Three Things WWE Needs To Do To Prove It’s All In On Liv Morgan

Morgan's first title defense will be against Ronda Rousey

by

July 27

WWE has a big opportunity to build Liv Morgan into a main-event level star, and it has to start at SummerSlam.

Morgan shocked fans when she cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase on Ronda Rousey to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship on July 2. The two will have a rematch at SummerSlam on July 30. The build to the match has been fine, with the story painting Morgan as the underdog having to prove she can beat “the baddest woman on the planet.”

The worry, as is often the case with WWE, is the company saw the cash-in and title win at Money in the Bank as the achievement and don’t feel the need to expand upon the moment, because the moment speaks for itself. This philosophy has damaged WWE’s main event scene and showcases its inability to create new stars.

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What is apparent in Morgan’s appearances since her title win is she is very popular with the WWE fans, and it’s not hard to see why. Her WWE Network documentary showed her rise from humble origins in Elmwood Park, New Jersey all the way to WWE. She is one of the more likable stars in the company, and at 28 years old, she is at a prime age to be a top babyface for the company.

Whether or not WWE is all in on Morgan will be dependent on these three factors:

Morgan has to beat Rousey clean at SummerSlam
Money in the Bank is a concept that typically works for a heel, due to the idea of winning a title off a champion who has been beaten up during a match. Morgan’s cash-in arguably worked since she was positioned as an underdog to Rousey, who has been billed as a near unbeatable force. This will likely be the story again in Nashville, and Morgan must not only come out the winner but there cannot be any doubt coming out of the match.

WWE, due to the need to fill up five hours of content on Raw and SmackDown, loves to set up rematches — there will be two rematches from Money in the Bank, not including Morgan versus Rousey. This means there’s some shenanigans typically in the form of outside interference. This cannot and should not happen at SummerSlam, if WWE is truly invested in Morgan as a main-event level star. Morgan should win by hitting her finisher and pinning Rousey.

Morgan needs to eventually graduate from being an underdog
Assuming Morgan does in fact beat Rousey clean, this should be the start of Morgan becoming more of a legit star and no longer being seen as an underdog, both by fans and from a kayfabe perspective. Heel wrestlers should not be using Morgan’s status as an underdog against her. Becky Lynch is a great example of this.

The six-time former champion was once seen as the lesser member of the “Four Horsewomen” (Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley). However, once Lynch turned heel through her “The Man” character and entered the main event scene, she grew into a main-event level star, eventually beating Flair and Rousey in the main event of WrestleMania 35.

The opposite example is Daniel Bryan — now Bryan Danielson in All Elite Wrestling. Bryan got his big moment at WrestleMania 30, but WWE always perceived him as an underdog. Even in his return run in 2018, where he won the WWE Championship, Bryan was still booked as a mid-card talent and not the main event star the fans wanted him to be and the way he’s treated in AEW.

The simple fact is underdogs are not viewed as top stars in WWE. Morgan’s reign as champion should be a vehicle for her to grow from her underdog role into a star who fans don’t question why she’s competing in the main event scene.

Get the little things right
The details were always something lost on Vince McMahon in the past 10 years. How things change with Paul “Triple H” Levesque in charge of creative is unknown. Things started out rocky when Morgan didn’t receive her custom plates on her title the following SmackDown after Money in the Bank. It’s a small thing, sure, but some stars tend to get those as soon as the night of they win the title, and the fact she didn’t get them six days after her title win doesn’t provide optimism.

Another potential benefit of the absence of McMahon at the creative helm is WWE can potentially take their time with Morgan and not have to worry about a 76-year-old man losing his interest on a star. As mentioned before, Morgan is an extremely likable person, and that should be showcased not just on television but on merch stands. If WWE truly believes in Morgan as a main-event star, they’ll put action and money into its efforts.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
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