The details surrounding former UFC champion Ronda Rousey's future with WWE became quite the topic of conversation on social media on Thursday with online reports seeming to indicate a hiatus in the very near future. One thing we know for sure at this point is that the Raw women's champion remains under contract through April 10, 2021, per a statement given to TMZ Sports by WWE.
This came as a response to an initial report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Rousey could be leaving the company after WrestleMania 35 on April 7 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. While Meltzer's report seemed to create a palpable level of hysteria regarding Rousey's future, a somewhat overlooked element was the nugget that she would likely stay with the company in some fashion.
Subsequent reporting from Pro Wrestling Sheet indicated that should the 31-year-old Rousey step aside, it would likely be to start a family with her husband, UFC heavyweight Travis Browne. Rousey had previously stated that she wanted to begin a family soon and put it off to work in WWE. WWE's statement didn't confirm the idea of motherhood, saying it's "a private matter," although it's something Rousey has been very public about since leaving UFC in 2016 following consecutive knockout defeats.
Another possibility is that WWE could give Rousey time off to start a family and freeze her contract in the interim, extending it beyond the aforementioned 2021 date.
Rousey, whose six title defenses of her bantamweight title remain a record for UFC women, made her WWE debut in January 2018 when she showed up at the Royal Rumble and pointed to the WrestleMania sign. Her debut match three months later at WrestleMania 34, teaming with Kurt Angle to defeat Stephanie McMahon and Triple H in a mixed tag team match, was widely regarded as an instant classic and the best on the card.
Despite struggles adjusting on the microphone that continue nearly one year later, Rousey has gone on to instantly prove herself as both a fan favorite and nothing short of a natural inside the ring. Along with her world-class athleticism as a former bronze Olympic medalist in judo, the crispness of her move set remain unique to any WWE superstar, male or female.
Rousey will defend her Raw women's championship on Sunday against Sasha Banks at the Royal Rumble. It is expected that she will retain the title and face either Becky Lynch and/or Charlotte Flair in a match that could main event WrestleMania 35.