Former decorated UFC champion Ronda Rousey is set to officially sign her WWE contract at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event. Rousey made her debut in MMA in 2010, first gaining fame in Strikeforce, where she was the final women’s bantamweight champion. By the time Rousey became the first female fighter signed to a UFC contract in 2012 – after UFC’s parent company Zuffa purchased Strikeforce – she had a 6-0 MMA record, and would rack up 6 more wins as the first UFC women’s bantamweight champion.
Unfortunately for Rousey, the majority of winning streaks eventually end, and hers would be no different. In 2015, Rousey lost her title to Holly Holm in decisive fashion. It would be over a year before she returned to the octagon, getting crushed again by Amanda Nunes. Since then, she has effectively retired from MMA, but remains a big name in the entertainment world. A huge wrestling fan, Rousey used her “Rowdy” nickname with personal permission of legendary wrestler Roddy Piper, and her transition over to the WWE has been rumored for quite some time.
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The rumors of Rousey entering the world of professional wrestling finally became reality at January’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. Following undefeated superstar Asuka’s victory in the first ever 30-woman Royal Rumble match, Rousey made a surprise entrance, strolling down to the ring to the sounds of Joan Jett’s song “Bad Reputation.” Rousey then made her intentions clear: she wants a match at WrestleMania XXXIV in April.
Rousey hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since the Rumble – she’s actually been off shooting a movie called Mile 22 – but last night on Raw, GM Kurt Angle made the announcement that Rousey would return to WWE at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Angle said that Rousey would be signing her official WWE contract at the show, with the Raw brand. That said, WWE loves pulling swerves on fans during on-screen contract signings, so it’s just as likely that Rousey will surprise everyone and sign with SmackDown.
As for what Rousey will do for her presumed first match at WrestleMania, there are three popular notions being thrown around online. One rumor suggests that WWE wants to finally pay off Rousey’s appearance at WrestleMania XXXI in 2015 with a match pitting Rousey and The Rock against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. If The Rock isn’t available, they would find a different male partner for Rousey. The other ideas involve her either somehow inserting herself in the title match Asuka earned by winning the Royal Rumble, or challenging the champion that Asuka chooses not to challenge.
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WWE’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view streams Sunday, February 25 on the WWE Network.