Time and location
LAS VEGAS — On her first night as a WWE Superstar, Ronda Rousey put Triple H through a table, was slapped across the face by Stephanie McMahon and got the co-sign from an Olympic Gold Medalist. Not a bad start to the in-ring career of one of the most celebrated athletes on the planet.
Things went about as well as could be imagined at first, as Rousey tearfully thanked the WWE Universe for the opportunity to fulfill a dream, promising to do her namesake “Rowdy” Roddy Piper proud. Triple H made it clear that Rousey didn’t want any special treatment in her contract as well. The only thing the document would guarantee was an invite to WrestleMania, which The Game sweetened to a match at The Showcase of the Immortals. Rousey was all too happy to sign — until she noticed Raw General Manager Kurt Angle visibly stirring with discomfort and asked him what was on his mind.
According to the Raw GM, the praise heaped on the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion in advance of her signing was little more than lip-service to placate the new signee — behind closed doors, all the onetime Authority really wanted to do was keep Rousey under their thumb as payback for embarrassing them both at WrestleMania 31 a few years back.
A panicked Triple H tried to get the train back on its track by ushering Angle out of the ring, but The Olympic Hero offered one parting shot as The Game shooed him backstage: Stephanie had apparently called Ronda a “has-been” and said she could “take her.” Sufficiently rankled, Rousey intimidated Stephanie and then subjected The Game to a beating that made WrestleMania 31 look quaint, slamming him through the signing table.
Stephanie slapped Rousey across the face in retaliation, but the cold-eyed stare from “Rowdy” Ronda led the Raw Commissioner to flee the ring before The Baddest Woman on the Planet could again put hands on her. Rousey finished her first night at WWE by signing her deal in earnest and tossing it on the ruined Triple H.
In short, Triple H and Stephanie got their wish: Ronda Rousey is a WWE Superstar. But they might wish before long that she wasn’t.