Shayna Baszler has plenty of history with Ronda Rousey.
WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard spoke with Shayna Baszler ahead of WWE Crown Jewel. Baszler did some word association with some of her opponents in the Fatal 5-Way match, two of whom share the same initials, Raquel Rodriguez and Rhea Ripley. Continuing that trend, Baszler was also asked for her thoughts on Ronda Rousey, who has not been seen in WWE since Baszler beat her at SummerSlam.
Baszler said their relationship is not what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean she can’t praise Rousey for everything she did in combat sports.
“I think she’s underappreciated. I think people like to hate her for whatever reason, and it’s been that way in MMA. It’s because she doesn’t mince her words. Because they don’t like her personally, they like to try to erase what she’s done for women’s sports; women’s combat sports, the UFC, the WWE,” Baszler said. “They like to minimize that just because they don’t like her personally, and I think that’s a shame. I might not be on the best terms, but I will never deny that she did a lot for women’s combat sports. So I think she’s underappreciated in some sense.”
Rousey has teased her in-ring retirement before and seems happy at home with her family. If Rousey did return to the ring*, would Baszler have anything to say about it, considering how their feud at SummerSlam went down?
“Well, I’m the only person in MMA or WWE to submit her, so I think that says a lot. I think when you look at someone like Ronda, obviously she’s mentally tough. She’s physically capable. I don’t think it’s a thing where like I beat her and broke her into retirement,” Baszler said.
We need to settle something
Baszler said her relationship with Rousey is in a weird spot right now. Her nieces gave her some perspective and said that she might want to apologize now that the match is done. Baszler said she can’t ignore how Rousey’s WWE run ended (for now, perhaps). But she knows that they will have to clear the air at some point.
“I know Ronda, she loves nothing more than being a mother. That’s her number one thing. So, I know she’s perfectly happy right now. But if she wanted to come back, obviously to clear the air, no matter which direction that would be,” Baszler explained, “we would need to settle something. And I’m not saying settle it in the ring.
“This is not a promo or anything, but there would need to be some discussion about what’s going on, or what’s going to happen, or let’s leave each other alone; however that would be. You know when you walk in the room and you know there’s definitely some tension in the air, don’t maybe know what’s going on? I think that’s kind of where me and Ronda are at right now,” she added. “It’s not like we’re not hating each other like we were when she was there at the end. We have a lot of history that means a lot. But we can’t just ignore what happened at the end either.”
WWE Crown Jewel takes place on Saturday, November 4 at Mohammed Abdu Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Watch our full interview with Shayna Baszler below: