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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

WWE talking points: Ronda Rousey proving she truly is an all-rounder ahead of Evolution

Becky Lynch v Charlotte Flair proving to be one of the best feuds of 2018 and other things to watch for as WWE prepares to make history on October 28

Ronda Rousey's microphone skills have come on strongly since she has arrived in the WWE. Image courtesy of WWE
Ronda Rousey's microphone skills have come on strongly since she has arrived in the WWE. Image courtesy of WWE

With a week to go until the WWE's historic first network special made up solely of women's matches, Evolution, which takes place on October 28, here are some talking points on things to watch out for ahead of the event.

Best yet from Rousey

It has definitely been a great first year overall in the WWE from Ronda Rousey since she arrived in January.

She shone at WrestleMania 34, won the Raw Women's title at SummerSlam and has remained hugely popular with fans despite being booked to be so dominant.

Arguably the build-up to her showdown with Nikki Bella at Evolution on October 28 has been her best work yet.

So far the WWE have protected Rousey to an extent by being careful who they place her with to work.

First off the bat was Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, who put her over massively and made her look a million dollars at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans.

Then putting her with Alexa Bliss for the SummerSlam programme was a smart move, given Bliss's skills on the microphone to set up the feud.

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Ronda Rousey to take on Nikki Bella at WWE Evolution for Raw Women's title

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Rousey has done her bit in all those rivalries, do not get me wrong, but the WWE were definitely easing her in gently.

The Bella match-up feels like the WWE letting Rousey stand on her own two feet and she has risen to the challenge magnificently.

Her promo with Bella on Monday Night Raw on October 15 was sensational. The way she held her ground on the microphone and tore into the more experienced Bella was magnificent.

She has the skill in the ring, but the ability on the microphone has been slower to come, but Rousey now looks the whole package.

She will beat Bella at Evolution and will establish herself as the top star on the women's division.

Where she goes next after that is hard to call, but whatever WWE throw at her she is well set up to handle it.

Becky v Charlotte: A feud for the ages

The feud between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's title has been superb.

It has been excellent because it is simple. Both women want to be the best and it is about respect.

Lynch felt overlooked and betrayed and her actions, although supposed to be those of the person in the wrong in the feud, has been understandable.

This has been one of the best rivalries arguably the women's division has had on the main roster, in terms of the quality of work in the ring supported by the narrative around it.

The Last Woman Standing match at Evolution, the first time the match format has ever involved women, could be the blow-off to the feud, although there is so much heat still involved that this can, and probably should continue.

There is an argument for both women winning. Lynch is on a hot streak and the WWE should really go with it.

But the allure of Flair claiming a record eighth women's WWE world title on a historic night anyhow may well be all too enticing.

But, whoever walks out with the title on October 29 will not be the only winner. The WWE universe will also be victors at witnessing the best rivalry, of both genders, on WWE programming this year.

Asuka needs to win the Battle Royal

The new talking point of Evolution is that the WWE will hold a Battle Royal involving most of the roster of both Raw and SmackDown, as well as some former WWE Superstars.

The field looks wide open, but at this stage the three candidates appear to be Natalya, Ruby Riott and Asuka.

Natalya would be a popular winner and would set up a good match-up with Rousey. Riott would also be a good fit for a feud with Rousey.

Asuka, on SmackDown, desperately needs to be rebuilt after her awful time of things since April when she lost her unbeaten record in WWE to Flair at WrestleMania 34 in a cracking match.

She was jobbed out twice to Carmella, which looks even more of a bad decision by the week now that Carmella has dropped the SmackDown title and been relegated to being a comedy act with R-Truth.

Natalya would be a nice feel-good moment, but Asuka needs the win badly. It is sad she is in this situation, having won the Royal Rumble in January, but she needs this and needs it badly.