SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey lifted the lid on how her WWE return didn’t exactly go as planned.
After her controversial loss at WrestleMania 35, Ronda Rousey left the WWE to take time to focus on her personal life. After she and her husband welcomed their first child in September of 2021, rumors began to swirl about when the star might make her return to WWE.
Questions were answered in January of 2022, when Rousey returned in shocking fashion and won the Women’s Royal Rumble match, setting up a confrontation with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 38. In spite of many fans’ expectations, Charlotte retained her title at that event, though Rousey would defeat her for the SmackDown Women’s Championship the next month at WrestleMania Backlash.
Speaking to Daniel Cormier on The DC Check-In, Ronda Rousey revealed that her return to WWE didn’t go as originally planned as she was supposed to return as a heel, which could explain the mixed reaction she received for some of her promos in the leadup to WrestleMania. However, she revealed that the initial reaction she got from the St. Louis crowd at the Royal Rumble led Vince McMahon to change his mind about booking her in a villain role.
“Vince was like, ‘Well, they popped for her real big so she’s a babyface now.'”
Continuing, the former UFC star explained that she expected to be an angry heel on her first Raw appearance, but that she was told to stop being a villain.
“‘No, no, no, no, you need to smile, you need to stop being a b—h.'”
Rousey wasn’t pleased about this development, as she enjoys playing the bad guy when it comes to her wrestling persona.
“I love being a b—h. It’s my outlet for bitchery. And they’re like, ‘Yeah, you got to pull back a little bit.’”
Though her return received a visceral response from those in attendance in St. Louis, Ronda Rousey says that she was expecting a similar response to that of the end of her previous run in 2019, which led to her putting up walls toward the crowd.
“I came out with my guard up, and I think I didn’t get to enjoy that moment because I was guarded.”
Being guarded led to her blocking out the crowd’s reaction, and Ronda Rousey says she didn’t get to properly enjoy the moment.
“I think I kind of missed out on really enjoying that moment because I was expecting the worst in people.”
One of the most famous names in UFC history, Ronda Rousey made waves when it was reported that she was trying her hand at professional wrestling and signed with the WWE in late 2017. Having previously made appearances in the audience during various WWE shows and also confronting The Authority alongside The Rock at WrestleMania 31, Rousey made her first appearance as a WWE signee at the 2018 Royal Rumble when she interrupted Asuka’s winning celebration and pointed to the WrestleMania sign.
Fans were blown away when Rousey made her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34, teaming with Kurt Angle to take on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Rousey and Angle were able to defeat The Authority, and the parallels between the two in their rookie performances spelled great things for the former UFC star.
Ronda Rousey is currently embroiled in a feud with Natalya on SmackDown, and the two will face off at the upcoming Money in the Bank Premium Live Event.