In the world of professional wrestling, Ronda Rousey’s arrival was met with immense anticipation, and her rookie year was considered one of the best for any newcomer in the business. However, her second stint with WWE, from the Royal Rumble in 2022 to SummerSlam 2023, left many fans and critics unimpressed. Despite this, Shayna Baszler, a fellow MMA veteran and former WWE superstar, came to Rousey’s defense, highlighting the significant contributions Rousey has made to both the wrestling and combat sports realms.
Shayna Baszler’s Support for Ronda Rousey:
In a recent interview with WrestleZone, Shayna Baszler, who competed in Rousey’s final match this summer, praised the former UFC star’s impact. Baszler acknowledged that Rousey’s outspoken personality has garnered her significant criticism, but she emphasized that this should not overshadow Rousey’s groundbreaking achievements in women’s sports, combat sports, and her roles in the UFC and WWE. Baszler expressed her belief that Rousey is underappreciated in many respects.
Before entering the wrestling world, Ronda Rousey was already a household name due to her undefeated run in the UFC from 2012 to 2016. Her transition to WWE brought even more attention to women’s wrestling and elevated the division’s status.
Rousey’s Recent Wrestling Appearances:
Rousey surprised fans by appearing at a Lucha VaVoom event in Los Angeles in October, teaming up with former WWE Superstar Marina Shafir. The duo defeated Taya Valkyrie and Brian Kendrick in a tag team match. Rousey and Shafir are set to team up again on November 16 at Wrestling Revolver’s Unreal show to face ROH Women’s Champion Athena and Billie Starkz.
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Rousey’s Critique of WWE Creative and Departure:
During her time with WWE, Rousey was vocal about the lack of proper storylines for the women’s division. Despite her criticisms, she left the company by putting Shayna Baszler over with a submission win at SummerSlam. This marked her first submission loss in WWE.
Will Ronda Rousey Return to WWE?
The question on many fans’ minds is whether Ronda Rousey will ever make a return to WWE. While her future in the wrestling world remains uncertain, her impact on women’s sports and combat sports as a whole cannot be denied.
Rousey’s journey from UFC superstardom to WWE’s scripted world was met with mixed reactions. While her in-ring skills and her ability to draw attention were widely acknowledged, her departure from WWE following SummerSlam 2023 came as a surprise. Throughout her WWE tenure, Rousey often expressed frustration with the company’s creative direction for the women’s division, a sentiment shared by many fans and fellow wrestlers.
Shayna Baszler’s recent comments defending Rousey have rekindled discussions about the legacy of “The Baddest Woman on the Planet.” Baszler’s support is notable, given her past rivalry with Rousey and her own credibility as a former MMA fighter. She emphasized the need to separate personal feelings about Rousey from her undeniable contributions to women’s sports, both in the UFC and WWE.
“I think Ronda Rousey is, I think she’s under-appreciated. I think people like to hate her for whatever reason, and it’s been that way in MMA — it’s because she doesn’t mince her words. People like to, because they don’t like her personally, they like to try to erase what she’s done for women’s sports, women’s combat sports, the UFC & WWE,” Baszler stated.
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The ex-UFC star continued:
“They like to minimize that just because they don’t like her personally and I think that’s a shame. I might not be on the best terms [with her], but I will never deny that she did a lot for women’s combat sports. I think she’s under appreciated in some sense.”
Ronda Rousey’s undefeated run in the UFC, from 2012 to 2016, not only established her as a dominant force in mixed martial arts but also brought a level of mainstream recognition to women’s combat sports that was unprecedented. Her arrival in WWE was seen as a major win for the company and for women’s wrestling, and her involvement helped elevate the division’s prominence.
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Rousey’s sporadic appearances in the wrestling world have kept fans speculating about her future. Her surprise tag team match in Lucha VaVoom and the upcoming bout at Wrestling Revolver’s Unreal show have fueled rumors of a possible return. However, Rousey’s departure from WWE was marked by a submission loss to Shayna Baszler, her first submission defeat in the WWE, leaving questions about whether she has truly retired from wrestling or if she might make a comeback.
In the end, the discussion about Ronda Rousey’s legacy in both combat sports and professional wrestling is a polarizing one. While her contributions are undeniably significant, her outspoken personality has garnered her both staunch support and fervent criticism. Whether she returns to WWE or not, her impact on women’s sports remains a subject of ongoing debate, making her a central figure in the ever-evolving world of wrestling and combat sports.