Anyone following former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, as she makes her transition from the Octagon to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) ring, can plainly see that “Rowdy” doesn’t yet know how to play the role of salesperson.
What takes place inside the squared circle is not real, so it’s the performer’s job to sell it as if it was. Not that anyone expected her to be Stephanie McMahon from day one, but Rousey is as green as a cucumber and needs a few more weeks under the lamps. So how did WWE structure her promotional videos to compensate for her lack of on-camera showmanship?
The same way it handled Brock Lesnar, an exceptional athlete who cut promos like he was nervously trying to explain the order of operations in a difficult math problem. Rousey was a killer during her time in UFC but also had her moments of hardship. She didn’t run from them when promoting cage fights and the same approach has been used in her pro wrestling presentations.
Transcribed by MMA Junkie:
“I remember my last fight, walking away thinking God hates me. I had nothing left in me. My husband (UFC heavyweight Travis Browne) is amazing, and he really brought me out of some tough times. He would just look at me and say, ‘You’re not only this. You’re more than just a fighter.’ And that’s not a bad thing, that’s not something I should be ashamed of. It’s something I should embrace and showcase to the world, and that’s why I’m here. I’m not afraid to care anymore. I needed to be miserable then to be truly happy now. It’s all led to this, and I didn’t even realize that I’ve always been on this path.”
Her last fight was a technical knockout loss to Amanda Nunes at the UFC 207 pay-per-view (PPV) event in late 2016, the second time Rousey went down in flames in as many appearances. Prior to being devoured by “Lioness,” the Olympian suffered the first loss of her professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career at the hands (and feet) of former division champion Holly Holm.
Despite her refusal to call it a retirement, the 31-year-old “Rowdy” athlete is not expected to make her return to fighting anytime soon, if ever. So if you’re a Rousey fan and want to see the next chapter in her career, check out WWE Monday Night RAW or buy this upcoming PPV to see what all the fuss is about.