Ronda Rousey‘s transition from MMA to professional wrestling for WWE has been lauded and criticized. When she debuted after the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble, many complained that the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion took attention away from the historic match. She also smiled a lot and wore an ill-fitting, although emotionally and historically significant, jacket, which didn’t make her look nearly as tough as she did when she took on Triple H at WrestleMania a few years ago.
ESPN reported last month at Rousey had signed a full-time contract with WWE, but we haven’t seen her outside of video packages since the Rumble. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle announced that Rousey would sign her contract for Monday Night Raw at the Elimination Chamber pay per view, and sign-pointing jokes broke out across the interweb. Of course, she didn’t have a sanctioned match on the card, and may not have one until WrestleMania 34, but optimists like me thought she would surely get into it with somebody, right?
Well, get into it she did, with none other than Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. The contract signing started with The Game in NXT Dad mode, putting over Rousey’s MMA accomplishments. Rousey was awkward on the mic, but showed real emotion, and was clearly a woman excited to be living her childhood dream. The crowd still wasn’t thrilled about her presence. HHH said that Rousey’s contract included no special treatment, but did give her a non-title match against an unnamed party at WrestleMania this year.