After months and months of speculation, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has made her official World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) debut.
Heading into the promotion’s annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view this evening (Sun., January 28, 2018), speculation was that Rousey, a longtime pro-wrestling fan, was not going to debut at the show because she was filming her movie Mile 22 despite several teasing appearances and endless rumors she was soon signing with the pro-wrestling giant.
Some bought it, some did not.
Well, in classic pro-wrestling style, the WWE surprised both MMA and wrestling fans when Rousey came out at the very end of the pay-per-view to confront three top female wrestlers and greet WWE executive Stephanie MacMahon, whom she once put in some sort of armlock at WrestleMania almost three years back before pointing at the sign for the upcoming WrestleMania 34 this year.
Check it out:
Everyone's eyes are on #WrestleMania 34…
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018
It was noted that Rousey showed up in a leather jacket and shirt similar to that of Roddy Piper, her late wrestling mentor and the man who handed her her ‘Rowdy’ namesake:
— Old Wrestling Pics (@OldWrestlingPic) January 29, 2018
What’s more, Rousey stated in an interview with ESPN that she had signed with WWE to be a full-time performer, not a part-time wrestler making a quick appearance for a big one-time payday:
“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 Ramona Shelburne of her decision to join WWE. “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.'”
Rousey will now go on to instantly be one of the WWE’s biggest stars despite having little actual experience in pro-wrestling. Based on what she was able to accomplish in Judo and mixed martial arts, however, there’s little doubt Rousey will get the hang of it rather quickly.
It would also appear to officially close the door on her MMA career, where she was dominant and peerless up until the point she wasn’t in back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes to close out her career, at least for now.
Will you pay attention to pro-wrestling just to see how Rousey’s new career plays out?