Rousey talked about her latest SmackDown Women’s title defense — the planning & practice that went into it, what they were going for, what went wrong & why — during a recent gaming stream on her YouTube channel.
“Well, guys. Do you ever wake up from a deep sleep and think of a cringe moment in your life? Then you lay awake in bed? Well, I had one of those this morning. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and was like, ‘Oh god, that DDT on the apron! Ahhh!’
“So, let me explain what happened. I actually pitched that spot because I love that she does that but we couldn’t practice it in my ring because the ropes were too loose and then we couldn’t practice it when we got to the arena because there were these big cages.
“Everyone was so focused on ‘You got to guide her over, you got to guide her to the floor,’ that it was literally all that was on my mind when it happened. So, she went over, I was like, ‘guide her’ and when she was down, I was like, ‘Oh fuck. Ahhh, just go to where you’re supposed to go.’
“I fucked it up because I was so concerned with keeping somebody safe and a lot of times when you see me do something for the first time, it’s the first time I ever did it. It’s the first time I ever did it, I was really concerned with keeping Shotzi safe and I made it look bad and you know what? Sorry. Apparently, I deserve to be fired or burned.”
The passive aggressive tone of that last paragraph isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about Rousey, or this match. But Ronda insists her motives were good, and that factors outside their control contributed to the lackluster product fans saw on Nov. 26.
“I guess the match before us [AJ Styles vs. Finn Bálor] went over by like six minutes and they were really concerned about going over on time and the match after us was a three-way so they wouldn’t be able to communicate with each other to be able to make the match shorter. The match after that was WarGames, they couldn’t cut that out so it was the only place where they could get that time back. So, I was kind of bummed though because we worked on that match for two weeks and we were really excited about it and I feel like I really kind of failed Shotzi. I really wanted to showcase her shit and make all of her shit look great and show everybody how great she is.”
“But that wasn’t the match, that was like the beginning of the match and I’m kind of bummed that we’re getting judged from not really what we put together.”
It does sound like there were a lot of factors that worked against them. But lots of matches, including some really good ones, have been delivered under chaotic circumstances and without weeks of practice. Rousey would probably be better served with a simple, “My bad, I’ll keep working to be better next time.”
At least she’s a heel now, so the boos won’t seem out of place.