A current WWE Superstar and former champion has slammed Ronda Rousey as “arrogant” ahead of her SmackDown Women’s Title defence at Money In The Bank.
During her first WWE run it was often said that very few athletes had taken to professional wrestling as quickly and as proficiently as Ronda Rousey. Former stars and backstage figures praised the former UFC champion for her hard work and aptitude for life inside the squared circle, with comparisons drawn to legends such as Kurt Angle.
One person who got to see the transformation in action was former SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya. The ‘Queen of Harts’ was involved in training Rousey, and in the process the two women became good friends.
Speaking in a recent interview with After The Bell, the star explained that she took Rousey under her wing, and that helped her gain acceptance in the WWE locker room.
“Ronda and I, we were really close friends. I actually trained with Ronda and helped her before she ever signed a WWE contract. I remember getting off an overseas tour and flying straight from the tour and meeting with her at Santino’s [Santino Bros] in California. That was the start of our private training sessions.
In those sessions, I realized something really special about her. Yes, she’s an Olympic athlete, she’s a pioneer for women’s MMA, she literally put women’s MMA on the map, there might not be women in MMA without Ronda Rousey. She did that. I realized, in training with her, that she is so naturally gifted. I could show her something once, and she would pick it up. I knew she had a knack for it. Everything came very easy for Ronda, and in my experience, it was the complete opposite. Things take a long time for me to understand and grasp and I’ve been doing this since I was 18.
For Ronda, because she picked it up so fast and was naturally good at it, there was an arrogance about her. She and I were great, we were great when she got signed, I took her under my wing in WWE and made sure everyone in the locker room felt comfortable and I think the girls felt more comfortable with Ronda when they saw that I endorsed Ronda.
When Nattie endorses someone, I’ve been tried and true in WWE and I’m proud of that, I’ve been here 15 years, have experience, and girls trust me. When they see that I trust Ronda, I like Ronda, I let Ronda in our world, it kind of softened them up into liking Ronda. We were very close friends,”
However, the number one contender to the SmackDown Women’s Title said that things were different when Rousey made her return to the company in early 2022. Natalya explained that she feels her rival is arrogant, and claims she dismissed her because she put wrestling ahead of wanting children.
“Some of that changed when she came back because, without being a jerk, I think she’s really arrogant. She just dismissed me and said, ‘You didn’t want to have kids and put wrestling first.’ Well, maybe I don’t want to have kids.
Maybe that’s that not what I want in my life. I don’t think I should be shamed for that. I’ve never wanted to be a mom, it’s never been in my heart. Don’t dismiss every single thing I’ve done in this industry. I’m sorry that my love and my passion is way greater than yours will ever be. You’re naturally good at something, that makes you arrogant, but don’t dismiss me for the love that you don’t have,”
After weeks of insults both on-screen and on social media Natalya will finally meet Rousey in the ring at Money In The Bank, as she bids to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship for a second time.
H/t Fightful for the transcription.