Ready for the smack down! UFC champion Ronda Rousey is joining WWE as a full-time professional wrestler. The athlete revealed the news when she made a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 28.
Rousey, 30, walked down to the ring after the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match concluded. The audience went bonkers when she arrived with Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” playing in the background. She high-fived some attendees in the crowd before making her way to Stephanie McMahon. After some hesitation, the two finally shook hands.
“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 later told ESPN. “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.'”
She added: “I don’t have words at all. I’m like — this is the most overstimulated I’ve ever been in my life and … I’m just, like I’m still processing it. I’m so happy and I don’t have words for it — and I usually have words for everything; This never happened before.”
Rousey first appeared on WWE when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pulled her into the ring from the first row during WrestleMania 31 in March 2015. Her decision to join WWE comes after losing in a MMA match against Amanda Nunes last year. (She lost to Holly Holm one year earlier.)
Now, Rousey is just looking forward to the next chapter. “It’s funny. It’s kind of like acting, in that it was something I always wanted to do but I never thought was in the cards for me,” Rousey told ESPN. “And now that I realize I really do have this opportunity, I feel like my 6-year-old self would totally kick my ass if I didn’t take it.”
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