Earlier this month, Ronda Rousey caused an internet stir when she labeled wrestling fans as “ungrateful” while explaining how they did not appreciate her. At the same time, Rousey said she would not return to WWE on a full-time basis in the future. The comments seemed out of left field, with Rousey having been off television for more than a year and her time in WWE being considered a great success by nearly all measures.
Then, the responses started, with seemingly everyone in the WWE women’s locker room giving their two cents. As the tweets and quotes piled up, WWE began referencing Rousey’s comments on weekly television programming as fans began to question whether Rousey’s comments were legitimate or an elaborate beginning to a bigger Rousey storyline set to take place.
Speaking with CBS Sports HQ on Wednesday, WWE legend and executive vice president of global talent strategy and development, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, addressed Rousey’s comments. He didn’t provide much clarity on the matter, but said the world would have to “wait and see” if those comments were simply Rousey operating in promotional mode.
“Ronda is an expert at pushing buttons,” Levesque said. “It’s a funny thing, when you promote the fight, whether boxing or MMA, part of your job is the fight and the other part is to promote fights. The question for people is, is she promoting or are these her true feelings? I think that is where the rub comes in for most people. I think that’s what makes this intriguing. Is this the real Ronda Rousey? Is this the Ronda Rousey she wants you to see? Is this Ronda manipulating people? Or is this just Ronda being Ronda? The world needs to wait and see and find out — I need to wait and see and find out. I’m just as intrigued as everybody else. So, time will tell.”
Rousey stepped away from WWE after losing the Raw women’s championship at WrestleMania 35, coming up short against Becky Lynch in a match that also featured then-SmackDown women’s champ Charlotte Flair. The match marked the first time a women’s bout served as the main event on the signature show of the year.
Earlier this month, WWE held WrestleMania 36, another event that featured a number of firsts. Most notably, WrestleMania 36 was the first WrestleMania to ever be held over two nights and the first to take place without fans in attendance, both a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Levesque said he was “very satisfied” with how the event played out under the unique circumstances, citing the surprisingly well-received “cinematic matches” as examples of what the promotion had done right.
“I was very satisfied,” Levesque said. “I think fans were really pleased and seemed to have a great interest in the two-day event. Being totally different, with no fans there but still being entertaining, we did some things that were completely different. The cinematic matches of the Boneyard Match and the Firefly Fun House were universally loved. So, I think overall it was a very successful WrestleMania and completely different from any WrestleMania in history but overall very successful. I thought it was great.”