Politics played a huge role in Ronda Rousey wrestling in Ring of Honor.
On November November 17th, Ronda Rousey made a surprise appearance in Ring of Honor teaming with Marina Shafir to defeat Athena and Billie Starkz. The match was broadcast on November 23rd and was a re-run of the match that took place at Revolver Unreal on the 16th — Although on that occasion it went to a no-contest.
While it was initially reported that Rousey was simply doing a favour for her friend Shafir, there might have been more to it. Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted the ROH match was put together to solve a political puzzle.
“Ronda Rousey appeared on the AEW show in Los Angeles, but I wouldn’t consider her a live free agent since she is not looking at wrestling regularly right now and her doing the ROH show was only basically a favor to alleviate a complex political issue and help her friend Marina Shafir.”
Meltzer added that’s appearance with ROH was kept quiet, and was born out of Rousey teaming with Shafir for Revolver before taking another break from the ring.
“Nobody knew about it until word got out that Rousey was in the dressing room the day of the show and why this was on ROH and not AEW. It may have been part of the agreement between Tony Khan and Rousey or Khan’s idea because Athena and Starkz are ROH wrestlers. What happened was the match was booked for Revolver because Rousey wanted to team with Shafir before she goes to have another child.”
The logistics of putting the match together were somewhat difficult with Tony Khan needing to approve bookings for ROH and AEW talent. Jon Moxley was said to be involved in smoothing everything out, and the agreement was made that the match could take place for Revolver, but only if a rematch was scheduled for ROH.
“It was put together late in the game since Khan had to approve of all bookings of his talent, and he at first didn’t want his talent doing the match in Los Angeles the same week he had three shows in the market. Moxley was behind this as he’s close to Sami Callihan who runs Revolver and his high on Shafir.
Khan worked it out to where he allowed the match on the Revolver card but only with a DQ finish and in return the agreement was they would do a rematch on the ROH taping in Los Angeles the next night and do the finish with Rousey winning there.”
Ronda Rousey Not Close To AEW Deal
Despite the buzz the match created, it remains unclear as to whether Rousey sees AEW as an option in the future, or would want to work with Tony Khan again.
“There was a lot of tension regarding negotiations but it was basically conceded that as far as the matches went, it all turned out great in the end. Whether Rousey would ever work or Khan is unknown going in nor after the fact. There was pressure put on her to do so and to help Shafir get some spotlight.”
Ronda Rousey left WWE for a second time after SummerSlam where she was defeated by Shayna Baszler.