Ronda Rousey Attacks Pair Of Stars In Surprise Return To WWE SmackDown

Ronda Rousey is back.

"The Baddest Woman on the Planet" stormed back onto WWE programming in a surprise appearance during Friday night's "SmackDown." Rousey's entrance music interrupted Shayna Baszler, who had just made her own interruption to cut a promo on Natalya, who retaliated by calling Baszler a "knockoff version of Rousey." Baszler responded by making some pointed comments about how her own career and accomplishments in pro wrestling predated Rousey's arrival in the industry. However, moments after Rousey hit the ring it became clear that she and Baszler were still on the same page. After teasing a faceoff, they both attacked Natalya. Shotzi ran down to the ring to try to even the odds but proved to be no match for the duo of Rousey and Baszler, who stood tall in the ring at the end of the segment. Later, WWE announced Rousey and Baszler will face Natalya and Shotzi on next Friday's "SmackDown."


Rousey had not been seen on WWE TV since she lost the "SmackDown" Women's Championship to the returning Charlotte Flair on the December 30 episode of "SmackDown." Rousey's weekslong absence meant she missed out on the women's Royal Rumble match, where she could have secured herself a rematch against Flair at WrestleMania 39. Rhea Ripley won the Rumble and has already declared she will challenge Flair at WrestleMania.

With the lineup set for an Elimination Chamber match to decide the WrestleMania title challenger for "Raw" Women's Champ Bianca Belair, Rousey's path to WWE's biggest event of the year is unclear. If the alliance between Rousey and Baszler remains intact, they may decide to pursue the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, which is currently held by Damage CTRL's Dakota Kai and IYO SKY.