Legendary mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey has agreed to terms with WWE to perform for the company as a full-time professional wrestler.
The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion made her presence felt immediately following the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match, walking to the ring to confront Women’s Royal Rumble Match winner Asuka, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, and Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss.
Rousey, who was wearing the jacket of her close friend and namesake, the late WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, did not say anything at first but pointed directly to the WrestleMania sign hanging in the rafters. When she offered a handshake to Asuka, her hand was slapped away. A few words were exchanged before Rousey pointed to the sign once more. She then waved goodbye to the three Superstars in the ring.
Rousey then shared a handshake with Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon outside of the ring before exiting. The interaction between Ronda and Stephanie implied some kind of agreement had been struck, but for now, the implications of her appearance remain unresolved.
According to Dave Meltzer of F4Wonline.com, WWE plans on having Rousey make her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 in a Mixed Tag Team Match against Stephanie and Triple H.
According to Meltzer, WWE officials want Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Rousey’s tag team partner against Triple H and Stephanie. WWE actually wanted to do this match at WrestleMania 31 in March 2015. Instead, an in-ring segment took place that ended with Johnson and Rousey attacking Triple H, and then Rousey teasing putting Stephanie in an armbar.
According to Meltzer, it is unknown whether that match can be put together at this time. Johnson hasn’t been able to wrestle a significant match since WrestleMania 29 in April 2013. In a WrestleMania rematch against John Cena, he tore his abdominal and adductor tendons from his pelvis which giving Cena the Rock Bottom. This delayed filming of the Hercules movie for several weeks due to surgery to reattach the torn tendons and recovery.
Aside from a few second match with Erick Rowan at WrestleMania 32 in April 2016, Johnson has stayed out of the ring due to agreements with film companies that he would not wrestle.
“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 said in an interview with ESPN.com on joining 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.'”
In another interview with WWE.com, Rousey explains her lifelong dream of becoming a WWE Superstar and her admiration for WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper before “dropping a big fat hint” about her intentions for WrestleMania 34.