Ronda Rousey, the UFC fighter and YouTube star, went on her vlog Ronda on the Road to detail her journey to WrestleMania 38 and her current portrayal of Kurt Angle. In an informative SmackDown promo that aired, she revealed that she added the Ankle Lock to her repertoire as a way of paying homage to WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle.
I just really want to be able to put over Kurt as the whole reason I’m doing the ankle lock. That’s a way to pay homage to him. That’s all I really care about getting out, because he was my first mentor in this business, and I’ve never really got to honor him outside of our tag [match at WrestleMania 34].
People compare us all the time because we were athletes outside of WWE and then came to it. As an Olympian, he has been like my hero since I was a little kid, so I love that he gave me the blessing to use the ankle lock.
Rousey recalled how “What?” chants were a topic of conversation during her promo, describing how she tried to push through the noise until she could mention her mentor.
Everyone was like, ‘Your rhythm seemed off, what were you worried about? And I was like if Brock [Lesnar] who is the most over the face in the company right now is getting the ‘What?’ chants, they’re gonna ‘What?’ the f–k out of me.
So I just wanted to blow through it [the promo] to the point where the first break-in when I was talking was after I mentioned Kurt because if you ‘What?’ Kurt, then you’re an a–hole.
I get more nervous about promos than matches because I have to nail it on the first go. I’ve always been a person that communicates better physically than verbally, but I think I got it. They let me say what I want to say, then I got it.