- Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE
- Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has signed with WWE.
- The news comes after Rousey made a surprise at the end of the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia on Sunday night.
- Rousey seems to be all-in on her future with the company, calling her WWE career “First priority on my timeline for the next several years.”
Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has signed with WWE, making her entrance into the world of professional wrestling after months of speculation.
Rousey surprised the WWE universe on Sunday night in Philadelphia, emerging from backstage moments after the end of the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match.
As the match concluded, Asuka – the winner of the inaugural women’s Rumble – stood in the center of the ring eyeing up champions Charlotte and Alexa Bliss and debating which of them she could potentially challenge at WrestleMania. Moments later, the arena began blasting Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” as Rousey’s name appeared across the jumbotron, earning cheers from the crowd as she joined the trio of women in the ring.
Welcome to WWE, Ronda Rousey.pic.twitter.com/ka18kw2iyn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 29, 2018
Rousey pointed at the WrestleMania sign that hung above the ring, and attempted to shake Asuka’s hand, but Asuka pulled away from her in a mocking fashion. From there she exited the ring and met with Stephanie McMahon, onscreen commissioner of “Monday Night Raw,” and shook hands.
Everyone’s eyes are on#WrestleMania 34…
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018
While speaking with ESPN about her decision to move to WWE, Rousey indicated that signing with the company was no short-sighted matter, and that she intended to compete in the world of wrestling for some time.
“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,” Rousey told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “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’s entrance wasn’t a total shock to fans of WWE – she appeared at WrestleMania 31 alongside The Rock to face down Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, and had even been one of the betting favorites to show up as a surprise entrant and win the women’s Royal Rumble. But even with speculation that more WWE action was in her near future, no one could be sure if it would be a one-off appearance or if she planned to come on to the roster full-time.
We don’t yet know how Rousey will be in the ring, but stars like Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Shayna Baszler of NXT >have shown that the transition can be made with amazing results. Chances are we’ll learn more about Rousey’s immediate future in the WWE, such as her first match and opponent, on “Monday Night Raw” this week.