Though many rumors about Ronda Rousey potentially joining the WWE persisted, her appearance at the Royal Rumble on Sunday night came as a surprise to many. WWE and Rousey went to great lengths to keep things a secret. In fact, they were so good at keeping things quiet that her appearance at the show even shocked her stepkids.
Rousey shared this video on Instagram that shows a recording of the reaction her stepkids had while watching the Rumble with their father, Rousey’s husband Travis Browne. Their reaction was awesome:
The WWE was serious about keeping things a surprise, which is why her stepkids clearly had no idea. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne says that Rousey traveled via charter jet and mostly alone to avoid being spotted in Philly to spoil the surprise.
A few extra fun tidbits for the late night WWE crowd. Ronda DID indeed go to Colombia to shoot Mile 22, but she came back to the States via a charter jet, then basically stayed out of sight for 24 hours. There was one chance to spot her: At customs in Miami.
Ronda did not travel back from Colombia with any of her usual entourage so there was no chance of them being recognized anywhere. Her husband Travis Browne stayed home. Too big a risk of being recognized.
Ronda Rousey was one of the biggest draws for the UFC at the height of her mixed martial arts career, but she officially began a new chapter on Sunday. While UFC president Dana White must be disappointed to lose Rousey, he says he is excited for the former bantamweight champion.
In a text message to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review Journal, White said Rousey has always been enamored with pro wrestling and is accomplishing another goal by signing with the WWE.
Text from Dana White via text on Rousey's wrestling career: "I'm very happy for her. She loves pro wrestling and has always been a big fan so I know how much his means to her. She keeps accomplishing everything she's ever wanted." #RJNow
While she technically has not retired from the UFC, Rousey made it clear that her WWE career is a full-time thing and not just some publicity stunt. White said he does not expect her to fight in the UFC again.
Rousey made a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble on Sunday night, and it looks like her first fight is going to be at WrestleMania on April 8.
The WWE seems to have plans for Ronda Rousey to make her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. Better yet, they may have a tag team match in mind for her.
Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported on Sunday night that the current plan is for Rousey to be in a tag team match against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
Meltzer says the company’s ideal match would pair Rousey with The Rock, but it’s unknown whether they could make that happen.
Rousey’s publicized deal with the WWE will make her a full-time wrestler. A tag team match for her debut would make sense because it would allow more experienced wrestlers to handle a lot of the action and do the so-called “heavy lifting.”
Ronda Rousey is making some business moves as she transitions into her post-MMA wrestling career.
Rousey appeared at WWE’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia on Sunday night to tease her debut as a full-time wrestler for the company. She was wearing a leather jacket and had a T-shirt on underneath that said “Hot Ronda!” on it. That was all part of some very conscious marketing from the WWE, as well as Rousey.
Rousey, who went by the “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey name during her MMA career, has filed for three trademarks relating to the “Rowdy Ronda Rousey” name, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Ronda Rousey has filed for three trademarks to "Rowdy Ronda Rousey."
All those rumors you heard about Ronda Rousey potentially joining the WWE finally came true.
Rousey appeared at the WWE’s Royal Rumble on Sunday night in Philadelphia, entering the ring after Asuka won the event. She confronted Asuka, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair, and then pointed to the WrestleMania sign as if to hint at a match at the major event in April.
Rousey, the former Olympian and UFC women’s bantamweight champion, was long rumored to be joining the WWE. After starting her MMA career 12-0, Rousey shockingly lost to Holly Holm in 2015 and then later to Amanda Nunes at the end of 2016. She mostly avoided the spotlight after that, with reports creeping up here and there tying Rousey to the WWE.
The 30-year-old isn’t just joining the WWE temporarily or on a one-time basis. She agreed to a full-time deal with WWE and told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that this is her top priority.
“This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt,” Rousey told ESPN’s Shelburne . “When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.'”
The WWE appears to be building towards having Rousey make her first appearance in the ring at WrestleMania on April 8.
A promo that featured Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair was released earlier this month, leading many to believe it was only a matter of time before the former UFC champion explores a career in pro wrestling. As it turns out, Rousey still hasn’t signed a contract.
“Ronda, the offer still stands,” McMahon said. “We’d love to have you in WWE.”
It certainly seemed like a match between Rousey and Flair was being set up when the two cut a promo together, so perhaps there is some sort of hold-up on the business end of things.
Rousey hasn’t said whether she will ever fight again in the UFC, though an Instagram post from January got people talking. McMahon said earlier in the year that Rousey and the WWE would be a match made in heaven, so it’s no surprise she still wants that match to be made.
Ronda Rousey is destined to take part in a WWE event at some point, and it looks as though her debut could be coming sooner rather than later.
A promo featuring Rousey was released this week, and it seems like the goal was to set up a WWE match between the former UFC champion and Charlotte Flair, the daughter of Ric Flair and a former champ herself.
For those of you who don’t follow wrestling, that was Bayley and Becky Lynch — two more former WWE champions — standing next to Flair. Rousey was with MMA training partners Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, who along with Rousey and Shayna Baszler have been referring to themselves as “The Four Horsewomen.”
Ronda Rousey’s last fight came in December 2016 and that may very well be the last one of her mixed martial arts career.
Rousey began her career in 2011 and won her first 12 fights as a professional before suffering a defeat to Holly Holm in 2015. During that time, she captured the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title and became a worldwide star.
Rousey followed the loss to Holm with another defeat in her next match, this time to Amanda Nunes. We haven’t seen Rousey in the octagon since and, as Dana White speculates, we may never again.
“I think people realize she’s probably going to retire,” White told ESPN.
“And the way she is, is what made everybody get behind her,” he continued. “It’s what blew up the women’s divisions. Now she’s going to move on to the next chapter of her life, get married and have kids, do that thing. It’s not sad, it’s the way she wanted it.”
If Rousey does decide to move on to the post-fighting stage of her life, she will leave behind a lasting legacy in mixed martial arts. She dominated the sport for a period of time, became a champion, and played a role in the growth of the women’s side of UFC.
At just 30 years old, Rousey is obviously at an age where she could still compete at a high level, if she chose to. However, on the heels of two consecutive losses, Rousey may decide to leave that portion of her life in the past.