Welcome to the WWE, Ronda Rousey. The former UFC champ made her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 in an incredible way – by beating the hell out of her bosses, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon!
What a way to debut. After announcing her arrival during the closing moments of the 2018 Royal Rumble, Ronda Rousey, 31, had her firsst match at “the grandest stage of them all:” WrestleMania 34! “Rowdy” wasn’t just facing any opponent. Along with Kurt Angle, 49, she battled Stephanie McMahon, 41, and Triple H, 48, in a wild tag-team bout! At the end of the April 8 match, Ronda secured the victory after putting Steph in a vicious armbar (remember, she happens to be Ronda’s boss.) As she begged for mercy, Steph had no choice but to tap out!
This was an incredible match! Though the “mixed match” rules meant men fought men, while women fought women, Ronda squared up with Triple H at one moment. The Game got the worst end of that, as Ronda demolished him with some vicious shots! Both Steph and Triple H did their best to cheat their way to a win, but it was no use! Ronda was just too much for both of them!
— Thomas D Bradley (@ThomasDBradley) April 9, 2018
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 9, 2018
So begins the “Rowdy” era of the WWE. It’s been quite a long journey to where Ronda’s an active Superstar. The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion’s love for professional wrestling was well known before her arrival (her “Rowdy” nickname was taken from the late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and she wore one of his leather jackets during her Rumble debut — and Piper-inspired gear when she walked out in WrestleMania) She gave fans a preview of things to come back in 2015, appearing alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at WrestleMania 31. The two people she clashed with that night? Stephanie and Hunter. “Ever ring I step into is mine,” Ronda said back then, hip tossing Triple H and locking Steph into a painful armbar. Three years later, these foes finally got a chance to square off.
A lot happened in those three years. Ronda, once an undefeated UFC champion, suffered back-to-back losses. First, she fell to Holly Holm, 36, at UFC 193 on Nov. 15, 2015. A high kick ended Ronda’s three-year reign as champion. She would take more than a year off from the ring, returning to face Amanda Nunes, 29. Ronda would lose via TKO just 48 seconds into the first round.
Almost as soon as that match was over, many speculated that Ronda was headed to the WWE. She denied her involvement, even up until her debut at the Rumble. The question now is: what’s next for Ronda? Will she challenge any of the women’s champs? Will she be a full-time Superstar or will she be a special attraction, like Brock Lesnar? Whatever happens, the state of the WWE will never be the same.