RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey recently spoke with Refinery29 to promote WWE Evolution. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
Who have you looked to in the women’s division for guidance since joining?
“It’s hard to pick one person, because every single person on the roster has been a teacher to me at some point. I’ve learned something from everyone. Nattie’s been amazing to me from day one, when I was just training with Brian Kendrick in secret. Nattie knew I was training and she had just finished a South America tour. She had been all over the place, and instead of coming home, she flew all the way out to L.A. and stayed at my house and came to train with me. Now that I’ve been traveling around with them, I’m like, ‘How could you ever have taken some of your home days and spend them on me?’
“[WWE Superstars] Sasha [Banks] and Bayley have taught me so much. [They] have been these great examples of being effortlessly great at what they do. They’ve also been a great resource and made me feel so comfortable about coming to them and asking them questions. I’ve learned so much from every woman that I’ve ever been in the ring with. Nia Jax was my first singles match and if I didn’t have her as my partner, I don’t know if it would have been as good as it was. It was extremely intimidating that my first ever singles match was for the Raw Women’s Championship and she was just a great mentor and guide through that whole process. The people you are against [are the ones] you spend the most time with and you learn the most from. There isn’t a single woman in the locker room that hasn’t been instrumental to my success.”
People who aren’t familiar may assume that any kind of fighting is still just fighting. What’s the major differences between mixed martial arts and wrestling that you’ve noticed since signing with WWE?
“Here’s a good analogy: MMA is like being a pirate. You are a pirate. You do the pirate thing: You’re out there, on the ship, pillaging. You’re a pirate. WWE is like you are the star of Pirates of Penzance. Being the star of Pirates of Penzance is a lot of work, and it’s very very difficult, and you might have to learn a lot of pirate-y things, but it’s not the same as being a pirate. One is the actual subject and one is paying homage to the subject.”
What’s one milestone you haven’t hit in WWE yet, but want to?
“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.”