Ronda Rousey's inclusion in Mortal Kombat 11 might end up being something developer NetherRealm Studios ultimately regrets, according to fan feedback on the celebrity's acting chops now that the game has released. Ronda Rousey took over the role of Sonya Blade during development of the latest iteration of the popular franchise, and even went so far as dressing up as the character at a WWE event, giving the game a ton of free publicity in the process.
Mortal Kombat 11 has paid careful attention to its marketing over the lead-up and subsequent scrum after its late April launch. Trailers focusing on the game's best fatalities and new Mortal Kombat 11 character additions helped buoy the game up until its release, and an extremely positive reception was only marred by the inclusion of one of the most predatory microtransaction models in recent memory. Even though the business model only affected Mortal Kombat 11's cosmetic items, the fact that early math suggested players needed to sink thousands of hours into the game's content or else shell out cash for the additional content was enough to create an uproar.
It might be welcome for NetherRealm Studios, then, to deal with a different sort of controversy — one that stems from the inclusion of Ronda Rousey as the voice actor behind Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat 11. Rousey is a professional athlete by trade, but her recent stint with WWE had some hoping that her acting might have improved thanks to that company's scripted segments, giving the fighter a new talent to lean on ahead of voicing Blade. Unfortunately, that's not what happened, and fans are having a field day finding different examples of just how bad Rousey's acting chops really are:
Bringing in Ronda Rousey for MK11 was garbage for plenty of reasons but the way she delivers her lines like a bad Tommy Wiseau impersonation is just awful. pic.twitter.com/vE9hlJi7Zk— Steve Kim (@Fobwashed) April 24, 2019
The common consensus among fans is that Ronda Rousey's acting just isn't up to snuff. There's also been complaints regarding the fact that her character, Sonya Blade, shares so many scenes with Johnny Cage, who many have identified as one of the best performances among the game's large cast of fighters. It certainly hasn't helped Rousey's performance to be contrasted by such a standout one in Andrew Bowen's take on Cage. Fans haven't been afraid to be particularly harsh with their criticism, either:
Ronda Rousey is "Jill Sandwich" level bad in Mortal Kombat, and took away work from a great voice actress. Go ruin something I don't like for once— Daario Speedwagon (@hamsandcastle) April 26, 2019
While it seems pretty hyperbolic to suggest that Rousey outright ruined Mortal Kombat 11, post-release, it seems her attachment to the franchise has shifted from a positive factor to a major detraction from its most recent game's quality. That's not a knock against Ed Boon and the team at NetherRealm Studios for wanting to promote their game, but perhaps the developer will think more carefully about which celebrity they want to add next time around — especially with so many wrestlers, including the extremely talented Xavier Woods, eager to help promote the game when they're available to do so.