Ronda Rousey Joining the Rock at WWE WrestleMania 31 Sparks Dana White ReactionMarch 30, 2015
Less than a week after UFC President Dana White watched Brock Lesnar spurn his offer in favor of staying with WWE, he was witness to his promotion's biggest star also stealing the sports-entertainment stage.
UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey appeared at Sunday's WrestleMania 31 program alongside The Rock in a confrontation with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Ringside with friends and family for most of the event, Rousey was called to the ring by The Rock after McMahon slapped The People's Champion in the face.
Unable to retaliate himself, The Rock recruited his Furious 7 co-star from the stands to create a true WrestleMania moment. Rousey proceeded to toss Triple H over her shoulder and nearly break McMahon's arm en route to sending The Authority packing. White, who was watching the event in London, took to Twitter to discuss Rousey's performance:
Obviously, this was a worked situation in which everyone knew what was going on. There is no chance Rousey will suddenly join WWE and spurn her ascending MMA career. While Lesnar cited health as the main reason he chose sports-entertainment over the Octagon, Rousey is a 28-year-old who has not yet been tested in a UFC ring. She's in it with White for the long haul.
"I've told you many times how I work with Dana [White]," Rousey's agent, Brad Slater, told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com. "I always, always call him and make sure he is OK with anything we ever do in movies, television and otherwise."
The setup was merely a piece of fun cross-promotion for everyone involved. UFC gets to see Rousey's name alongside the deluge of WrestleMania headlines that are coming throughout the week. Rousey and The Rock get to look tough together while the announce team cuts a promo for Furious 7. And The Authority gets a comeuppance while creating a moment too big for the "real" sports world to ignore.
It's a win for everyone involved, something played on WrestleMania clips for years to come alongside appearances from Mike Tyson, Pete Rose and many others. That said, if Rousey wants to test her mettle inside the squared circle, I doubt anyone in WWE would hang up that phone call.
Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.