Unless you live under a rock without WiFi access, you’ve probably heard that former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey has signed a full-time contract with WWE. She made her debut following the main event of last month’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, and ever since the moment of her arrival fans have been buzzing about potential plans for the MMA icon at WrestleMania 34.
As we’ve reported previously, there has been internal discussions of using Rousey in a mixed tag team match at WrestleMania that would see her team up with The Rock to take on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. That concept has been in the works for a long time, in fact since they did the whole segment at WrestleMania 31, but never materialized due to schedule conflicts with Rousey and insurance issues with Dwayne Johnson.
The big question now is if WWE will be able to land The Rock for this year’s show. It will come down to his filming schedule and, to a lesser extent if the money is right, if he’s cleared to compete by the studios he’s currently working with.
You would assume her immense drawing power and potentially merch sales would be enough, but according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the primary reason WWE wanted to bring Ronda Rousey into the company actually has more to do with putting over Stephanie McMahon. A source told Dave Meltzer that the idea is similar to how Vince McMahon became a pop culture icon due to his relationship with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who skyrocketed into the mainstream after his infamous scuffle with boxing icon Mike Tyson.
It’s not a terrible strategy, as “Mr. McMahon” became arguably the best villain in wrestling history during the Attitude Era, and Stephanie has that same aura in the delivery of her promos and has the added benefit of Triple H to back her up onscreen. She’s also been in the public eye a lot more consistently in the past few years. The idea is that a mega star like Ronda on a stage as big as WrestleMania, with millions of eyes on the company, with the right angle could elevate Stephanie to a whole new level.