By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ronda Rousey appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday. The following are the highlights of her appearance.
-Rousey was asked by host Molly Qerim about making the switch from UFC to WWE. Rousey said it’s like any career change with learning curves and challenges. She said it was challenging to switch from judo to MMA and now it’s challenging to switch from MMA to WWE. She said she has been accumulating a lot of the skills along the way that will make her great at it. She said she needs to put a lot of time into it and she thinks she can do anything.
-Rousey was asked by co-host Max Kellerman why people focus so heavily on her loss rather than her accomplishments and why there was such a negative backlash. “Um…” Rousey said. Kellerman rephrased his question. “I think a lot of people who quote ‘some people’ are really just afraid to state their own opinion,” she replied. Kellerman insisted that wasn’t actually his opinion and that he read and heard it from others, and he defended her. “Well, thank you for defending me, I appreciate that,” Rousey said.
-Co-host Stephen A Smith asked her why she was motivated to go to WWE. She said that she and her husband are thinking about having kids soon and she was thinking about what she wants to do “before being barefoot and pregnant for a couple of years.” She said WWE was a dream she’d always had and was something she always wanted to do. She said her six year-old self would be kicking her for not going after it.
-Smith asked Rousey if she’s been working on her acting for WWE. She said she’s been working with acting coaches for five years now. She said it’s completely different acting in front of a live crowd. She said there are similarities between acting and being on the mic just as there are similarities between being in a WWE match and a real fight. She said it’s a matter of finding a balance of things that transfer over and getting rid of habits that won’t help.
-Rousey was asked about Stephanie McMahon. Rousey broke into a big smile and said Stephanie has earned everything she has coming to her and she doesn’t think she has any idea what she has coming for her. She stuck to the storyline when she was asked why she is facing Stephanie at WrestleMania by recalling when Stephanie slapped her.
-Smith asked if Rousey is willing to be a heel at some point. She continued to smile and said: “Are you kidding me? I was the first heel in women’s MMA. That’s why ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper was the man.” She said Piper made being the bad guy cool. “It’s like the antagonist is always the most interesting character in the story and I would be happy to play any all roles that they need me to,” she said.
Powell’s POV: It got a little awkward with her response to Kellerman. I don’t know if there’s some past friction there from her MMA days, if she didn’t want to talk MMA, or if this is just another example of her not handling her losses well. Meanwhile, it’s cool to see that she can’t fight back a smile whenever she speaks about working for WWE and specifically with Stephanie McMahon. She still seems to be very much in the honeymoon phase of her run with the company. The hosts noted that Triple H and Stephanie will appear on the show tomorrow and plugged WrestleMania 34.
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