Ronda Rousey might claim she’s done with the WWE, but it seems she’s still doing the work.
The former WWE Superstar and Raw Women’s Champion aired her grievances this week on the Wild Ride! w/ Steve-O podcast about all things WWE, including the ungrateful fan base, fake-ness and grueling schedule.
One of her hottest takes was calling out WWE for its scripted nature:
“I love the WWE. I had such a great time. I love all the girls in the locker room. Running out there and having fake fights for fun is just the best thing. I love choreography. I love acting. I love theater. Live theater and some of the last forms of live theater. But, I was doing basically part-time and I was away from home 200 days out of the year. And when I did get home, I was so sleep deprived ’cause you just don’t have time to lay down.”
Rousey took things a step further when it came to the fans of the WWE Universe:
It was just not worth it for my family. Because we were eliminating all of our expenses and living this lifestyle, we didn’t need it. We didn’t need the money. So it’s just like, what am I doing it for if I’m not being able to spend my time and energy on my family, but instead spending my time and energy on a bunch of (expletive) ungrateful fans that don’t even appreciate me. I love performing. I love the girls. I love being out there, but at the end of the day I was just like (expletive) these fans, dude. My family loves me and they appreciate me. I want all my energy to go into them. So that was my decision at the end of the day.
Rousey’s comments ignited a backlash, but she stood her ground and explained the rationale for her comments. According to Rousey, “pretending pro wrestling is somehow on the same level of realism” as a “REAL fight” insults MMA fighters:
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) April 11, 2020
So … that’s certainly a lot. But is it entirely sincere?
Coming from a MMA and UFC background, Rousey is no stranger to violence. She was the last-ever MMA Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion before the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bought Strikeforce in 2011. Then, Rousey competed in the first female UFC fight. She set the record for the most title defenses by a woman with six, and in 2018 she was the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
You probably know all that. And you also probably know that WWE is a little bit different. Sports entertainment features performers with a scripted storyline – but from there, the similarities are readily apparent. WWE Superstars aren’t trying to harm each other (in fact, they go out of their way to protect one another, and they’re exceptional at it), but pain is an occupational hazard. So is injury. The outcomes might be predetermined, but the punishment is very, very, VERY real.
Especially considering the wide array of matches possible in WWE. Take a ladder match, for example.
These are no joke. You’re trying to get to the top of the ladder before your opponent, which of course means using the ladder as a weapon. And one thing you certainly won’t see in an MMA match is someone being sent flying from atop a ladder in the ring to the floor outside:
Jimmy @WWEUsos just risked it ALL for the #SmackDown #TagTeamTitles, and @TheRealMorrison made him pay! #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/P2imwJEej3
— WWE (@WWE) April 5, 2020
How about knocking your opponent into a table? That’s something Rousey knows a little something about.
Or maybe being tied to your competitor with a strap to remain close to each other, while viciously lashing your opponent with that length of leather:
It is in fact different from a real fight where you’re throwing punches, but both have their own level of danger. WWE stars expect to come out battered and beaten just like MMA and UFC fighters; they just know the end result prior to the finish.
Which is one of the reasons why many Superstars had thoughts about Rousey’s words.
Hm. Was out for almost a year. Must have been “ fake” pic.twitter.com/lnLLAq3laT
— Lexi Kaufman (@AlexaBliss_WWE) April 11, 2020
I have NO WORDS for her audacity to save “fake fighting” !!!!!! If it’s fake why can’t @RealPaigeWWE & @TJWilson can’t wrestle anymore ?? If it is fake why couldn’t @EdgeRatedR wrestle for 11 years ???? This is a contact sport where REAL things happen! https://t.co/cYvGpTjmci
— CJ “Lana” Perry (@LanaWWE) April 11, 2020
I can’t wait for Ronda 2 one day return 2 WWE. Even if WWE orders me to make Ronda look good in the ring, which is the ONLY way for Ronda 2 look good in the ring w/me. I’ll risk my job 2 go down in history as the one from this biz that knocked her the FK out! #TestMeBitch
— 🌺 (@NiaJaxWWE) April 11, 2020
And of course, therein lies the rub. With Rousey and WWE, you never know just how much is reality, and how much is reality.
Indeed, her comments sound reminiscent of the Rousey who went off on her YouTube channel during the buildup to her fight against the Raw Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch, before WrestleMania 35:
“I’m not going out there and doing their f–king act anymore. I’m going out there and doing whatever the hell I want. And they can explain it however they want, but … f–k em. Everybody. WWE Universe included. I meant that. I’m going to disrespect the sport that they all love so much. ‘Ohhhh don’t break kayfabe Ronda!’ Wrestling is scripted. It’s made up. It’s not real. None of those bitches can f–king touch me. The end.”
Because Rousey has made similar statements in the past, as part of a storyline, it had many wondering if this could possibly be a sign of Rowdy’s return?
Rousey has been absent from WWE programming since WrestleMania 35 when she lost the Raw Women’s Title to Lynch in a Triple Threat Match with the NXT Women’s Champion in her second reign and WrestleMania 36 Champion Charlotte Flair.
She’s even getting a little help from that last opponent she fell to before her time away.
You better hurry up and beat me, Shayna. Auntie Ronda is casting her shadow again now you’ve got yourself a little bit of the spotlight. https://t.co/8ljhoXPW2Y
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) April 2, 2020
She didn’t entirely rule out coming back in her interview earlier this week either, but she did state it would have to be in a limited capacity:
“No, I’ll never be full time again — over 200 days a year on the road like that ever again,” she said. “I needed to do it in order to learn and get immersed into it and really understand what’s going on, but it’s just not the lifestyle for me.”
Full time, part time, it doesn’t matter – just give us anytime, and we’re in, Rowdy.