Ronda Rousey Recalls Anger At Scrapped Title Win For Unlikely WWE Star

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey has lifted the lid on a planned title win that never happened.

After a hiatus to start a family, Ronda Rousey returned to WWE at the 2022 Royal Rumble. At WrestleMania Backlash, five months later Rousey won the SmackDown Women’s Title by defeating Charlotte Flair in a brutal “I Quit” match,

Two months later, Rousey retained her title at Money In The Bank with a win over Natalya, only for Liv Morgan to cash in her newly won Money In The Bank contract. The title win for Morgan was hugely popular with fans and was her first singles gold since joining WWE. However, the original plans were very different.

Writing in her new book Our Fight which is due for release on April 4th, Rousey revealed that Lacey Evans had been planned for the spot eventually given to Morgan. Evans had only returned to WWE television weeks earlier after a bizarre rollout of her comeback. The star originally featured in vignettes on SmackDown, but was then advertised to return on Raw, only to be switched back to SmackDown with no explanation.

“Money in the Bank also marked my first title defense. Natalya was challenging me for the belt, a match she would lose, but then cue the music, the winner of the women’s ladder match earlier that night would come out, cash in, and take me out.

“Who’s that going to be?” I asked. “Lacey Evans,” Paul Heyman told me. “That will be so great for her,” I said. Equal parts Southern charm and in-ring brutality, she had served in the Marines before getting into pro wrestling. Lacey had a baby just a few weeks after I had Pō and was making her own return to WWE. Moms are doing it, I thought to myself. “Does she know?” I asked. “Not yet,” Paul said.

“She’s definitely going to get the title?” I asked. “Has anyone told her?” “Wait a week or so,” Paul said. “If nothing changes, you should definitely be the one to tell her. You’re the one giving her her first title.”

A week passed, nothing changed. I grabbed Lacey when I happened to pass her in a hall. She had been coming up through NXT during my first run. She even helped me develop my Piper’s Pit finisher. “Hey, you know anything around here could change at any minute,” I said. She nodded slowly. I continued. “But the plan for the last week or so is that you’re going win Money in the Bank and cash in on me that night.” She broke into a huge grin. “I wanted to be the one to tell you,” I said. “I’m so happy to be giving you your first title.”

I could hear the excitement in her voice as she assured me she wouldn’t get her hopes up, but it was clear they already were.”

Continuing on, Rousey broke down how she found out that plans had changed, seemingly on the whim of Vince McMahon — something that made her incredibly angry.

“Two days later, I was standing in my kitchen washing baby bottles when my phone rang. Paul Heyman’s name appeared on the caller ID. I dried my hands on the dish towel and picked it. “Hey, Paul, what’s up?” I asked. “So Lacey’s out, Liv’s in,” he said. I was confused. “Lacey’s hurt?” I asked. I had just talked to her. It didn’t make sense. “No, it’s just going to be Liv.” “Why the change?” I asked. “Vince is just feeling Liv this week,” Paul said matter-of-factly.

In any other scenario, I would have been nothing but happy for Liv. We’d made our WWE debuts around the same time. With the exception of Shayna, I was probably closer to Liv than any other woman on the roster. She had more momentum and fan support than anyone. She was clearly the best choice. But I had just told Lacey that she was going to win Money in the Bank and be the champ—and now she wasn’t. All I could think was it would have been better if I kept my big mouth shut. That way she’d have never known.

I hung up, throwing the phone on to the counter, immediately regretting it as the noise startled Pō from her nap. I was angry. Angry for Lacey. Angry that WWE had put me in this position. Angry because Lacey probably didn’t even fucking know and was out there walking around excited about a moment that would never come.

Angry that this old man with our careers and legacies in his hands put no more thought into his decisions than how he was feeling in the moment. Angry that it wasn’t Liv’s years of back-breaking work, sacrifice, hard-earned fan support, or star power that made this moment happen but the whims of a geriatric billionaire who treated us like action figures. Despite the progress that had been made, our efforts were more frivolous than ever.”

Ronda Rousey Clashed With WWE Ahead Of WWE Exit

Elsewhere in the book, Ronda Rousey recalled losing her temper with Triple H and telling him she would be leaving after SummerSlam 2023. The former UFC star was frustrated after feeling WWE had dropped the ball regarding a potential match with Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 39.

Rousey said that after the meeting with Triple H, she was “done trying to fix a system that didn’t want to be fixed.”