Rousey: “I was supposed to come back as a heel”
Ronda Rousey recently appeared on The DC Check-In with UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, to discuss a possible WWE heel turn, her MMA career, and more.
Rousey noted that she got to the point where she no longer wanted to compete in MMA, but she kept going because she felt other people wanted her to. Rousey, who last fought in 2016, was asked if walking away from the sport was difficult for her to do.
“I think it was difficult in both judo and MMA, in that everyone else felt that they wanted more from me,” she answered, adding that in both sports she felt pressure to continue after she had lost the desire to do so. “In judo, you peak in your mid-twenties. I medaled at 21 so I was going to be 25 for the next Olympics. Everyone’s like, ‘this is it, you’re going to be the first woman to win an Olympic gold,’ and I didn’t want it anymore and I couldn’t do it for everybody else. I think that’s a mistake that I made with MMA was when I got to that point where I didn’t want it anymore, I kept doing it for everybody else.”
She continued, “I think to be at that top level, you kind of have to be a people pleaser, you know? You want to please your coach, you want to please your parents, you want to please everybody watching. It’s one of the things that makes you excel but it’s one of those things that, it can be an obstacle a lot of times. Knowing when is the right time to walk away, it’s got to be your decision because not everybody else is going to come to a consensus and nobody knows what you’re actually going through and what it actually takes.”
Rousey and Cormier also discussed her love for WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and a possible heel turn in WWE.
“He was the real heel though, who wanted you to hate him. He wasn’t the cool guy heel,” Rousey said of Piper. “That jacket that I wear that is a replica of his jacket is actually stab-proof because people would try to stab him. That’s the kind of heel I want to be. I want to be the kind of heel that really inspires that vitriol and really gets the other person liked. I think a lot of people forget that the job of the heel is to get the babyface over, not for everyone to think that you were a cool heel.”
Rousey recalled how she thought she would be a heel when she returned to WWE earlier this year.
“I was supposed to come back as a heel. Vince McMahon was like, ‘well, they pop for her real big so she’s a babyface.’ So, I recorded a heel interview after and everyone was like, ‘what the hell?’”