Former UFC Champ Ronda Rousey was a surprise after the conclusion of the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble to end the WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday, Jan. 28 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The event, one of WWE’s biggest of the year and a precursor to WrestleMania, was available on pay-per-view and the WWE Network.
Rousey, who’s been interested in joining WWE for a long time, sported a “Hot Rod” Rowdy Roddy Piper style jersey with “Hot Ronda” on it and a Piper jacket, given to her prior by Piper’s son, Colton Toombs, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Later, Rousey returned the jacket to Toombs.
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After Asuka won the women’s Rumble -- which included 30 top female wrestlers/superstars/sports entertainers from past and present -- SmackDown Women’s Champ Charlotte Flair and RAW Women’s Champ Alexa Bliss made their way into the ring.
The winner of the Rumble gets a title shot of her choice at WrestleMania 34 on April 8 in New Orleans.
Before Asuka could possibly choose her opponent, the song “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts rang loudly throughout the arena, and then the crowd erupted as Rousey walked through the curtain. Smiling, she high-fived a few fans at ringside and stepped into the ring. After peering at the three WWE Superstars, she pointed to the WrestleMania 34 banner hanging high above.
Rousey then tried to shake Asuka’s hand. Asuka slapped her hand away. For a second, it looked like she was going to remove her jacket but did not. Instead, she pointed at herself and again pointed at the WrestleMania 34 banner. She glanced at Charlotte Flair and sarcastically said, ‘Hi Charlotte,” and grinned.
Still smiling, Rousey left the ring and high-fived more fans while walking toward the announce table, where WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon finished guest commentating the women’s Rumble. McMahon removed her headset, and a smiling Rousey extended her hand. A leery McMahon shook it. You can understand the apprehension from McMahon, because Sunday wasn’t Rousey’s first foray with WWE.
At WrestleMania 31 in 2015 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., The Rock invited Rousey into the ring, and she hip tossed WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul Triple H Levesque and arm-barred Stephanie McMahon.
The history making Rumble match for women in WWE main evented the card on Sunday.
WWE conducted an interview with Rousey after the historic match and her shocking arrival.
It was reported afterward by ESPN that Rousey has signed with WWE. Terms not disclosed.
Audio of Paul Triple H Levesque talking Ronda Rousey during a media conference call on Wednesday, Jan. 24
The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champ, who helped revolutionize women in sports, grew up a pro wrestling fan, watching with her father. She acquired her nickname from their favorite wrestler, Rowdy Roddy Piper.
What will happen on Monday Night Raw on Jan. 29 also at the Wells Fargo Center? Raw is 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT live on USA Network.
For Royal Rumble information and results, click:
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