Ronda Rousey made her return to WrestleMania on Saturday night, but she left with a loss after falling to Charlotte Flair in a match highlighted by a few ugly spots.
It was the fourth time Rousey appeared at the biggest WWE event of the year after she debuted back in 2015 as an active competitor in the UFC. It wasn’t until three years later that Rousey inked a contract with the pro-wrestling outfit, which led to a stint that lasted 15 months before she took time away to start a family with her husband, ex-UFC heavyweight Travis Browne.
Here comes @RondaRousey!#WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/ejsUcDn2FA— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
Just four months after giving birth to her daughter, Rousey made her return to the WWE, where she won the Royal Rumble back in January, which set up her in ring showdown against Flair at WrestleMania.
The match featured several highlights and a few more miscues as it appeared Rousey and Flair were not in sync during a few sequences in the match. That said, Rousey still pulled off a few highlight-reel maneuvers while trading shots back and forth with Flair.
Just when you think @RondaRousey has the momentum... SPEAR from @MsCharlotteWWE! #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/49cJKNEsBD— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
.@MsCharlotteWWE is in the danger zone right now at #WrestleMania!#RondaRousey pic.twitter.com/ZkkJS5OoTQ— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
Lightning quick! ⚡️@RondaRousey #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/1q9rqy08II— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
The matchup ended after the referee was “accidentally” taken out just as Rousey was applying her armbar — the submission that helped her gain prominence throughout her MMA career.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
@MsCharlottteWWE @RondaRousey#WrestleMania #WomensTitle pic.twitter.com/oWZ6XHWVph
After Flair escaped, she kicked Rousey in the face, which then led to the pinfall as she retained the WWE Smackdown women’s title.
@MsCharlotteWWE defeats @RondaRousey at #WrestleMania to retain the #SmackDown #WomensTitle! pic.twitter.com/yJqpE2HfZS— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
Afterward, Rousey was seen embracing Browne, who was sitting ringside for the event held at AT&T Stadium just outside Dallas.
Ronda Rousey embraces husband Travis Browne after a controversial #WrestleMania loss to Charlotte Flair pic.twitter.com/wmjF6C4aS8— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) April 3, 2022
By all accounts, Rousey is expected to stick around WWE beyond her match at WrestleMania, though she’s never worked a full-time schedule with the promotion. Rousey signed with WWE after leaving the UFC after two consecutive knockout losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. She was later inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
It remains to be seen what WWE has planned for her next, but for now, Rousey will continue without a championship around her waist after she suffered a second-straight defeat at WrestleMania after falling in a different match back in 2019.