Ronda Rousey came into WWE WrestleMania 35 as the Raw Women’s Champion and left without a title, suffering a crucifix pin to “Becky Two Belts”. She will be taking some planned time off from wrestling, and she’ll also use that time to recover from an injury she suffered during the match.
Though the WWE Universe had a hard time warming up to her babyface promos, which were outright offensive during her feud with Nikki Bella at Evolution, it’s safe to say that Ronda Rousey enjoyed an incredibly successful “rookie year” as a professional wrestler.
After debuting after the first ever Women’s Rumble, partaking in an entertaining mixed tag match at WrestleMania 34, winning the Raw Women’s Championship in a feud with Alexa Bliss, main eventing Evolution, selling for Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series, and putting on a classic with Sasha Banks at Royal Rumble, Rousey was a part of the first ever women’s main event at WrestleMania.
There, she played the role of the villain for Becky Lynch, who walked away with both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships after pinning Rousey.
It was a fitting way for Becky to win, holding up both championships to finish off a brilliant story. Rousey was expected to drop the title, of course, given rumors that she’d be taking a break from pro wrestling. And according to exclusive information reported by Fightful.com’s ultra-reliable Sean Ross Sapp, Rousey will undergo hand surgery on Tuesday.
Rousey suffered a broken hand during the hard-hitting WrestleMania match with Charlotte and Becky, which was befitting of its main event stature. Pro wrestling is tough as hell, no matter what Rousey says as her fourth-wall-breaking comments, and I’m sure she truly has a great deal of respect for the business despite her in-character comments.
Hopefully Rousey makes a full and swift recovery, and I’m sure the time off will be important for her recovery mentally. Rousey accomplished a lot in WWE this past year, and it will be interesting to see what’s next for her. A rematch with Becky seems likely after the finish at WrestleMania, but it’s all up to her. Nobody would fault Rousey for finishing up after giving pro wrestling a strong go, but many wrestling fans, especially those who dislike Rousey for some of her abhorrent views, will be fine with seeing her go.
Per Sapp’s report, WWE hasn’t even been notified by Rousey of when she plans on returning, so that will be something to monitor. Women’s wrestling can continue to move forward with or without Rousey, and she isn’t solely responsible for its success (unlike what some will say). However, it is true that her mainstream star and revolutionary work in UFC helped bring more attention to women’s wrestling in WWE, which was already on a meteoric rise due to the brilliance of established superstars like WrestleMania 35 hero Becky Lynch.
I’m sure WWE will like having Rousey around to move the meter, but they have Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair and so many other talented wrestlers on the main roster and NXT just waiting to follow Becky’s path for their shot at stardom. I wish Rousey nothing but the best and praise her for being a part of WWE – pro wrestling isn’t easy at all – but if she chooses not to return, it’s no big loss to her or WWE.