This morning, WWE broke the news and finally made it official: Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair will make WWE history when
RondaRousey.com spoke with the RAW Women’s Champion to get her thoughts on the WrestleMania announcement, the importance of this moment, and why the nickname “Mrs. WrestleMania” has a nice ring to it.
How did you find out you were headlining WrestleMania? Were you expecting the call?
I found out from Paul Heyman. And the reason I found out is I sent him this long text, basically saying: ‘Hey, Paul, let’s do an April Fool’s Day joke on April Fool’s Day on RAW, saying that I’m pregnant and that the women are no longer the main event in WrestleMania, because I’m out.’ Then at the end of the show, we can say, “April Fool’s!” Then he called me back immediately, and he said, ‘Yeah, great idea and all, but they’re going to announce to all major outlets and everything that the women are actually going to main event, this Monday. So we can’t do your April Fool’s Day joke. They’re making that official, official.’ I was like, oh, shoot! So yeah, Paul Heyman told me is the short version of the answer. But he told me to explain why I couldn’t do my April Fool’s Day joke and tell everyone I’m pregnant.
As a young wrestling fan growing up, did you ever dream of headlining WrestleMania?
Honestly, no, I didn’t even think it was in the cards for me. I didn’t even know that there were women wrestlers when I was a little kid. It didn’t occur to me as a possibility. All I had in my mind at that age was winning the Olympics, I wanted to win the Olympics in swimming when I was a little kid because I thought that was the top field because I swam and I saw other women swam and there were also women in the Olympics. I mean, when I was a little kid I didn’t try and think of doing things that didn’t exist for me to do yet. That kinda happened when I got older. I had all these skills in Judo and nothing to do with it in the current work environment so I had to kind of create a job for the skills that I had.
But no, WrestleMania… Obviously, I didn’t think I’d be able to have a full-blown career in the WWE. Me and Trav wanted to start having kids really soon and I wanted to be able to be a full-time stay-at-home mom and I pretty much just put aside a couple of months for me to go wrestle and just have fun and do whatever I did. I didn’t think I’d be able to be a great wrestler and have singles matches within 8 months. I honestly thought I’d only go until November. And I completely just fell in love with the business. And I really love it and I kind of took to it a lot faster than I thought I would. I thought that every match I would have to spend weeks and weeks and weeks of rehearsal, with just like the first WrestleMania and then I had no idea that by that December I was having matches called on the fly with Nattie. You know what I mean? I didn’t know it was going to turn into this.
I’ve just kind of been swept up in the momentum of everything that’s happened since I got here and I don’t really know what the aim is or where we’re going, and then as things went on and as those little victories started piling up, it started to become more and more feasible that women main eventing WrestleMania could happen. I thought, maybe I could be part of it. Maybe I could help make it happen sooner. Maybe I could be one of the gimmicks of the match, that I could help and be part of it and help push the publicity for it or something. I always thought maybe I could help out some day.
But, as the year started to unfold and as the women in general just started to have so much momentum, and Charlotte and Becky’s rivalry just really, I think, pushed the Women’s Evolution to another level, especially on the SmackDown side—I was happy to just bring whatever attention, momentum that I could on the RAW side. I think that just this whole year we’ve been cooking up this perfect storm of all of us, all succeeding on our own, and it’s like the whole world is waiting in suspense for us all to collide.
And as the year started going on we started seeing, it went from like an abstract dream in the future to almost a certainty, you know? And it was around the time of Survivor Series that Charlotte and Becky’s momentum really reached a fever pitch and finally intersected with mine, and it went from being like, ‘Hey, this could happen someday,’ to ‘This could totally happen this year.’
It’s really crazy, it kind of took me by surprise. I mean, I wasn’t shocked: I’ve seen enough impossible things happen to know that nothing is impossible. But I really think that we all exceeded all of our own expectations this year. And it’s so invigorating just to have that feeling that this is just the beginning, this isn’t the peak of the Women’s Evolution, this is just one more ceiling being shattered, one more bit of progress. This isn’t going to be the last women’s main event of WrestleMania, this is just the first, and that is the most encouraging thought to me.
After one full year basically in the company, are you feeling like you truly do deserve this main event spot or are you feeling a little pressure?
No, I feel like I really do belong and I feel like I’m really happy that it’s all three of us. I feel like there should be as many women as part of this moment as possible because it isn’t just one person’s work, it really is a culmination of everyone’s work to get to this point. A lot of these women have been doing a lot of work for the Women’s Evolution inside the wrestling business a lot longer than I have, but I have been doing my own work for the Women’s Evolution outside of wrestling much longer than they have. So everyone’s been working their ass off their whole life—maybe not all in the same place—but I really think that it’s great that we all get to celebrate this milestone together, and it’s something that we’re all sharing and it’s not something that we’re taking away from anybody else that was before us. It’s a torch that’s being passed on and passed on and passed on, and this is our little moment in the spotlight with the torch and I can’t wait to see who carries it next.
Shawn Michaels is known as “Mr. WrestleMania,” do you want to be known as “Miss WrestleMania”? Because you’ve had some already pretty marquee WrestleMania moments so far and now you’re main eventing.
The crazy thing is I’ve been in more WrestleManias than any other pay-per-view.
I think, if I could keep that roll of having more WrestleMania appearances than any other pay-per-view then I think if they put a “Mrs.” on that I wouldn’t say no. I am a married woman—I’m “Mrs. WrestleMania.”
I’ll make sure everyone knows, “Mrs. WrestleMania” Ronda Rousey.
You know what, I feel like I’m ballsy enough at this point in my life to self-dub myself as “Mrs. WrestleMania.”