Ronda Rousey and WWE were linked far before she showed up at WrestleMania 31 and surprised fans by jumping over the barricade and getting involved in a fracas with The Rock, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. But since then, rumors of Rousey winding up in WWE one day have been persistent, though most of those have leaned more toward fantasy than reality.
Now that Rousey has seemingly retired from mixed martial arts after being defeated in each of her last two fights, a move to the squared circle is more possible than ever before. And WWE has certainly bee in pursuit with McMahon -- on more than one occassion -- saying in interviews that the company would love to have Rousey in the fold.
On Thursday, WWE held the first taping for its inaugural Mae Young Classic, a tournament featuring 32 women that will air on WWE Network in late August. Prior to the first show, the company posted a video on Twitter of Rousey and her friends arriving in Orlando, Florida, for the show.
WWE later explained that Rousey's reason for attending the show was to support Shayna Baszler, one of the "Four Horsewomen" of MMA, who is competing in the tournament as a wrestler. Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke, the other members, joined Rousey at the event.
During an appearance on an ESPN podcast this past spring, McMahon said Rousey and WWE would be "a match ... made in heaven" and "hopefully one day we'll have that opportunity [to work with her]."
Combining her tremendous athleticism with an ability to sell on the microphone, Rousey would be an instant success in WWE's women's division along the lines of Brock Lesnar. In fact, she might have an even greater impact than Lesnar did on the company as WWE has spent the last two years drastically improving and featuring the women on its product.
For now, Rousey in WWE remains wishful thinking ... but it could definitely happen.