Ronda Rousey has been competing in combat sports for the majority of her life, first as an Olympian in Judo and then as a world champion in MMA.
She transitioned to WWE in 2018 and had to re-learn certain habits such as showing more emotion as MMA fighters are taught to never show emotion during a fight.
Speaking on the Wives of Wrestling podcast with Kim Orton, Giovanna Angle, and Jon Alba, Rousey explained how fighting in WWE is fun compared to the anxiety she would during her Judo and MMA careers.
"With fighting and Judo, everything you're doing is hard and fast and as focused as you can do it at all times. Wrestling is not (as intense as), you can take a moment to think, 'How do I feel right now?' and showing faces. In fighting, I have no emotion. Everything is so focused and chopping every second into little bits so you can analyze and make decisions. A lot of anxiety and stuff comes from fighting and high-level competition. With WWE, it's fighting in the funnest way possible. if you can make a fight as exciting as you want to make it and everything happened the way you think is the coolest, it almost feels like I'm playing, not in a disrespectful way, but like, 'We get to play fight, what if you came at me with this.' Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi is the throw I won my Olympic bronze medal with and I kept thinking, 'I want to make this work in a MMA match. If someone did this and that,' I was so ready for it, but the situation never came up. With WWE, I can make all those situations come up for things that I think would be cool in a fight that I never really got to do. I get to push my imagination farther than chance opportunity, which is the funnest part," she said.
While fighting comes down to instinct and quick decisions, wrestling is more planned out with peaks and valleys.
Asked how she does in remembering what is laid out ahead of time, Rousey replied, "Remembering it is hard. I'm not a seasoned veteran or anything. This past Mania, I was like, 'I don't have this down at all.' We're about to go out there and I'm like, 'Uhhh, I don't know all this match yet.' All the parts where I wasn't sure what was next was a part where I could get a cue from someone else. I'm very much dependent on who I'm in there with to make the match itself and guide me when I'm out there. I'm a smoke and mirrors bitch. I've only had a year and a half of experience and people forget that a lot. I'll get thrown in these situations where I need to get reps in and need to know what this is. Whoever my opponent is, I also get to hand it to them and be like, 'I'm not going to argue with you, you make the match of your dreams, what do you want it to be? Let's do it.' It's been really cool, whoever I get to work with to see what kind of match is their dream match in that situation. Sasha (Banks), I got to go up to New York and meet one of the guys who really helped her put her stuff together and see how she did that and put our match at Royal Rumble together, which was different than when I fought Nia (Jax) and she came up to Browsey Acres and we put a bunch of ideas together. It's really cool learning from every opponent that I have, the different ways they put matches together and the different things they go for and different styles and how I'm able to fit in what their idea is."
Rousey faced Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 38, but was unsuccessful in capturing the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship.
The two will face again at WrestleMania Backlash in an "I Quit" match. Fans can check out the current lineup for WrestleMania Backlash by clicking here.
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