Ronda Rousey has departed UFC for a stint in professional wrestling, after confirming the move with a memorable appearance at the WWE Royal Rumble event in Philadelphia – and there could be plans for a big tag-team pairing on the horizon.
Various reports had previously indicated that the 30-year-old was preparing for a move into the world of WWE having held talks with company bosses Stephanie McMahon and Triple H (Paul Levesque) over a switch.
Rousey previously made a cameo appearance alongside the Rock at Wrestlemania back in 2015 in a move that sparked the initial speculation the MMA star was considering a switch.
Since then Rousey has suffered a string of defeats in the Octagon, including a difficult loss to Amanda Nunes back in 2016. Keen to seek out other opportunities, Rousey appeared a couple more times for the WWE in a backstage role.
Rousey is now preparing to make the switch a permanent one, having arrived in the ring following the conclusion of the WWE’s first all-female Royal Rumble event.
It’s a significant chapter in the history of wrestling, with WWE striving more than ever before to promote its female stars. The arrival of Rousey adds a significant level of credibility to proceedings as well as star power.
Rousey’s arrival was made all the more sensational for ther fact she arrived in the ring wearing the iconic leather jacket of the late Rowdy Roddy Piper, which was given to her by his son beforehand.
She’s not there as part of some Mike Tyson or Donald Trump style gimmick either.
“This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt,” Rousey told ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne.
“When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.'”
Part of those plans could include a much-vaunted tag team match that would see Rousey team with The Rock at the next Wrestlemania to take on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
The two previously teamed up back in 2015 with fans calling for the pairing to resume hostilities sooner rather than later.
With Rousey on board and The Rock always keen to go back to his wrestling roots, it could be happening sooner rather than later with MMA Fighting reporting that those plans are already in place.
Whatever you do though, don’t tell them wrestling is fake.