Triple H says that there is no deal for Ronda Rousey to come to WWE... not yet, anyway.
On a conference call with media heading into Royal Rumble weekend in Philadelphia, Triple H was asked about Rousey's status. The former UFC Bantamweight Champion has been rumored as a potential surprise entrant in the first-ever women's Royal Rumble, set to take place as part of Sunday's pay-per-view event.
Asked about Rousey's status, Triple H said the following:
"We've had discussions and we've talked about a million different things and it's kind of at the point I've shared before is kind of where we're at in sharing about it. She's interested. We're interested. We've had back and forth conversations. We're busy. She's busy, getting to the point of being able to sit down and hammer something out has not happened yet. But the interest is clearly there. The one thing about Ronda that I can share for sure is she has loved the pro wrestling industry since she was a kid. The Roddy Piper connection is huge for her. She truly has a deep ingrained thing for that and it's funny because I have seen people say, like, oh, well, you know, Ronda, if she does sign with them it's taking the place of somebody that's been trying to do this for years. … She's been training for this, actually, for a long time. I saw videos of her, I think four years ago, doing this kind of on the side when she was fighting and, you know, still kind of doing the sports entertainment side of it on the side. This is something she's been thinking about and been very serious about doing for a long period of time. That criticism is kind of unfounded. If she does this, when that time comes I think she's going to be, she likes it to the point where I think it will be tough for her not to be all in, really. But we'll see when we get there."
A few months ago, Fightful reported exclusively on Rousey's training in pro wrestling. Rousey herself has teased joining WWE, though not saying anything definitive. And the former UFC champ reportedly dined with Triple H earlier this month in Los Angeles, fueling the fire stoking rumors of a Rousey appearance in the Rumble.
Triple H added that it had been difficult to find time to schedule official negotiations between the two sides.
"She has a very busy schedule so us sitting down and doing some things is not the fastest process on the planet," he said.
Triple H also was asked about Rousey's cohort in the Four Horsewomen, Jessamyn Duke, another MMA fighter who is trying to cross over to wrestling. Another of the Four Horsewomen, Shayna Baszler, was the runner-up in this summer's Mae Young Classic and is challenging Ember Moon for the NXT Women's Title this Saturday at Takeover.
"I'm aware of Jessamyn," Triple H said. "I've seen her training and she actually has kind of a gift for it, I believe, and I think that a lot of people that I trust their opinions and have seen her train and have seen her step into the ring think highly of her. So I think it's just a matter of timing for her. It's a matter of timing for us, and for her wherever she goes or however she does this. For us it's timing of just having the avaialble space. We're in a position with the Performance Center where we're kind of chockful. That vetting process has become very demanding. So the filter's working. You've got to be the best of the best to kind of get in there. It's a matter of being on the radar and us having the spot to put you in."