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Once again, Ronda Rousey finds herself in a familiar situation: On top of the mountain.
At Extreme Rules, Ronda defeated Liv Morgan and became SmackDown Women’s Champion for the second time in her career. While it took Ronda three tries to usurp Liv as champion over the course of a few months, the third time turned out to be the charm, as she manhandled Liv en route to a decisive victory when it mattered most.
After the match, Ronda made it clear that she owes the WWE Universe “nothing” as she moves forward with her newfound title reign:
Ronda’s rise to domination in WWE should come as no shock to anybody who’s followed her illustrious fighting career, but let’s start from the beginning.
Although Ronda has been a lifelong wrestling fan — famously looking up to the late, great “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as a child — her road to WWE stardom started by way of a wildly successful MMA career. Working her way up the ranks of smaller MMA promotions and utilizing her childhood judo training, she eventually made her way to the UFC, where she quickly became their biggest star on their entire roster.
While fighting under the UFC banner, we’ll be honest — she wrecked her competition and cemented her spot in history. From 2012 to 2016, she was a part of some of the most impactful moments in the company’s lifespan: She fought in the first-ever female UFC contest, she was part of the first female UFC main event, she was the inaugural women’s bantamweight champion, and until 2022, she held the record for most successful female title defenses at six total.
That’s a lot of firsts. And Ronda Rousey put her name on all of them.
Her fighting style and presentation was so unique that "The New Yorker" summed her up in a July 2014 article in an utterly accurate way:
“While some fighters strike an impassive pose … Rousey is nothing if not expressive,” they wrote. “She smiles often, squinting so tightly that her eyes disappear. And before each fight, she glares at her opponent as if she were getting ready to put a permanent end to a lifelong feud. After the fight, she is all smiles again, and usually unblemished.”
It was during her MMA career when she mastered the art of not only her signature armbar submission move, but another ability that would prove to be advantageous during her eventual move to WWE: Her ability to talk smack like no other. Her UFC interviews — often profanity-laced — set her apart from many other female competitors.
She had everything a competitor could want to have: jaw-dropping abilities to go along with jaw-dropping trash talk.
When she quietly retired from active UFC competition after suffering some surprising losses, rumors were swirling that she eventually would make a move to the WWE, where she could parlay both her reputation and her abilities into becoming the next Superstar.
At WrestleMania 31, Ronda gave the world a sneak peak at her future when she made a special WrestleMania cameo, thanks to a personal invitation by the Rock himself. To say she immediately made an impact would be a catastrophic understatement. Just ask Stephanie McMahon herself:
Not many people have the privilege of making Stephanie McMahon and Triple H look foolish, but that’s exactly what Ronda Rousey did – and it could have been a whole lot worse for those two, let’s be real.
While rumors swirled that WrestleMania 31 signified Ronda Rousey signing with WWE full-time, it would be a few more years before she made it all official. And like all good things, it was worth the wait.
The moment finally came nearly three years later, at the 2018 Royal Rumble, when Ronda Rousey — donning one of Roddy Piper’s old ring jackets — made her presence known by appearing at the end of the show. Ronda confronted Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, and Asuka — the latter of whom had just won the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match. It was a confrontation that was devoid of words but not meaning – Ronda had a message to deliver: she had arrived to dominate the WWE women’s roster.
Ronda’s in-ring debut happened just a few months later, at WrestleMania 34, teaming up with Kurt Angle against (who else?) Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, in a match that wrapped up the storyline that started three years earlier.
After successfully making Stephanie McMahon submit to a devastating armbar that nearly ripped Stephanie’s shoulder out of its socket, Ronda got her first WWE victory under her belt and from there, the sky was the limit.
From that point forward, Ronda Rousey became a tour de force in the world of professional wrestling.
It wasn’t long until Ronda got her first taste of championship gold, bulldozing through Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam 2018 and becoming the RAW Women’s Champion. At that point, RAW roster members simply became names on the list of women who failed at the hands of Ronda during an absolutely incredible title run. Nikka Bella, Nia Jax, and even Sasha Banks failed to wrangle the title away from Ronda’s waist.
It wasn’t surprising at all for Ronda to move forward and engage in some of the most intense rivalries in recent memory, tangling with everybody from Charlotte Flair to Becky Lynch — and seemingly everybody else in between.
In fact, the only thing that temporarily derailed Ronda’s meteoric rise in WWE wasn’t a fellow Superstar or even an injury: It was the desire to be the baddest mom on the planet.
After a controversial WrestleMania loss at the hands of Becky Lynch, Ronda decided to take some time off to fulfill yet another lifelong dream, one that didn’t involve her putting vicious submission holds on her opponents. She didn’t try to keep her desire to become a mother secret and for the next year or so she kept a low profile, staying off WWE television and enjoying some much-needed time off.
In September 2021, Ronda happily announced that she had given birth to a beautiful daughter. And while it was a joyous announcement, the WWE Universe assumed that the final page of her WWE career had already been written, that she was essentially retired.
But at Royal Rumble 2022, Ronda Rousey showed the world that she wasn’t done dominating professional wrestling just because she has a child by shocking everyone by being a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match — and winning the whole thing.
Since that surprise return, Ronda has been tearing through the women’s division with the same fire and fury that she’s shown throughout her professional career. Just in 2022 alone, she’s held the SmackDown Women’s title twice and she shows no signs of slowing down.
What will the future hold for Ronda Rousey? If history can tell us anything, it’s that we’re sure that there will be a lot of Superstars left in her wake. Her upbringing in MMA and her success during her UFC days has molded her into the most dominant female Superstar in wrestling history, and she has no intention of giving up that reputation anytime soon.
Just recently, she destroyed Liv Morgan's dreams. There are still a few more months left in the year, so who knows who she will steamroll over next. No matter what happens, Ronda is entering the second phase of her WWE career with poise, grace, and an absolutely nasty streak inside of her.
Is Ronda Rousey unstoppable? It sure seems like it.
You can catch out Ronda Rousey's greatest WWE moments (so far) on Peacock.
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