Ronda Rousey’s first words in a WWE ring were “It’s hard to even know what to say.” It was not a good start to her wrestling career. They’re supposed to give you something to say!
But no matter. Rousey’s “contract signing”—held during last night’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view—ended with a pretty good spot and a predictable build to a WrestleMania match.
Rousey, who debuted at last month’s Royal Rumble, looked like an awestruck fan at the start of the contract signing. She’s been presented as an unstoppable badass throughout her UFC career. When she first stepped onto the entrance ramp, she was giggling. Then she didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t really be heard over the microphone. She looked very green.
Which is fine! She is very green. But wrestling is scripted, and WWE has long hired and pushed newcomers almost instantly. It’s fake. Whatever. Yes, maybe it sucks for longtime wrestlers that Ronda Rousey is instantly a huge star. But she was already a huge MMA star. She’s a celebrity. If there’s someone who can come in and be a top wrestler right away, it’s her.
But her first interview was so bad it almost seemed like it was worked that way. Maybe it was! The segment quickly turned around, though: Kurt Angle, the Raw GM, referenced the segment at WrestleMania 31 where Rousey and The Rock battered Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Angle told Rousey that HHH and Steph wanted revenge for what happened at WM31. He somehow looked both incredibly goofy and incredibly nervous as he did this.
It ended with Angle talking to Triple H: “Didn’t you say earlier: ‘Three years in the making and now we own the bit—’” HHH interrupted him. He was ushered off. But as he was leaving he quoted Stephanie: “Didn’t you tell me in your office that Ronda was a has-been and even you could take her?” HHH rushed in to protect Stephanie, and Ronda put him through a table.
Stephanie slapped Rousey, fled the ring, Ronda signed her contract and it looks like we’ll be getting Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie at WrestleMania. Not bad.
I guess this is going to be Ronda’s gimmick. She’ll come out giggling and seem overwhelmed, but as people insult her she’ll get Incredible Hulk-angry and destroy them. I still don’t know what Ronda Rousey will look like in the ring. But she appears to have a gimmick.