The Rowdy Rewind looks back at Ronda Rousey’s first year* of matches and segments in WWE, the ones that have yet to be covered by RondaRousey.com.
*This week, we’re looking even further back…
On Sunday, March 29, 2015, WWE aired WrestleMania 31—live from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA—a show that featured moments like Sting’s WrestleMania (and WWE in-ring) debut and Seth Rollins’ main event “Heist of the Century.” But the show also featured another moment, one that would ultimately lead the way to another official WrestleMania debut three years later.
And I guess we have The Authority to thank for that.
It all started when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon took a moment during the pay-per-view—after Triple H had beaten Sting in their match earlier in the night—to announce and gloat about the record-breaking attendance number (79,976 people) at Levi’s Stadium. It was actually a genuine moment at first, as Stephanie shared her memories of being eight years old at the first WrestleMania (at Madison Square Garden), watching her “friend” Andre the Giant wrestle in front of “only 20,000 people.”
But once she got through all the facts and figures about the number of people watching WrestleMania 31—both in attendance and all around the world—Stephanie then decided to say that the obvious evolution of WWE wouldn’t be what it is without her and her husband. Yup, they just had to ruin the moment. And as the live crowd made clear just how much they ruined the moment, Triple H let them know that “the truth hurts.” And the truth was that he beat Sting that night, and after doing that?
“I feel like I beat anyone that has ever bet against us. I feel so good at doing that, it’s as if I beat 76,976 of you. And then on top of that, I feel like I beat millions more watching around the world, on the WWE Network.”
According to Triple H, not only did he own Sting in their match, he and Stephanie owned every single Superstar (and Diva) in the back and everyone in the WWE Universe. (As you might remember from the previous Rowdy Rewind, this was actually a point of contention for Ronda Rousey during her feud with The Authority. Because no one owns Ronda Rousey.) Because like it or not, “The Authority always wins.”
Triple H and Stephanie punctuated that particular point with a kiss… and then “The People’s Champ” punctuated that by showing up at WrestleMania, the day after he’d hosted Saturday Night Live in New York City. Neither Triple H nor Stephanie was as excited to see The Rock as the crowd was, nor were they excited when he decided to hit his pose in every corner of the ring—and soak in the “ROCKY” and “THIS IS AWESOME”… and more “ROCKY” chants—before actually speaking to them. But finally, The Rock spoke, letting Triple H and Stephanie on a little secret: The Authority don’t own the people and they certainly don’t own The Rock, “an East Bay boy.” (That was something the Bay area fans in attendance certainly appreciated.)
And this East Bay boy wanted to “create a WrestleMania moment—right here, right now” against one of his greatest rivals, Triple H. Triple H claimed he had nothing to prove to The Rock, but he was pretty easily baited into almost starting something… which is where Stephanie came in. Stephanie took over, telling The Rock that, “without the McMahons, there would be no Rock” before slapping him, in true Stephanie McMahon fashion. After she seemingly made her point, she told him to leave the ring to, to “get ta steppin’,” and also in true Stephanie McMahon fashion, she just couldn’t stop running her mouth.
So, while The Rock left the ring, he didn’t leave for the back. Instead, he walked over to the ringside area where his buddy Ronda Rousey was seated. After a moment of contemplation—like it was really a hard decision to make—Ronda hopped the barricade, she and The Rock fist bumped, and well, it was ass-kicking time.
To the ring, they went, and once they got in—and the crowd, of course, chanted “RONDA ROUSEY” and even “RONDA’S GONNA KILL YOU”—they were face-to-face with Triple H and Stephanie. A fair fight, if you will. (More like a “fair” fight, really.) The Rock got back on the microphone to say he’d never hit a woman, but his “very good friend” Ronda “would be happy to.” (You know that’s right.)
Stephanie, on the other hand, tried to save face by saying that she and Ronda are friends—even big fans of each other, noting how Ronda and the rest of the Four Horsewomen were ringside at SummerSlam 2014 when Stephanie faced off against Brie Bella—and tried to get Ronda to tell The Rock what was up. But Ronda didn’t tell him. After that, Stephanie asked Ronda if The Rock “filled [her] head with all kinds of hopes and dreams about having some kind of WrestleMania moment,” saying such an idea was “ridiculous” and not going to happen.
Yes, even here, Stephanie McMahon was underestimating Ronda Rousey’s ability to think for herself and see what was right in front of her. She eventually conceded that Ronda was “the most dangerous unarmed woman on the planet” and “the queen of the Octagon,” but… “This is the squared circle…this is my ring.” So she had the audacity to tell Ronda Rousey to be “a nice little fan” and enjoy WrestleMania. She literally told her to “get the hell out of [her] ring.”
After that, Ronda got on the mic herself, telling Stephanie:
“You need to understand something, Steph: Any ring I step into is mine. If you want me to leave, how ‘bout you make me?”
For whatever reason, Stephanie continued to tell Ronda that she needs to “get the hell out of [her] ring,” and then something in Ronda—who had pretty much been all smiles up to that point—shifted. The Rock translated:
“That look, Steph, means that if you keep running your mouth, she’s going to reach down your throat and pull your insides out and play jump rope with your Fallopian Tubes.”
That was enough out of The Rock for Triple H, as he told his former rival that it was the last thing he’d say about his wife. And The Rock actually agreed that it was the last thing he’d say—as he proceeded to layeth the Smacketh down on Triple H. Then Ronda even got in on the action, with a judo throw to Triple H, sending him out of “his” ring.
At that point, Stephanie decided to get physically involved—despite trying so hard to avoid it—telling Ronda not to touch her husband and (again) to get out of her ring, asking her who she thinks she is… and then trying to slap her. Oh boy. Ronda caught Stephanie’s arm mid-swing, and Stephanie had to beg Ronda not to break her arm. Surprisingly, Ronda actually let her go.
After that, the Rock and Ronda stood in the center of The Authority’s ring, while Triple H and Stephanie retreated. And The Rock let them know that that was the definition of “being owned,” as well as “the biggest WrestleMania moment of the night.”
“IF YOU SMEEEEEEEEELLLL WHAT THE ROCK AND RONDA IS COOKING!”
Alright, so Ronda Rousey didn’t go as far as to jump rope with Stephanie McMahon’s Fallopian Tubes. But fast forward three years later, and Ronda would be a WWE Superstar, wrestling her first match ever at “The Grandest Stage of Them All,” alongside WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle—against the two authority figures who thought they would finally be able to get revenge on “The Baddest Woman On The Planet.” (And that time, Ronda didn’t let go of Stephanie’s arm.) All because she hopped the barricade at WrestleMania 31.