By Chuck Carroll
(CBSLA/CBS Local) — Ronda Rousey’s time in WWE appears to be short-lived. The former UFC megastar and current RAW Women’s Champion is expected to leave the company following WrestleMania in April, according to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer, though nothing is set in stone yet.
Rousey, 31, signed a multi-year contract with the company, but has made no secret of her desire to begin a family with her MMA fighter husband, Travis Browne.
Rousey is scheduled to defend her title at this Sunday’s Royal Rumble in Phoenix against Sasha Banks. Plans are also in place for her to face SmackDown superstars Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch in a highly anticipated triple-threat match this April that could very well make the trio the first women to ever headline WrestleMania.
Rousey’s situation is not unprecedented territory for WWE, however. There is a very real possibility that Vince McMahon will somehow entice her to stay with an offer that is too good to refuse. Her name recognition alone brings tremendous value to the company, and her image was prominently featured when WWE executives were pitched on the idea of moving SmackDown to network television. Obviously, the pitch worked, and a 10-figure multi-year contract was signed. It will be interesting to see how much pressure WWE receives to keep Rousey in the ring as the show moves to Friday nights this the fall.
There’s also the potential for any break from the company to be temporary.
The circumstances were slightly different, but Brock Lesnar has been rumored to be on his way out of WWE on multiple occasions only to be enticed to stay with a lucrative contract. Some of that is smart business on Lesnar’s part, but much of it also has to do with WWE’s need for top-name talent to carry the load with John Cena no longer a full-time talent and Roman Reigns taking an indefinite leave of absence to battle cancer.
News of Rousey’s potential departure comes nearly one year to the day after she debuted in WWE by making a surprise appearance at the 2018 Royal Rumble.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.