Ronda Rousey was interviewed over the phone by Refinery29’s Sara Coughlin to talk about the influence WWE talent has had over her, why she continues to wrestle and what one of her goals is that she hopes to achieve while with the company. Some quotes from the interview are below:
Ronda Rousey on how Roddy Piper influenced her women’s MMA promoting style:
“I was trying figure out my plan of action for making women’s MMA take the world by storm, which was my great plan. There was no story in any of the matches. All you learned was that this person’s better than that other person. The fights needed to be made personal to the people sitting on the couch at home. I needed to figure out a way to be a polarizing figure. I needed to figure out a way that that match on the TV screen incited debate in everyone’s living room. I needed it to mean more than like, ‘That girl’s better than that other girl.’ So I was trying to think, Okay, how can I be a heel? Who are the greatest heels of all time? And Rowdy Roddy Piper was my favourite, so I studied up on him. I watched everything that he did to drive people into that prematch fervor. He was so great at promoting, and the women in MMA at the time were really missing that promoting aspect, so I tried to steal from him as much as I could.”
On how her interest in joining WWE came to be:
“It’s kind of funny — it’s not like I was born into all of this. I just kept getting hints from the world that this was meant to happen. It was at WrestleMania 31 that I got an opportunity to show up and do a little cameo. I was like, ‘Oh, that was really cool,’ but I never thought that it would be an ongoing career move. It’s such a specialized skill that takes so many years to learn that I thought that I didn’t have the years to spare to spend on it, so it was just kind of like, I can check it off the bucket list. It wasn’t until I started planning to have a family with my husband that we were thinking, ‘Okay, what are all the things that we would want to do before we settle down and have a family? Is there anything we left undone?’ And I thought, You know what? I would love to go and be a WWE Superstar. Let me go and do this for like a couple months.’ But when I approached [WWE] with that, they were like, ‘Well, we would actually like to have you around for more than just a few months.’ I thought that I would be done by now, honestly, so this has organically blossomed into so much more than me or anyone else dreamed it could be.”
On why she continued to stay on with WWE:
“More than just the bucket list, more than just enjoying and being a tourist, before I could settle down and have kids, I really just wanted to be that example that I feel like my children [will] need of being able to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and succeed no matter what the situation is.”
On the best piece of advice she’s received so far:
“The one consistent thing that everyone keeps telling me, across the board, is just have fun. The last thing I always hear before I go out there is, ‘Have fun. Make sure you have fun.’ It’s almost like a sign off — ‘Have fun’ is how you end your advice. ‘Have fun’ and ‘take your time.
On the wrestling milestone she wishes to achieve:
“We’ve never had women headline WrestleMania and I would love to be one of the women to do so, or at least be one of the women watching when it happens. It’s that one ‘first’ that has still been kept away from us that every single woman on the roster is ravenous for.”
You can read Refinery29’s entire interview by going here.