Rise of the Baddest Woman on the Planet: Spotlight on Ronda Rousey in WWE, Part 1

Ronda Rousey is one of the biggest and most successful names in combat sport. Wherever she’s gone, Ronda has won championship’s, awarded accolade after accolade, kicked ass, taken names, and made history. From Judo to MMA to sports entertainment and beyond, Ronda Rousey has been a stand out.

Ronda had grown up a fan of professional wrestling, and along with Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, formed the Four Horsewomen, with blessing from Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.

Between 2014 and 2017, the Four Horsewomen made multiple appearances in WWE, spotted in the crowd during SummerSlam, WrestleMania 31 (in which Ronda would get involved in an in-ring segment with the Rock, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H) and during the 2017 Mae Young Classic, where Shayna Baszler was a competitor (and making her WWE debut). During this event, the Four Horsewomen would gave a face off with the Four Horsewomen of WWE (Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch).

Shortly after this, reports were going round that Ronda had signed a contract with WWE and started training at the Performance Centre. Making her first appearance as a signed wrestler, Ronda would show up after the Women’s Royal Rumble match in 2018. At Elimination Chamber, Ronda would sign her contract (in storyline), making her a Raw Superstar. On March 5th, it was announced that Ronda would have her debut match at WrestleMania 34 in a mixed tag team match, pitting herself and Raw GM Kurt Angle against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Ronda would go on to pick up the win for her team by tapping McMahon out with her signature arm bar. Ronda would follow this up by challenging Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank, a match she would win by DQ due to an interference by Alexa Bliss, who would cash in her newly won Money in the Bank briefcase to win the championship from Nia.

This would be the beginning of the Ronda Rousey vs Alexa Bliss rivalry. During this run, which would last 3 months, would include a suspension for Ronda (she attacked Bliss, Kurt Angle and multiple officials). At SummerSlam, Ronda Rousey would get her shot at Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship, a match that would go in Rousey’s favour after 4 minutes.

Bliss would get her rematch at Hell in a Cell, a month later, where Ronda would successfully defend her championship. Over the coming months, Ronda would take on anyone and everyone including Nikki Bella (in the main event of the first ever all women’s PPV, Evolution), Mickie James, Nia Jax, Natalya, and Sasha Banks.

Survivor Series 2018 was the second year that brand supremacy was battled for, setting up Ronda Rousey vs SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Prior to the show, Becky got injured in a brawl during a SmackDown invasion of Raw. On her place was Charlotte Flair. Ronda would go on to win this match by DQ, when Charlotte would use kendo sticks and chairs during the match.

At TLC, Ronda would defeat Nia Jax before interfering in the SmackDown Women’s Championship Ladder Match, taking out both Becky Lynch and Charlotte, allowing Asuka to win the championship. Becky Lynch would win the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match and announced that she’d have Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship.

There would be a slight hiccup, though, as Becky was suspended (in storyline) for not seeking medical attention for her knee, and Vince McMahon announced that Charlotte would face Ronda, instead. In March 4th, Ronda would turn heel, the first in her career, after attacking both Becky (who had come back early from said suspension) and Charlotte.

Becky and Charlotte would face each other at Fastlane, where, if Becky had won, she’d be added to the WrestleMania match, in which she was successful due to Ronda interferring, causing Charlotte being DQed. During this time, Charlotte had win the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

It was then made official, Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship. This was followed up with an announcement that this match would also main event WrestleMania 35, marking the first time a women’s match had main evented the showcase event.

Come April 7th, the day of WrestleMania, it was further announced that Charlotte would also be defending her title in the same match in a Winner Takes All match. Becky Lynch would go on to win the match by pinning Ronda Rousey, which was shrouded in controversy, with the commentary team stating, with video replay evidence, that Ronda’s shoulders weren’t square on the mat.

The match ending was kept as valid, thus marking Ronda’s first loss in WWE and ending her record setting Championship run of 231 days (longest reign for the Raw Women’s Championship at the time, until Becky’s reign beat it). This would also mark the last match Ronda would have in nearly 3 years.

Join us next time as we cover Ronda Rousey returning to the ring.

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