with a big chunk clipped out of the middle. Was the clip 5 seconds? Was it 5 minutes? I'm not sure but we never see Mickie's tag in and don't see her much at all. Even in its 5 minute form the match is plenty of fun. I really liked Liv Morgan as the Ronda antagonizer. Natalya did a long Ronda tag tease while holding Morgan by the hair, reaching out to get Ronda in, and Morgan used it to her advantage to get Natalya out of the way and then taunt Ronda with bad shadowboxing. Morgan also took a big bump to the floor when things were breaking down, a nice little performance and the only one stooging. Moon had a cool legsweep and I liked Natalya's dropkick to Morgan's face after running up her back and head (and Morgan really whipped back on the kick making it look worse than it was). But the big payoff is obviously Ronda, and she came in like the coolest hot tag around. She dumped Riott with a couple of nasty throws that she makes look so effortless, but would probably give me vertigo if I tried taking them. Her final takedown on James was awesome, doesn't even look like she's throwing people in there due to her leverage making them weightless, and she's doing these safe takedowns where the person taking them looks like they have no control over their landing, just an awesome set of throws. I wish this had been twice as long, but it had plenty of rewarding moments.

Ronda Rousey/Ember Moon/Natalya vs. Mickie James/Ruby Riott/Liv Morgan WWE 5/19/18

ER: I love watching these house show matches close together, as it's always cool to see ways they opt to mix it up from prior matches, while also seeing things they opted to keep. This match (the Paris match) is worked very differently from the Vienna match, with a long heat section on Natalya, minimal Liv Morgan involvement, some good near falls off of roll-ups, a couple of fantastic/hammy showcase moments from James, and essentially the same beginning and end. We still start with Ember Moon doing the same nice leg trip and slingshot splash to Riott, and we eventually settle down to Natalya getting beaten down and trying to tag Ronda. There is a great Morgan moment where she cuts off a tag, taunts, then almost gets rolled up for the loss. Mickie was used more prominently here (and she could have been in the last one, but her time got camera phone clipped out), and she soaks it up. Talk about someone who I haven't sought out in years who is now putting out her finest work. James has been on fire in 2018. Here she knocks Ember off the apron with a crescent kick, then flies into Rousey to knock her off. We build to a GREAT house show moment, with Mickie slowly loosening her belt while Natalya is slumped in their corner, and Riott is running and gleefully highstepping the length of the apron, and James whisks that belt out, runs towards Natalya...and the ref catches her by the belt to stop her. Awesome spot. Ronda gets in and runs through approximately the same stuff in the same order as Vienna (this had the addition of a short straight jab to knock Morgan to the floor), but I do think the throws felt bigger in that match. We do get an extra Mickie James bonus roll up, going high on the cradle like she does and making it seem for two seconds that they could feasibly give Mickie James the pinfall win over Ronda Freaking Rousey....but alas, James ends up almost losing that arm moments later. Also, can we just stop recording things in portrait mode? Turn your phone sideways, people.

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