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Even the best of the best can psych themselves out. When The Baddest Women On The Planet, Ronda Rousey, joined former UFC star Daniel Cormier’s YouTube podcast for an interview, she reflected on her transition from MMA to professional wrestling, how the WWE Universe perceives her, and why that perception prevented her from enjoying her 2022 Royal Rumble win.
At this year’s Royal Rumble in St. Louis, former UFC Champions reigned supreme as both Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey picked up wins in the 30-person battle to send them to WrestleMania. Despite it being what many people believe to be the biggest win in WWE, Ronda Rousey revealed that she wasn’t able to enjoy the moment because she was so worried about fan reaction.
“I was expecting boos — like, I came out with my guard up. And I think I kind of didn’t get to enjoy that moment because I was expecting [the boos]. Because that’s what I got on the way out. And so when I came out and everyone’s like [cheers], I blocked them out and I didn’t let them in, and I just went in and did my job and got out. And I think I kind of missed out on really enjoying that moment because I was expecting the worst in people. And that's how the WWE Universe gets, you know?" she said.
Whether she was ready to enjoy the moment or not, Rousey went on to challenge Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 38 for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Although she would lose that match — which snapped her undefeated singles record — she would find herself back on top of the WWE mountain when she defeated Flair the next month in an I Quit Match at WrestleMania Backlash.
While Rousey reigned as the dominant SmackDown Women’s Champion, she disclosed that although the cheers from the WWE Universe surprised her, she wants to emulate her idol's career: Roddy Piper.
“I want to be heel the whole time! You know Piper is the greatest heel ever! The jacket that I wear is actually a replica of his jacket which is actually stab proof because people would try to get him. So that’s the kind of heel I want to be," she explained.
Thanks to Liv Morgan and her Money in the Bank briefcase, Rousey lost the SmackDown Women’s Championship at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view a few months later. However, the Rowdy One will get her rematch against Morgan on Oct. 8 at Extreme Rules.
Until then, you can relive Ronda’s epic Royal Rumble victory on the WWE Network on Peacock!
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