At one time, Ronda Rousey was considered the baddest woman on the planet. She was a slayer in the UFC octagon, and her dominance led many to wonder if she would ever lose.
She did. Twice.
Those losses came at the hands of Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes and sent the hype-train hurtling off the rails. Rousey disappeared into the ether and people — including us — started wondering whether the former women’s champ would ever fight again and, if not, what she would do next.
That is, until she popped up like a groundhog to watch the tapings of WWE’s Mae Young Classic, an all-women’s tournament with 32 indie competitors vying for a WWE contract. Rousey wasn’t there to compete but to support her friend Shayna Baszler.
Of course, when you see Rousey show up at a WWE event, speculation runs wild, brother!
“Rowdy” has always had a keen interest in professional wrestling — her nickname is in honor of the great Roddy Piper, who gave her permission to use it. She also grew up with the late, great wrestling legend Gene LeBell as a mentor.
This isn’t the first time the former women’s champ has shown up at a live WWE event. Back in 2015, at the peak of the Rousey’s popularity, she was a surprise guest at Wrestlemania 31 where, alongside The Rock, she judo tossed HHH out of the ring and roughed up Stephanie McMahon, showcasing her potential for a full crossover to sports entertainment.
Now with her MMA career in the rearview mirror for the foreseeable future, and her film career on shaky ground, there is no better time for the former judoka Olympian to make the transition to the squared circle. And it sounds like the WWE agrees; word on the street is that the WWE is pushing hard to help make her pro-wrestling dreams become a reality.
But is the new bride really up for it? Rousey has mentioned in the past that she’d love to have children, even calling herself an “ovarian goldmine.” If you’re supposed to avoid roller coasters when you’re pregnant, dropping an elbow off the top rope probably isn’t advisable either. She might be keen to do some rasslin first, though. According to a report from Fightful.com, Rousey has been doing some basic training and is supposedly in SoCal under the tutelage of Brian Kendrick, who currently performs for WWE’s cruiserweight division and has even worked as a trainer at their performance center in Orlando.
Rousey is not far from her peak, physically, and should be able to easily handle the athletic aspects of professional wrestling once she’s had some time to learn the ins and outs of fake fighting, like how to take bumps and put together a move set. The toughest part for Ronda will likely be cutting the promos, a statement you’ll agree with if you’ve seen her act. Yikes.
Rousey wouldn’t be the first mixed martial artist to make a successful jump to pro-wrestling. Matt Riddle, Tom Lawlor, and the aforementioned Shayna Baszler have made the transition, each finding styles that suit them in the ring. You can even look back to MMA legends like Ken Shamrock and Josh Barnett who found success in both worlds. So with the right training and attitude, Rousey and the WWE could be a match made in (pay-per-view) heaven.
Will Rousey make the dive? I throw down the odds of when the former champ will be making her WWE debut and more.
RONDA ROUSEY’S WWE ODDS
Ronda Rousey’s WWE Debut Date
- Rousey makes official WWE debut before the end of 2017: 2/3
- Rousey makes official WWE debut in 2018: 2/1
- Rousey makes official WWE debut in 2019: 19/1
- Rousey never wrestles in the WWE: 60/1
Ronda Rousey’s WWE Debut Location
- Rousey makes official debut at finals of the Mae Young Classic (Sept. 12): 1/1
- Rousey makes official debut on WWE Main Roster (SmackDown or RAW): 11/9
- Rousey makes official debut on NXT: 19/1
Ronda Rousey’s First WWE Singles Match
At the Mae Young tapings, there was an unscripted verbal altercation between Rousey’s crew of 4 Horsewomen (the MMA version: Rousey, Baszler, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke) and the women’s WWE version (Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley). Could that be a precursor to a team-vs-team match at Survivor Series (November 19)? The one wrench in my brilliant plan is the current shoulder injury to the 4th horsewoman (WWE version) Bayley.
Outside of that possible stable clash, let’s look at who Rousey would face in her first singles match. There have been rumors that Rousey could also be part of a program that will see her compete against Charlotte Flair at next year’s Wrestlemania 34 (April 8, 2018).
- Charlotte Flair: 3/2
- Sasha Banks: 17/3
- Becky Lynch: 9/1
- Nia Jax: 9/1
- Alexa Bliss: 9/1
- Naomi: 19/1
- Natalya: 19/1
- Nikki Bella: 50/1
- Bayley: 50/1
- Carmella: 100/1
Ronda Rousey’s WWE Brand
- RAW: 2/3
- SmackDown: 2/1
- NXT: 14/1
Ronda Rousey’s Finishing Move
- Armbar: 3/7
- Sleeper hold: 9/1
- LeBell Lock: 9/1
- Double Arm DDT: 19/1
- Judo flip from hell: 25/1
- Moonsault: 100/1