Paul Heyman: Ronda Rousey 'would be great in WWE'
Ronda Rousey watches Raw every Monday, does scripted spots at her gym and leads a group of training partners named after a legendary stable. So why wouldn't she be a good fit for the scripted world of the squared circle?
Pro-wrestling innovator Paul Heyman thinks she absolutely would be.
"Ronda would be great in WWE," Heyman told FOX Sports, "especially as a Paul Heyman girl."
Rousey, the UFC women's bantamweight champion, is pretty swamped at the moment. She just defended her title against Alexis Davis last month at UFC 175 and is now promoting "The Expendables 3," her first major film role. Within the next year, "Entourage" and "Fast and Furious 7" will premiere and then there's "The Athena Project," a film in which Rousey is slated to be the main star.
With all that being said, Rousey is not uninterested in one day doing something with the WWE. Actually, she continually leaves the door open on the possibility. Rousey has said repeatedly that she would be down for an appearance if it included her friends and fellow fighters Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. "The Four Horsewomen" are all huge pro-wrestling fans.
Rousey's WWE connections don't end there, either. Her nickname "Rowdy" is taken from fellow judoka "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. It was given to her by her mentor, "Judo" Gene Lebell, who also trained Piper. Rousey is friends with -- and a great admirer -- of CM Punk and in June she had an exchange with Roman Reigns on Twitter.
Heyman, whose new WWE DVD "Ladies and Gentleman, My Name is Paul Heyman," said last week on "The MMA Hour" with Ariel Helwani that he believes Rousey is the biggest star in the pay-per-view world right now, even surpassing Floyd Mayweather. Rousey is "the new Mike Tyson," Heyman told Bleacher Report.
"She just has it all going for her," said Heyman, who is the on-air manager of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in WWE. "She's remarkably sponsorable."
Heyman knows a thing or two about promoting. His Extreme Championship Wrestling product was revolutionary in the 1990s and he is well-regarded for his work -- on and off camera -- in the NWA, WCW and now WWE. So when he praises Rousey, it's not just bluster. Heyman understands what sells. He said that if he were to be the advocate for one MMA fighter in pro wrestling, like he is for Lesnar, it would be Rousey.
"She understands the shelf life that she would both enjoy and ultimately suffer," Heyman said. "She's constantly upping her game. She's never complacent. She's never satisfied with her performance. And she knows there are people right now that are studying her to the umpth degree that are looking to take away from her when she has. Ronda is cognizant of the fact that are last fight was great, but the next fight she better be even more qualified, because everybody is studying her and looking for any opening they can find to stop her momentum and become the person in her spot."
Those are qualities that could also allow her to transition to pro wrestling, which is far harder than most people understand.
"She has absolutely unlimited potential and is a true mainstream star," Heyman said "And she's someone who has an appreciation for and passion for the industry."