Triple H spoke with USA Today's "For The Win" blog about Ronda Rousey signing with WWE. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
With the Rumble approaching and WrestleMania a couple of months away, was there pressure to get a deal done so the timing would be perfect?
"It's funny, there wasn't pressure on the timing of this at all of necessarily the Rumble part. It really just came together. There wasn't a lot of back-and-forth or like intense negotiations. It kept coming up in the media, and to be honest we had had conversations but we just hadn't – between her schedule and my schedule – we just hadn't sat down and said 'what do we want to do here?'
"And she's been training this whole time, specifically for WWE. She's been training intensely this whole time, and I knew that and I knew what her intent was, but we had yet to sit down and have that deep conversation about it. Once we did, the timing just worked out. Once we did, it went extremely quick from there. She was sending me bits and pieces of training footage along the way, so I knew she was serious. It was just a matter of getting time to sit and talk. Once we did it was really quick, and it was a thing like 'hey, I'm ready to go now if you want me to do something right away.' So that changed our thinking, and we went from there."
Now that she's signed, in your perspective, how big of a get is Ronda Rousey for WWE? Do you expect her to bring a new audience?
"Well I think that it's a huge set of eyeballs, but the thing that I'm most excited about is just the talent. I get it, from a PR standpoint. I get that she's going to bring in a different level of awareness of WWE on every level, and especially with the Women's Evolution going on right now in WWE – the Women's Rumble, the Hell in a Cell match and all the things that are coming down the pike…. The timing is perfect. But the thing I'm really excited about is the fact that this is not a one-off. It's not a 'oh I'm going to teach you to do this, you're going to do it one time and you're going to go away.' She's here. She's a talent, and she's a remarkable athlete, obviously, and a remarkable person.
"She just picks this up. She gets it, she understands it. She's all in, and that's a really cool thing. To me, that's what I'm the most excited about, because to me it's for delivering for our fans that we already have, let alone showing those new ones. The [fans] we already have, I know there's a couple of them questioning and all that stuff. They're going to be thrilled. I'm telling you, she is going to win them over because she is just like them. She's been a fan since she was a little kid. I think it was probably one of her first things that she loved, was WWE. She's so into it that her passion boils over when you talk to her about it, and she's going to knock this out of the park."
What are the next steps for her development?
"She'll finish up this movie [Mile 22], and then she's in. She'll be at the Performance Center, she'll be training and working with us every day. And we'll see where it goes. It is not for lack of desire or motivation, if anything. The two times she has been at the Performance Center training, we've had to try to get her to back off because she will train all day and all night if we let her."
What kind of reactions have you been getting from the rest of the roster?
"I think they're thrilled. It's funny, when Ronda came back, all she wanted to do was see those other girls in the Rumble and tell them how great it was. Before we brought her out I was with her watching the tail end of the Women's Rumble… and she is such a fan of the talent and everybody that's working that it's hard for them when they're around her, like she's almost in awe of them, in some ways, as much as they look at her because she's from outside.
"She fits right in. It's funny thing, very few people come into something like this – and I've seen a lot of them over 25 years – they come in and there's a difference. There's a difference in their mentality and they way they are, and it takes a little while to fit in."
"Any time she's ever been around us, it's like this is where she should have been her whole life. She's just like everybody else who is in our locker room. There's no pretenses, there's no ego, there's no anything. She just fits right into them. I think, from that standpoint, they can wait to rub up against her and kind of get that opportunity. It's going to put a lot of eyes on them and it's going to elevate their careers and it's going to elevate what we do."
Source: USA Today