Ronda Rousey is one of the most well-known athletes in the world. She doesn’t move or drop a soundbite without millions of people taking notice. This weekend was no different as she made some controversial comments about wrestling and her anticipated return to WWE.
On the new episode of the “Wild Ride! with Steve-O” podcast, Rousey expressed love for WWE and experience with the company. Then, she went on to explain why she wouldn’t return as a full-time member of the roster.
“If I did all of the live shows, I was only home a day and a half a week,” she said. “It was just not worth it for my family because we were eliminating all of our expenses and living this lifestyle, we didn’t need it. We didn’t need the money.”
“So it’s just like what am I doing it for if I’m not being able to spend my time and energy on my family, but instead spending my time and my energy on a bunch of f*cking ungrateful fans that don’t even appreciate me? I love performing. I love the girls. I love being out there but, at the end of the day, I was just like, ‘F*ck these fans, dude.’ My family loves me and they appreciate me and I want all my energy to go into them. So that was my decision at the end of the day. It’s like, ‘Hey girls. Love what you’re doing. I’m gonna try and take all my momentum and push you guys as far as I can … fly little birds, fly! I’m going f*cking home!’ And that was basically it.”
While what she’s saying is understandable, there is also a level of entitlement there. After all, it’s presumptuous to assume all wrestling fans would automatically accept her for the respect and fame she earned as an MMA fighter. With that said, Rousey did receive a positive reaction at Royal Rumble 2018 and most people would agree she had a great match at WrestleMania 34.
That part of the interview wasn’t what garnered the most outrage though. “The Baddest Woman of the Planet” also referred to wrestling as “fake fights”, effectively pulling back the curtain again as she did in the lead up to her match with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Now, there are two schools of thought here. Many wrestling fans believe this is incredibly disrespectful to the business that has welcomed her in and given her opportunities some wrestlers work their entire career for. On the other hand, many skeptics believe this is nothing more than an attempt to generate heat for her inevitable return to the ring.
It’s probably a little bit of both. It’s hard to deny the timing of this incident worked out in WWE’s favor. They certainly could use a distraction from the bad press they’ve received from the news that they plan to resume live tapings and someone in the company contracted COVID-19.
Ronda Rousey doubled down on her comments the next day on Twitter, causing even more drama. This time she elicited a response from Nia Jax and a few other women on the roster. Honestly, this probably made it even more clear that this will lead to an upcoming storyline.
Regardless, it’s probably in poor taste given many wrestlers are currently risking their well being to entertain fans all over the world during a global pandemic. It’s simply not the time to downplay the sacrifices these performers make on a regular basis.
Even more, it makes Ronda Rousey look a little ridiculous. She willingly entered the squared circle but she’s mocking professional wrestling as if it’s somehow beneath her. This also implies that fans are stupid or delusional for investing in it.
Frankly, her privilege is showing and it’s not the best look. She can work a part-time schedule and skip live events because she will still be afforded the same opportunities. To put this in perspective, her debut match was at WrestleMania. She didn’t have to work her way up to that stage as a wrestler; she received that spot because of name recognition.
There are men and women all over the world who work all year and they aren’t making nearly as much money or guaranteed the same position on the card. Yes, it’s terrible that she toured with broken vertebrae in her lower back, which she also revealed during the interview. However, let’s not pretend she ever planned on working a full-time schedule with the company long term. That always seemed like wishful thinking from WWE.
In fact, that’s the biggest takeaway here. WWE can’t back her into a corner or stifle her momentum because she’s a star with or without them. So, she’s going to do things her way and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it does play into some fans’ fears that she would behave like Brock Lesnar does.
Some of what Ronda Rousey said this weekend probably was a work. Still, she struck a chord because there was some elements of truth to it and that’s a double-edged sword. This incident will make her an excellent antagonist but it also illuminated just how insulated she is in comparison to the rest of the women’s division.
What do you think? Drop a comment below and let us know what you thought about Ronda Rousey’s comments?