It’s long been teased, but Ronda Rousey has agreed terms with WWE to become a full-time professional wrestler for the promotion.
The news was confirmed last night as Rousey made a surprise appearance at the WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view in Philadelphia.
Rousey turned up to the ring moments after Japanese wrestler Asuka won the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble on Sunday.
The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion then did the wrestler’s staple of pointing to the WrestleMania sign looming in the background – alluding to the WMMA trailblazer making her formal in-ring debut at that upcoming event.
According to Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting and The Wrestling Observer, the WWE are trying to set Rousey up a tag team match longside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34 in early April.
Rousey has made multiple appearances in a WWE capacity in the past. The Olympic bronze medalist attacked both Triple H and McMahon at WrestleMania 31 in 2015 during her UFC pomp. Since then, Rousey has appeared to show support to friend and former UFC fighter Shanyna Baszler, who has also turned to professional wrestling, appearing under the WWE’s NXT brand.
Rousey’s “Rowdy” nickname is also famously an homage to the late great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018
This isn’t expected to be a quick run in the WWE for Rousey, who is fully committed to a new career in professional wrestling. Speaking to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Rousey said: “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.
“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.'”
Rousey added: “This is the most overstimulated I’ve ever been in my life and, I’m just, like, I’m still processing it.”