Consensus seems to be Ronda Rousey had at least one of and probably the match of the night in her WWE debut at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans on April 8, 2018.
So why is she telling ESPN she wants to apologize to the fans?
Because Rowdy thought we were going to boo her and otherwise treat her harshly during her start in pro wrestling, and that just hasn’t been her experience:
“I owe the WWE universe an apology, because I thought they were going to boo me out of the building from day one. They really accepted me from day one. Hopefully, I satisfied a lot of skeptics tonight.
I underestimated how kind the WWE universe would be. I thought any outsiders would be shunned. I was expecting to get shunned and to have to battle to be accepted. I worked my ass off to pay respect to what’s so important to them, and hopefully they saw that tonight. I’m just so grateful, man. I’m trying my best to deserve it.”
In fact, we’ve been so kind, Rousey is now expresses gratitude for the losses which led to her leaving UFC - even though the second to Amanda Nunes left her “thinking ‘God hates me’”:
“It was me versus the world in an individual sport,” Rousey said. “I thought I would never say this, but I’m so happy I lost those fights [to Holly Holm and Nunes] because it led me here. This is so worth it.
Everything really does happen for a reason. I’m just so grateful. I thought I never would be [grateful] for [the losses], but time is a great teacher. I’m just really, really glad I gave it time instead of giving up and feeling it was the end of the world. There’s so many people who encounter tragedies who feel like the world and time won’t heal it. But all I can say to those people is: Just give it time, even if you think time can’t heal it. You never know what will happen and where it will lead you. Every missed opportunity is a blessing in disguise. I really believe it now.”
Characterizing losses in a competitive sport where even the best of the best usually suffer defeat as “tragedies” is a telling quote. It’s a glimpse into her perspective on her mixed martial arts career, and why she’s so grateful to be a part of what she seems to view as more of an acting troupe.
There will be different outcomes and reactions ahead for Ronda in her WWE career, but for now, she sounds content:
“It feels good. You ever go somewhere for the first time and it’s like coming home or somewhere you’ve been before? It feels more familiar than it should.”
We’ll see if that feeling lasts. One way or the other, her WrestleMania debut probably couldn’t have gone better.