Rousey’s WWE walkout threat over rumour
Concerns over Ronda Rousey's long-term future with WWE have been raised again.
Reports recently emerged the Raw Women's Champion was set to leave the company after WrestleMania in April only a year after her debut, The Sun reports.
WWE publicly confirmed the superstar is under contract until 2021 in an attempt to ease rumours.
But now American sports blogger Terez Owens is stating the UFC legend will not commit to WWE because of their potential interest in signing another ex-Octagon grappler.
A report on their website states: "Rumour Ronda is refusing to resign with the WWE if they bring Cris Cyborg into the storyline."
It goes on to claim the recently-launched All Elite Wrestling, backed by billionaire Shahid Khan, are also keen on Cyborg.
And their talks with the 33-year-old Brazilian MMA ace have led to WWE cooling their interest.
Rousey and Cyborg were two of the biggest stars in the entire UFC but fight fans failed to see the two meet in the Octagon.
The former left UFC after being knocked out by Amanda Nunes in December 2016, following on from her first-ever loss at the hands of Holly Holm a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Cyborg defeated Holm on points 12 months after the latter's success over Rousey, but she was defeated by KO when she took on Nunes two months ago.
Cyborg has also recently visited the WWE Performance Center in Florida.
That led to many hoping to see the highly-anticipated showdown inside the squared-circle, but that now seems unlikely.
Rousey was due to face Becky Lynch at WrestleMania for her title but the Irish Lasskicker was suspended and replaced in the main event by Vince McMahon.
It comes after Rousey was booed out of the ring by the Phoenix crowd last week on Monday Night Raw.
The New York Post reports the crowd was cheering for Rousey's WWE rival Becky Lynch,
The former UFC star even at one point said: "All right, all right, you got me to stutter. Good job," before soldiering on.
Rousey, who seemed rattled at times, didn't get to verbally offer her open challenge.
It felt like Bayley was abruptly sent out to either save Rousey or make sure the show didn't run over. The crowd's dislike for Rousey continued when Lynch challenged her to a match at WrestleMania.
This problem isn't going away for WWE and Rousey, who is technically the babyface in the feud. It's obvious she isn't getting sympathy from the crowd and likely a good portion of the audience at home.
"She suffers from greatness hate," WWE icon Mark Henry said on SiriusXM's Busted Open Radio last week.
Rousey has done nothing to deserve this. During her first year with WWE, she has had one of the best matches on the pay-per-views she's appeared on and her in-ring work continues to get better. She easily could have been a part-timer like Brock Lesnar, but jumped into the deep end of the pool instead.
"She could have coasted in WWE on her name alone," Henry added.
"Instead, she extends a hand to her colleagues and puts in the work."
Rousey has had some awkward promos - and some very good ones - but she has only been at this a little more than year. Heck, Lynch only found her true voice after five-plus years in the WWE system, starting in NXT in 2013 and years in the indies before that.
Rousey will be truly tested now. Her honeymoon period appears to be over. The fans expect more. The audience can grow weary of the unbeatable hero. They often gravitate to vulnerability, swagger or a character's struggle.
Rousey doesn't truly have a character. She is simple Ronda Rousey, ex-UFC fighter and the "baddest women on the planet", who has not been pinned or submitted in WWE. Her open-challenge promo was delivered with little emotion and felt scripted.
It's part of the dual personality we get from Rousey. She will be thanking Sasha Banks for a great match one minute and the next tell Lynch she can "kill you with my bare hands without even breaking a sweat". Rousey and WWE need to define what they want Rousey to be.
The more aggressive Rousey is who we need to see more of now. A match between two alphas who won't back down from the other is far more compelling than watching Lynch run over Rousey verbally.
Right now, Lynch is the one with the swagger and confidence Rousey was supposed to exude. Rousey needs to drop the nice act and use physicality more than words to get her point across, even if it's not against Lynch to start. Think what she did with Stephanie McMahon during last year's WrestleMania build.
Yes, this could blur her babyface line, but right now Rousey at times doesn't look like Becky's equal or better.
- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk