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A Complete Retrospective Of Ronda Rousey’s WWE Career, Explained

Ronda Rousey has implied that she will be departing from WWE and professional wrestling but what does her legacy in the company look like?

Following her loss to Shayna Baszler at SummerSlam 2023, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey seemingly announced that she will be leaving WWE. She addressed this in an Instagram post where she wrote, “@qosbaszler you were the reason I got into this business… Now I got no reason to stay.” While you can never say never in professional wrestling, it seems that Rousey might be serious about leaving WWE following her recent program with Baszler. If she is truly done, it is the end of almost seven years of Rousey being in WWE. When analyzing Rousey’s runs in WWE during this time, the best way to describe it is mixed.

 

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey Enters WWE To Tremendous Fan Support

ronda-rousey-the-rock-wrestlemania-31Following a number of one-off appearances in WWE, most notably when she and The Rock squared off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 31, Rousey ended up officially signing with the company in 2017. Her official debut came at Royal Rumble 2018. After Asuka had won the inaugural women’s Royal Rumble and was confronting RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte, Rousey came out and pointed at the WrestleMania sign.

 

Rousey made an immediate splash into WWE, resuming her feud with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. After months of exchanges, it was made official that Rousey would team with Kurt Angle to face McMahon and Triple H at WrestleMania 34. It was Rousey’s debut match, and it did not disappoint at all. Many praised Rousey for her performance in the ring that night. It was the most fan support that Rousey had garnered during her time in WWE. It was a truly tremendous debut and easily one of the best in company history.

ronda-rousey-triple-h-debutFollowing WrestleMania 34, Rousey almost immediately entered the RAW Women’s Championship picture, but this was an awkward time for Rousey. Nia Jax had just become a babyface following her win of the RAW Women’s Title and now had to rush to be a heel champion for a face challenger in Rousey. Nonetheless, Rousey pursued the title for the next few months as she challenged both Jax and Alexa Bliss. At SummerSlam 2018, Rousey made quick work of Bliss and won her very first singles championship in WWE. She went on a tear throughout WWE, defeating any and all challengers. However, a key point in the story of Rousey was the rise to megastardom of Becky Lynch.

 

The Ronda Rousey Vs. Becky Lynch Dream Match Never Came True

At the same time that Rousey won the title at SummerSlam, Lynch was also beginning to embark on her own saga to the top. After not winning the SmackDown Women’s Title at the event, Lynch took out her frustrations on Charlotte Flair. It was supposed to be a heel turn. However, Lynch was simply too popular and too over for anyone to boo her. “The Man” had arrived and was the choice of the people. While Rousey was still being pushed as a face by WWE, the fans were not having it. The two were set to face off at Survivor Series 2018, but Lynch was pulled due to an injury. At TLC, Rousey went on to cost Lynch her SmackDown Women’s Championship to Asuka. All signs pointed to an eventual singles match between the two. It was, at the time, one of the biggest dream matches in WWE, but it never materialized.

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Lynch went on to win the women’s Royal Rumble match in 2019 and set her sights on challenging Rousey at WrestleMania 35. It was a monumental singles feud and one that fans so excitedly wanted to see, but WWE ended up throwing some wrenches into the mix. At one point, Lynch was removed from the match and replaced with her longtime foe, Charlotte Flair. However, Lynch fought her way back into the match. In addition, Flair also went on to win the SmackDown Women’s Title which made it a Winner Takes All match. It was also announced to be the first time women would main event a WrestleMania. It was a tremendous program, concluding with Lynch becoming a dual champion that night.

 

Following Rousey’s loss, she took some time off from WWE and did not return until 2022 at the Royal Rumble. She won the match and challenged Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Title. However, there was a shift in Rousey’s attitude. She had made comments on Wild Ride! With Steve-O after her Royal Rumble return (h/t ComicBook.com), where she was tired of fans and the way in which they treated her. She said, “I love performing. I love the girls. I love being out there … but, at the end of the day, I was just like, ‘F— these fans, dude.” Her comments left many annoyed and frustrated.

While she did not win at WrestleMania, Rousey did end up winning the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania Backlash 2022. During this time, she also went back and forth with the title in a feud with Liv Morgan. After she won back the title from Morgan, she held it for a little while more until Flair defeated her. After another hiatus, she returned to team with Shayna Baszler and won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. They even unified them with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles. After losing them, Baszler turned on Rousey. The two battled at SummerSlam, where Rousey lost.

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The Legacy Of Ronda Rousey In WWE

When looking back on Rousey’s time in WWE, there are many achievements and history making moments that she was part of. She had an excellent debut in WWE and helped to push women’s wrestling forward with the main event of WrestleMania 35. However, there were also circumstances where fans were upset with the way in which WWE was booking against other fan favorites, such as Lynch, Bliss, and Morgan.

In addition, her comments also left a sour taste in the mouths of many, and they followed her for the rest of her WWE career. While her time in the company ranged from great early on to weak at the end, she undoubtedly has left an important mark in the history books of WWE.

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