It’s been three years since Ronda Rousey suffered one of the toughest losses of her professional career. After rattling off six consecutive victories, including two wins that were decided in less than 20 seconds, Rousey was on top of the world.
Then everything came crashing down for the face of the UFC women’s division. Holly Holm’s knockout of Rousey sent her into a well-documented depression. Rousey discussed grieving after the loss, said she thought about killing herself and — after moving on to the sport of professional wrestling — had trouble even discussing the two bouts that ended her professional MMA career.
In WWE, she had escaped her past and written a brand new start. The current Monday Night Raw Women’s champion has been the force of destruction she was used to in UFC, wrecking everything in her path and ascending to the top of the roster. That was until Wednesday afternoon — exactly three years to the date of her crushing loss to Holm.
Whether it was pure coincidence or something premeditated, Rousey’s attempted smack talk against the current Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch backfired in a major way. The two had sparred on social media for the last week or so, and after a punch to the face from Nia Jax on Raw (during an attack on Rousey) gave her a concussion and a broken nose, Lynch was pulled from the Survivor Series event, picking Charlotte as her replacement.
Rousey sent an insincere Instagram post Lynch’s way, mocking the champ for missing her “legally arranged ass whopping”:
@beckylynchwwe I’m really sorry to hear The Millennial Man will not be showing up for her legally arranged ass whooping on November 18th at the Staples Center.
Unfortunately now everyone knows if someone hauls off and punches you for real, your face implodes. I suggest you keep practicing your tough guys faces in the mirror, should be very effective physical therapy.
And have fun watching Korean soap operas on Netflix or whatever the hell the Millennial Man does with her free time. Don’t worry I’m not the back stabbing cheap shotting ambushing cowardly type, so you’re perfectly safe to take your time and heal up until your figurative balls have dropped and you’re finally ready for your comeuppance. I want you 100% healed up, prepared, and looking me in the eye when the bell rings. Lemmie know when you’re done healing your boo boos and ready for me to serve you your ass on a silver platter with your avocado toast.
I do have to admit, The Millennial Man is stunningly conniving. She poked the bear and ran like a bat outta hell when the bear awoke – Feeding me her favorite frienemy and fellow #FAUXhorsewoman @charlottewwe is a new level of manipulative cowardice, even for The Millennial Man. @charlottewwe is a Superfight and I’ve always wanted to fight her – but she’s just the stand in for the beating @beckylynchwwe has coming to her this Sunday. I’ll be sending The Champ a choice piece of Charlotte as a souvenir #RondaVsCharlotte #SurvivorSeries #Nov18 #4horsewomenVSfauxhorsewomen
Lynch responded in kind by bringing Rousey’s buried feelings right back to the surface with a hellacious Twitter smackdown, citing her loss to Holm and the spiral it sent her into.
It’s a ruthless reply, and one that got plenty of attention on Twitter as in the verbal sparring over the interwebs, as most gave Lynch the win by TKO. Sonya Deville also posted to social media amid the brouhaha, saying she wanted a shot at Rousey, knowing her weakness is “a head kick.”
It’s the latest example of how social media can be a useful tool for WWE in building to matches as the wrestlers can add even more heat through back-and-forths like this that act as extra promos outside of WWE’s allotted TV time. However, given Rousey’s history and reluctance to talk about her UFC losses, it will be interesting to see how they approach this going forward, even as three years have passed since that loss to Holm.
If this is the start of WWE’s build to WrestleMania, they’re leaving no doubt what the main event should look like. For now, though, we’ll just have to settle with Rousey taking her frustrations out on Charlotte Sunday night at Survivor Series.