…We all knew it was happening. We just didn’t know when: Former UFC Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey made her first official appearance as a WWE Superstar after the finish of the Women’s Royal Rumble. She eyeballed Asuka (the Women’s Royal Rumble winner) and Charlotte Flair (current Smackdown Women’s Champion) in particular before shaking Stephanie McMahon’s hand and then leaving.
Her entrance was clearly intended to in part erase the painfully awkward promo she did at the close of the Mae Young Classic. The larger purpose was to show the MMA world, UFC fans, WWE Fans and of course her fans what she has decided to do next.
Here’s an interview she did with ESPN after the Royal Rumble:
…Obviously this is a good fit for her. She is Marking out HARD at her own WWE signing so…yeah.
Here’s a separate interview she did with WWE, presumably before the ESPN interview. Easy to tell given the ring’s LED display is still on here but it’s off in the other one.
WWE.com announced after the Royal Rumble went off the air that they have agreed to terms and have signed Rousey to a full-time contract. Let’s not kid ourselves, she’s been working out at the WWE Performance Center for months now. She brought some of her friends from UFC over to WWE and they are tearing the house down in NXT.
As of this morning it is official. Rousey gave the important details to know for now last night and again this morning:
- The jacket she wore belonged to the late Rowdy Roddy Piper. After posing with it backstage she returned it to his son.
- WWE is her life now. She is all in and it is a multi-year deal. She let it slip she signed on for 3 to 5 years so…yeah.
- As she noted, UFC owner Dana White considers her “retired from MMA” so she has closed the book on that part of her life.
- She will make her in-ring debut “Soon”, which based on her obvious attempts to not say too much could be as soon as this week’s RAW or Smackdown.
Speaking of: We will hopefully find out this week which brand Rousey will be attached to, let alone the buildup to who her Wrestlemania opponent will be. Stephanie McMahon and Charlotte Flair were both heavily teased in the same night. Charlotte would give her a proper match and would be a MEGA draw for the Smackdown Championship. On the other hand, Stephanie McMahon would make the buildup look real good. Plus, there are the rumors The Rock has expressed an interest in working with Triple H at Wrestlemania. So, a mixed tag match involving the four of them could happen.
It’s very unlikely it would be anyone else.
Carmella using the briefcaseat Wrestlemania ala Seth Rollins would be pretty epic and let’s be honest: The reason she hasn’t cashed in yet is likely BECAUSE it will happen then. So, if Rousey is booked to face Charlotte then we could see Carmella pull a Seth Rollins. Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.
I will discuss the rest of the Royal Rumble in a separate post.
In closing, Rousey is another Brock Lesnar. Perhaps even bigger. She’s got connections in the MMA World and Star Power to draw in revenue. Dana White should’ve tried to keep her in UFC but didn’t reach out according to him and her.
ESPN has been taking shots at her and WWE all day over her new career choice, which comes as no surprise. Rousey is gonna dominate the Women’s Division just like Brock Lesnar does the Men’s Division. The difference is Lesnar is paid a full-time salary but works a part-time schedule as per his contract. Rousey will be paid full-time and work full-time on the other hand. And she’s hitting the ground running.
It’s Win-Win for both WWE and Rousey. ‘Nuff said.