Long before Ronda Rousey claimed the Raw Women’s Championship and put together a remarkable unbeaten streak on the WWE roster, she often discussed her idolization of WWE legend Roddy Piper.
She used Piper’s “Rowdy” nickname beginning early in her days as an amaetur mixed martial arts fighter, and cut promos she learned from wrestling to become a pioneer for women in the UFC. So when her career transitioned to the WWE, it was a natural move for Rousey to pay homage to Piper with gear that matched the WWE Hall of Famer.
That’s what makes the custom shoes she’ll debut at WrestleMania so special.
Rousey’s relationship with Piper dates back to pre-2010, when she met “Hot Rod” ahead of her first MMA fight. She recalls getting connected with Piper through Gene Lebell, who trained both star athletes. At that time, she asked Piper to use his Rowdy nickname in MMA, which he granted. They remained in touch before his death in 2015, and she’s carried on his legacy over her first year in the WWE.
After debuting with Piper’s jacket at the 2018 Royal Rumble, gifted from his son, Rousey took on her own iteration of “Hot Rod,” as “Hot Ronda.” She continues to pay homage to this day with tartan-themed kilts and the classic red and yellow colors in her gear.
Rousey’s new shoes come days after WWE unveiled a statue of him at WrestleMania Axxess.