Ronda Rousey Talks Topping The PWI Women’s 100, Wanting To Face Sasha Banks, & Her Love For Wrestling: ‘I Would Do This For Free’

RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey was the most recent guest on PWI’s Pro Wrestling Illustrated Presents podcast. Rousey opened up about being named #1 on Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Top 100 Women Wrestlers of 2018 list, as well as her love for professional wrestling and a host of other topics.

On Being Named #1 On The PWI Top 100 Women’s Wrestlers List:

That’s actually incredible. I don’t really know how to react to that. I mean, I really appreciate it. I don’t know how much I deserve it, but, wow. Thank you.

On Her Last 6 Months After WrestleMania:

It’s been obviously a whirlwind. I’m problems remembering what order everything happened (laughter). I’ve gotten in the habit of forgetting the kind of things people remember for the rest of their lives because I’m just so overstimulated from so many awesome things happening all the time. I have no complaints. It’s been awesome. It’s been a huge challenge, definitely. It’s very different from everything I’ve ever done before. There’s been a lot of similarities and things that transfer over, but it’s an entirely different skill that I’m trying to learn from scratch and I’ve been very fortunate that I kinda got fast tracked in the learning process. A lot of people learn their fundamentals first and kind of learn to do everything first and then they are ready for whatever is after them. The analogy that best fits this the most, it feels like a train going at full speed and I’m sitting on top of the train and laying down the tracks….it’s been amazing. It’s been a dream come true. I’m at a loss for words.

On Her Expectations Coming Into Pro Wrestling:

Honestly, coming into this I expected all the fans and everyone in the locker room to hate my guts from day one. I really did. I was really blind-sided by how accepting and amazing everyone has been and how amazing the WWE Universe has been, how amazing everybody in the back has been. I’m really not here for a quick paycheck or some extra fame or anything, honestly. I just really love this and I really want to contribute as much as I can. I don’t want to take credit for the Women’s Evolution. I don’t want to take away from all the work…I just want to be a catalyst and I want to be able to speed up what’s going on here and bring more attention and more value to all the work that these women are doing. If I can do that, in the least, then I’m happy…..Coming into this industry, I’ve been nothing but surprised non-stop by goodness in people and how happy they are for me to be here and for me to be a part of it it. I was expecting resistance and resentment from day one and got nothing but acceptance and everybody willing to help me. There hasn’t been a single person that hasn’t offered me some kind of knowledge, or advice, or something and I’m so lucky to be around all the best teachers from day one. I’m very aware at how privileged I’ve been. A lot of people work their whole lives just to get somebody to take one look at them. From day one, I don’t know anything and I have Triple H teaching me how to tie my shoe. Triple H taught me how to tie my boots. I think it would be spitting in the face of every woman that would want this opportunity to not take full advantage of it.

The Challenges Involved With Transitioning From UFC To WWE:

I think the most challenging thing from the transition is to make everybody happy. You have the die-hard WWE fans that you have to make happy, but I also have my own fans that I have to make happy and a lot of them are very very new to WWE, so I had to kind of think about every single time I go out there, I have to make everything appeal to die-hard fans and brand new fans. It’s like finding that balance between reality and suspension of disbelief. How much can I make this really believable? It’s a fine balance because there are certain trademark pro wrestling things I would love to do, but I’m worried a die-hard MMA fan might be watching WWE and roll their eyes at it. There’s a huge variety in people watching that I have to cater to at the same time and I think that’s been the greatest challenge. It isn’t one type of person watching. It’s every type of person and it’s hard to find something that appeals to everyone all at once.

On Gaining A Newfound Respect For Professional Wrestling:

It’s [promoting and travel schedule] given me so much more respect for what everyone else does. When I came here, honestly, I thought it was just wrestle once a week. I thought they just showed up at RAW and SmackDown and that was it. I didn’t know there were live shows throughout the week….I have nowhere near the schedule everybody else has. If I’m on the week of live shows, it takes me at least a week to recover from it. If anything, I have the super easy tourist version. I have nothing to complain about. I do what I can to perform whenever they need me to perform. I have a much easier schedule than anybody else. I work really really hard and I try to do everything I can.

On Her Love For Wrestling:

I’m living a dream. This isn’t really even work. I would do this for free. I told Vince [McMahon] that in my first meeting. Of course, my agent was like, ‘Please don’t say you’d do this for free.’ I’m like, ‘I’m saying it.’ I have truthful Tourette’s. It just comes out.

On Not Needing The Title:

I was extremely surprised [about winning the title relatively early]. I was resigned to thinking I would never need the title. I don’t need it. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper didn’t need it. I was totally cool with that, but a lot of these decisions are not up to me. If the company thinks I’m used in the best capacity as their champion now, I will do that job as great as I can for as long as I can do it.

On Potentially Being The First Woman To Headline A WrestleMania:

I would love to be one of the first women to headline WrestleMania. I think it’s time, but it’s not up to me. Even if it’s just somebody, I think it’s time for any woman to be headlining WrestleMania. I don’t own a multi-million dollar company and I don’t make these decisions. Maybe my opinion about when it’s time is different, but I would love to be the first woman to headline WrestleMania; but, that is something that is completely out of my control and I’m not going to invest any of my happiness in whether that happens or not. If it does happen, I’ll be like, ‘Hell yeah, that’s amazing. Hell yeah, let’s go women.’ I’m not gonna be crying at home for weeks because I didn’t get to headline WrestleMania. If any woman got to headline WrestleMania, I’d be just as happy for them as I would be myself because I just think it’s time to happen.

On Who She’s Like To Wrestle If Given The Opportunity:

I would really love to wrestle Sasha Banks. I’ve been so impressed watching her work and seeing her from the back and watching her work. I was already a fan of her from before. I think we’d be able to make something great together. I think she’s given a lot of women their best matches ever, but I almost feel like I’m not at the right level yet for her. I think we could make something really special or something great, but I don’t know if I’m at the level that’s ready for that yet….in a perfect world, I would definitely love that, for sure.

On Anymore Firsts For Women She’d Like To See Happen:

Besides the first women to main event WrestleMania, I would just like to see women represent 50% of the roster and 50% of every card. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable. I think that’s far away down the line, but it’s a good goal to pursue.

(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)

Readers interested in listening to PWI’s Ronda Rousey interview in its entirety may do so HERE.

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