Even in this era where kayfabe is frequently acknowledged and understood compared to the “Protect the Business” days, reality in wrestling isn’t always to discern. Ronda Rousey, in her year in WWE, has found her own methods for blurring that distinction, holding her real feeling and opinions close to the vest while freely calling wrestling fake as part of her heel gimmick. Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate knew Rousey back when the fighting was undeniably real. In fact, Tate lost to her twice, and was ready to face her a third time, but Rousey was on her way out of UFC by then. In an interview on SiriusXM (transcripts by MMAfighting.com), Tate commented that Rousey has always kept fans at a distance, and that she doesn’t think the former champion is happy with how she left things in MMA.
She’s not entirely an open book. She’s not there entirely for the fans, selflessly. Ronda has always been about Ronda so it doesn’t surprise me. She’s continuing to be exactly how she’s always been. Again, not wrong, but when I listen to this, she almost sounds emotional. I don’t think she’s entirely happy with her legacy. The point that Ronda makes about us not deserving to hear it and about the vulnerability, I think that it speaks again to point that she left the sport worse than she entered it.
She has a chance here to open up and to give some insight and perspective and motivation but she’s obviously not at that point where she feels good enough about her own legacy to be vulnerable and to reflect and give back. She’s obviously not in a good place with it. That’s my takeaway when I see this, that she’s not prepared to be vulnerable in front of us.
Tate goes on to say that Rousey’s “Baddest Woman on the Planet” persona in WWE reflects a more managed version of how she’s always wanted to be seen.
She wants to be the hard Ronda Rousey, the one that was back in 2014. I always said winning is easy. You don’t have to make any adjustments. You don’t have to make any changes. You’re on the top of the world, you’re doing great. When you lose, that’s when you see what you’re really made of.
But of course losses happen in pro wrestling too, and even though it’s a work, that didn’t change the fact that Rousey disappeared the moment she took her first WWE loss at WrestleMania 35. On the other hand, she had to get surgery, but she didn’t even have a farewell speech to offer. We’ll see how things go when she returns to the company, if indeed that happens.