After angles shot on Sunday in Las Vegas and Monday night in Anaheim, Calif., Ronda Rousey’s pro wrestling debut is slated to be a mixed tag team match, teaming with Kurt Angle against the husband and wife team of HHH and Stephanie McMahon..
The match will take place at this year’s WrestleMania on April 8 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The WWE’s storylines earlier this week built this match which has been confirmed by those within the industry. It will likely be announced officially over the next few weeks.
The company’s hope is to build a Rousey vs. McMahon rivalry to be a female version of the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon rivalry of 1998-to 2001, which propelled the company to its greatest level of mainstream popularity. HHH and McMahon, who are legitimate executives in WWE, play villainous executives on television. The idea is to parlay Rousey’s name recognition outside of wrestling to garner mainstream coverage and build Stephanie McMahon’s name outside the wrestling world.
The original hope was for Rousey to team with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson against HHH (Paul Levesque) & McMahon, but they were unable to make that deal happen.
Angle, 49, won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in freestyle wrestling in the 220-pound weight class, and went on to a Hall of Fame career as a pro wrestler. With Rousey having won a bronze medal in judo in the 2008 Olympics, the idea is to form an Olympic medalist tag team. WrestleMania is the WWE’s biggest event of the year.
Angle has been a regular character on WWE television as the General Manager of Monday Night Raw, playing a well-meaning but sometimes over-his-head good guy character, who is often at odds with Stephanie McMahon, his evil boss.
While portraying an executive as a television character, Angle has wrestled a few matches, as his career in the ring had slowed down greatly due to numerous injuries.
The story started on Sunday when Angle revealed things HHH and Stephanie supposedly said about Rousey, that signing her was the culmination of a three-year plan to sign her to humiliate her as retribution for the incident at the 2015 WrestleMania in Santa Clara, Calif., where Rousey and Johnson got the better of the HHH and McMahon. Angle also said that Stephanie called Rousey washed-up and that even she could take her.
Rousey suplexed HHH through a table in a spot designed to start the ball rolling on building the match, as well as to get mainstream publicity, while Stephanie then slapped Rousey.
The next night, Angle said that he made the stories up, although the audience was clearly designed to believe he was lying to keep his job. Rousey still insisted that McMahon apologize to her, which she did in a clearly insincere fashion. The segment ended with HHH sucker punching Angle.
Rousey’s debut has been in the works since last summer, but the match idea has changed several times in the planning stages.
She has been training at pro wrestling both in Los Angeles, with WWE wrestler Brian Kendrick, and in Orlando, at the WWE’s Performance Center. Among those who have been training with her of late in Orlando have been her good friends from MMA, Shayna Baszler, who has become a star in WWE’s developmental circuit, Jessamyn Duke, and husband Travis Browne.