Ronda Rousey released the latest episode of her “Ronda On The Road” series on YouTube today.
The episode features Rousey discussing her recent return to WWE at the Royal Rumble, interactions with Paul Heyman and WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, and more.
Rousey noted that when she last left WWE and walked out of WrestleMania 35, she was dealing with a shattered knuckle and everyone was booing her out of the stadium. She thought to herself, “F these people” and she couldn’t wait to go home. Rousey pointed to how when she left WWE, she’d been getting booed out of arenas for months, and said one of the most uncomfortable and disingenuous feelings she’s ever felt was when she had to be a babyface and the crowd was still being hostile, and she couldn’t tell them exactly how she felt.
Rousey said she felt stuck between staying true to herself and telling people to “go fuck themselves” or respecting how WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon had done so much for her, and to go against what he wanted her to do. She added that she loved it when she finally got the chance to turn heel because she felt like she got to be herself.
Rousey then returned at The Rumble and felt “super defensive” but misunderstood the crowd reaction at first. She also revealed how she felt going into the RAW segment with RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch the next night.
“I really missed wrestling, I did. And I wanted to come back. I knew I was coming back, or I thought I did, to the animosity that I left,” Rousey said. “So I came out feeling super defensive from the beginning. At the Rumble, it wasn’t like that — but I just assumed the reaction was from the surprise. So coming out to Raw and Becky was gonna be there, I was like, ‘Okay, this is when they’re going to troll on me the most. This is when they’re going to try and like chant ‘Becky’ every single time I open my mouth. This is the time they’re going to start like screaming the most hurtful things they can.
“This is when they’re going to start bringing the posters that say the most hurtful things they can think of. And so I came out anticipating that. I mean, everything went fine. Of course, there was like those three or four guys on the floor that were just like screaming as I was talking. And I really just had to concentrate to like block them out.”
Rousey continued and revealed how she spoke with Heyman and then McMahon after the RAW segment with Lynch. McMahon did tell her to smile, which goes with reports that said WWE officials had a talk with Rousey following her RAW promo, which led to a different tone when she delivered her SmackDown promo later that week.
“I got through it and I came out and Heyman was like, ‘You did great, but I’m going to tell you, he’s going to tell you one thing, he’s going to tell you to smile.’ I’m like, okay. So I went and talked to Vince,” she recalled. “He was like, ‘That was fantastic. Just — you need to smile.’ I was telling him like, ‘You know, they were booing me on the way out of every stadium.’
“He’s like, ‘Yeah, but they’ve forgiven you for that.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I haven’t forgiven them.’ And he goes, ‘But it’s not about you. It’s about them.’ It was like such a good point that I’d been thinking about myself and how this relates to myself, and I was forgetting that this is a show about entertaining them.”
Rousey then talked about how she did have a different mindset going into the post-Royal Rumble edition of SmackDown.
“I feel like I got the jitters out. I got my first performance out of the way. I got my first promo out of the way,” she said. “So going into SmackDown next Friday, I’m like okay — I’m not going to come out all guarded and defensive. I’m just going to go out and like actually feel the crowd and let them be a part of it.”
Rousey is scheduled to challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair during Night One of WrestleMania 38. The match is expected to main event WrestleMania Saturday.
Stay tuned for more on Rousey. You can see her full video below: