Ronda Rousey’s surprise Ring of Honor debut comes with AEW intrigue
Ronda Rousey’s post-WWE run in professional wrestling made an unexpected stop — in Ring of Honor.
Rousey was the surprise hand-picked partner of friend Marina Shafir against Ring of Honor Women’s World champion Athena and Bille Starkz during the Ring of Honor tapings following AEW Collision and Rampage at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on Friday night.
The move certainly comes with some AEW intrigue as company president Tony Khan, who also owns Ring of Honor, is teasing a big signing at their Full Gear pay-per-view on Saturday night.
It’s unclear if the 36-year-old Rousey would want to commit to a longer-term deal with any promotion right now after just finishing up her second run with WWE at SummerSlam in August, where she lost to former tag team partner and close friend Shayna Baszler in an MMA rules match.
Will Ospreay, who is soon to be a free agent from New Japan Pro Wrestling also has been speculated as the person signing at Full Gear.
After her contract with WWE finished up, Rousey teased retirement in a social media post on Oct. 11 only to return to the ring a few days later in an impromptu match with friend Shafir at Lucha VaVoom, a lucha and burlesque-style promotion based in Las Angeles.
This got more serious on Thursday night when Rousey again teamed with Shafir against Athena and the 19-year-olf phenom Starkz at the Wrestling Revolver Unreal pay-per-view.
Both Athena and Starkz are both signed with AEW.
The match ended in a no-contest after Athena hit Rousey with the ROH championship, and appeared to lead to the contest they had Friday night.
Also, the former Raw and SmackDown women’s champion took a nasty-looking suplex on her head from Starkz, who leaned it to it by not regretting it on social media.
It showed at least another sign that it was potentially meant to lead to something else down the road.
It’s unclear if Rousey’s match on Friday will turn into anything more substantial with either of Khan’s companies, but it certainly establishes a working relationship and shows the “Baddest Woman on the Planet” could show up anywhere unannounced, as she is clearly having fun wrestling who and when she wants.