WWE news, rumors: Ronda Rousey trains with Kurt Angle, talks CM Punk return

WWE WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans is nearly three weeks away from taking place in the Superdome for the first time since WrestleMania 30, and the card is just about finalized. One of the premier bouts taking place on Sunday, April 8 sees Ronda Rousey teaming up with Kurt Angle in her first in-ring appearance for the company as they take on Stephanie McMahon and Triple H in mixed tag team action.

Every weekday, we here at CBS Sports aim to keep you updated on the progression of Rousey in the ring as well as other top headlines in the pro wrestling world. Let's now have a look at some of those headlines for Thursday, March 15. 

Rousey and Angle prepare in the ring

Despite a plethora of marquee matches on the WrestleMania 34 card, without a doubt the in-ring debut of Rousey will receive the most mainstream attention. Having not participated in a professional wrestling match to this point, there's a lot of intrigue surrounding her first taste of action in a WWE ring. While we aren't aware of Rousey's skills in the ring yet, one thing we do know is that she has one hell of a trainer as a partner in former world champion Angle -- and he's making her get to work ahead of their showdown with The Authority. Wednesday, Angle shared the post below on Instagram which shows the duo during a recent training session. 

Training day!!!! #AngleRousey #Wrestlemania34

A post shared by Kurt Angle (@therealkurtangle) on

Much of the criticism thrown Rousey's way stems from her not only never having a match in WWE altogether to this point, but never having competed at all and making her debut on the biggest main roster stage of the year. However, between being coached up by some of the incredible trainers down at the WWE Performance Center for the past few months plus being around a prodigy the likes of Angle could end up going a long way. Who knows? Come April 8, some of the critics may be pleasantly surprised at what the former UFC women's bantamweight champion can bring to the table. We'll get that answer in just a few short weeks in New Orleans. 

More WWE news, rumors

  • Speaking of Rousey, during a recent interview with Metro she was asked about a potential CM Punk comeback to WWE. With her now settled in the company as a full-time worker, she stated she would obviously love to have him back in the fold but at the same time recognized it's his life and his decision to make. Right now, it seems as if Punk will have one more fight in the UFC -- possibly at UFC 225 in Chicago -- before we can even begin to seriously discuss a possible return. 
  • Dean Ambrose could be inching closer to making a return to Raw following a torn triceps suffered last December 2017. According to PW Insider, Ambrose is scheduled to make a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, this week to check on his rehab progression after surgery to repair the tear. It still could be a good amount of time before Ambrose is cleared after such an injury, but hopefully he gets some news down in Birmingham that points to the "Lunatic Fringe" being ahead of schedule. 
  • The outspoken Reby Hardy has some thoughts on her brother-in-law Jeff Hardy. Following his DWI arrest in North Carolina over the weekend, "Queen Rebecca" was told on Instagram by a fan that the upcoming "Ultimate Deletion" match between Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt needed Jeff -- better known as "Brother Nero" in the Broken Universe. According to Wrestling News, she fired back with: ""Matt has busted his ass to get to this point. He & I have been fighting for this to happen for nearly a year. After the hard work & $50k+ in legal fees that *WE* paid, I'm gonna have to say NO. He is not "needed". Jeff is clearly doing his own thing & it has nothing to do with us right now."
  • As New Japan Pro-Wrestling continues its expansion efforts into the United States, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter [subscription required] is reporting they're targeting a return this summer. In addition to the March 25 Strong Style Evolved show in Long Beach, California, the promotion is aiming for a July 7 show at the legendary Cow Palace in San Francisco. 

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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