‘Slap in the face’: Ronda Rousey’s debut at WWE Royal Rumble didn’t go down well with Nikki Bella
The debut of former MMA superstar Ronda Rousey at Royal Rumble 2018 kickstarted a high time for women’s wrestling in WWE. It eventually led to Lynch, Charlotte, and Rousey becoming the first female wrestlers to main-event WrestleMania 36.Updated: May 07, 2020 19:37 IST
The last 4-5 years has seen the rise of women wrestling in WWE. Though there were successful wrestlers like Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, and Bret Hart, WWE was regularly blamed for favouring big muscled superstars. Then in the late 2000s and early 2010s, fans called for women wrestlers to be given a chance to showcase their wrestling abilities. There were only 2-5 minute matches featuring women in WWE for several years before the women’s revolution.
The likes of Paige, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley propelled the revolution to another level where they were continuously put in prominent positions and regularly showcased their wrestling skills. Even former Divas like Nikki Bella and Brie Bella started putting more focus on their wrestling skills and eventually became accomplished superstars.
Then came the debut of former MMA superstar Ronda Rousey at Royal Rumble 2018 and it kickstarted a high time for women’s wrestling in WWE. It eventually led to Lynch, Charlotte, and Rousey becoming the first female wrestlers to main-event WrestleMania.
However, her debut at the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble has not gone down well with former champion Nikki Bella. She has maintained that her debut at Royal Rumble ‘was a bit of a slap in the face to all the historic women wrestlers’.
“It was nothing against Ronda — it is thrilling that she is at WWE — but it was a bit of a slap in the face to all the historic women wrestlers who had come out for the match, the main event, only to have the moment upstaged by the Ronda announcement. It just didn’t need to happen like that.” Nikki said. (Credit: E!)
In a recent appearance on Wild Ride podcast, the former MMA athlete explains why she left WWE, and why she would never make a permanent return.
“What am I doing it for if I’m not being able to spend my time and energy on my family, but instead spending my time and my energy on a bunch of f****** ungrateful fans that don’t even appreciate me?
“The thing is, I love performing. I love the girls. I love being out there. “But, at the end of the day, I was just like, ‘F*** these fans, dude.’ My family loves me. They appreciate me. I want all of my energy to go into them.”
She further added: “People think you’re only wrestling as much as they see you on TV, but they don’t realize that there’s three or four other days of live shows during the week. If I looked at all the live shows, I was only home a day and a half a week. It was just not worth it for my family … No, I’ll never be full time again – over 200 days a year on the road like that ever again.”