WWE attempted to keep the Women’s Championship on Liv Morgan while protecting Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam. The match’s finish has backfired massively.
Kudos to WWE for trying something different with Liv Morgan, but how her match was booked at SummerSlam ruined her credibility as SmackDown women’s champion. That’s not her fault, but the live crowd at Friday Night SmackDown didn’t want any part of The Miracle Kid’s explanation as to why she was still holding the title despite clearly tapping out to Ronda Rousey’s armbar. The end of the SummerSlam match saw Rousey’s shoulders pinned to the mat for a three count, even though Liv was clearly tapping out before the ref’s hand landed for the three.
It was a risky way to try and keep the belt on Morgan while also protecting Rousey, but the booking decision has backfired badly. This was a match that Vince McMahon had been building to before abruptly retiring last month. Triple H’s hands were mostly tied when it came to who was on the SummerSlam card, and the finish appeared to be a way to try and get out of the premium live event with Rousey looking strong and Morgan looking tough. However, that isn’t how the crowd viewed things, and it’ll be interesting to see how The Game responds to audiences quickly turning on the SmackDown women’s champion.
Rousey attacked Morgan and a handful of WWE officials following the SummerSlam fight, so it’s clear that WWE wanted her to be a bona fide heel, while Liv garnered sympathy for neatly getting her arm ripped off. Nope. Greenville, South Carolina, had absolutely none of that and mercifully booed Morgan while attempting to cut her promo on Friday night. In the most recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer spoke about how tough this segment was for the champion.
“Oh, the [SummerSlam] finish didn’t do her any favors, did it? When she came out, they started booing her, and she was so clearly not ready for it. She improvised, and it didn’t help. Then there’s the ‘you tapped out’ chants really loud, and she has to explain. That was not a great babyface finish [at SummerSlam] at all. Liv Morgan was so popular and so fresh, and man, I don’t think I have seen a finish backfire on somebody like this in so long.”
So now WWE is left to deal with the blowback for one of the worst babyface finishes in recent memory. The adverse fan reaction was almost in line with the vitriol Seth Rollins faced for how his Hell In A Cell match with Bray Wyatt ended in 2019. At the time, he was booked as one of the top good guys in the company, but the backlash was so bad that WWE had to turn him heel eventually. That’s the trajectory his character is still on to this day. Morgan will take on Shayna Baszler at WWE‘s upcoming Clash At The Castle premium live event, and that could mark the end of Liv’s seemingly doomed first championship reign.
Next: WWE’s Liv Morgan Champion Problem (& How To Fix It)
Source: Wrestling Observer Radio
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