In December, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Triple H (real name Terra Ryzing), expressed interest in being part of the future of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
“Our fans love Ronda,” said WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon to USA Today last month. “Ronda has this cross-platform appeal in terms of all forms of entertainment. We would welcome her with open arms. She is the total package.”
Then Rousey lost in 48 seconds to new champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. Now ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman, a former professional wrestling color commentator, says the WWE will want nothing to do with a “broken star.”
“Unfortunately, I had predicted it almost down to exactly the minute and what would happen, and what could happen to her going forward,” said Coachman on Busted Open Radio, as transcribed by Pete Bahi for WrestleZone. “I want wrestling fans to understand that this is not a guess, or an educated guess. You have to understand that when you try to bring somebody in from the outside, and let’s mention a few of those names, just to give those people on Twitter some respect … They’ve been comparing Ronda Rousey to some of the other legends WWE has brought in.
“They say, well, Brock Lesnar lost a fight and WWE still brought him in. Mike Tyson lost a fight and WWE still brought him in. What people have to understand is that those two individuals have nothing to do with Ronda Rousey. It’s not really a fair comparison. You’re talking about a woman, who I have a great deal of respect for. Anybody who wants to insult her, and the way she got knocked down … there are very few fighters in any sport, whether it’s MMA or Boxing, that have not been knocked out at some point.
“Look at what she did. She took 13 months off. She was essentially a recluse. We really didn’t see much of her other than the commercials that she did in order to earn a living, and then she came out and got absolutely obliterated, as I called it on First Take. If you don’t change what you are doing. If you are not changing the way you train, then there are a lot of women now who are training like great boxers, like Amanda Nunes. Amanda Nunes is a complete beast. Nobody was giving her the respect that she deserves.
“So when you look at Ronda Rousey now … what do you have now that she wasn’t before the fight? The WWE would have taken her before the fight. People want to tweet out pictures of her when she was with The Rock. Guess when that was? That was Wrestlemania, 2015. I’ll say this before, and I will say it again – there has never been an athlete in the history of sports that their self worth, and I don’t like saying this but it’s true … their self worth is so tied to their professional success.
“Think about that for a second – when she lost, she was not only devastated. When she lost, the thoughts that were going through her head were not good ones, and hopefully she understands that she has gone much farther than any female in sports, and hopefully she can latch on to a positive. But as far as the WWE is concerned, they don’t bring in a broken star, and that is what she is. She is broken from a professional sense. They don’t rebuild broken celebrities outside of the WWE. Brock started in the WWE. Ken Shamrock was a fighter who lost, but any of these comparisons, are not only fair to them, but they’re not fair to Ronda Rousey. They are never going to bring her in because the fans won’t treat her fairly, and what exactly are they going to do with her at this point?”