The intersection of sports and celebrity is reportedly poised to grace the WWE WrestleMania 34 stage in the form of UFC megastar Ronda Rousey, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc). And she will no doubt armbar her way into pro wrestling history.
Welcoming the first UFC women's bantamweight champ to WWE's biggest pay-per-view would be a game-changer.
Rousey's name power combined with the ring acumen and presence of Superstars like Charlotte Flair will give WWE a momentous women's match. There will be more buzz around that bout than anything we've seen from the surging women's revolution thus far.
There has long been speculation and whispers about Rousey entering the WWE ring, and now it looks to be actually happening.
Per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE is planning on booking Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir vs. Flair, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks at next year's WrestleMania.
It's a battle WWE teased during the Mae Young Classic tournament in September. Led by Rousey, members of The Four Horsewomen of MMA confronted three members of the group known as The Four Horsewomen of WWE.
That could well be the catalyst of a four-on-four clash at WWE's version of the Super Bowl.
There would be more mainstream press surrounding that clash than any other WWE women's bout. It would be reminiscent of when Mike Tyson served as the special enforcer for Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania IV. Except this time, the sports celebrity would be more of an active participant.
Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross told TMZ Sports that he believes WrestleMania and Rousey are "a match made in heaven."
He's right. The event has long been a chance to push WWE into the forefront in part by including celebrities.
Rousey's stock certainly fell thanks to her two final UFC fights where she suffered lopsided losses, but she's still a household name. She's still more famous than any of the women on either Raw or SmackDown's rosters.
While social media is not an exact measurement of star power, it does give us some idea of their place in pop culture.
The Queen herself is fully aware of what Rousey would bring. Flair spoke with Sean Neumann of Rolling Stone earlier this month about Rousey's possible involvement in WrestleMania.
"With Ronda being part of the division, or her having whatever interest, whether it to be part of the division or as just a fan, it brings more eyes to the women's division, which I'm all for," she said.
"Especially with a crossover star like she is."
Cramming the biggest names of that division in the same ring with Rousey, rising fighter-turned-wrestler Bazler and the rest of the UFC crew would simply be huge.
WrestleMania has often neglected the women of WWE, either not featuring them at all or giving them the crumbs of the airtime pie. The last two editions of the event, though, have been different. WWE has actively tried to showcase its women in matches brimming with hype.
Banks, Lynch and Flair collided at WrestleMania 32. The following year, Bayley held off Flair, Banks and Nia Jax.
An eight-woman tag team match built around Flair and Rousey would build on the momentum those matches created and be the most talked about women's bout to date.
Rousey isn't going to stick around and be a full-time WWE talent, but if she puts on her fighting gloves come next April, she will give the women set to be across the ring from her at WrestleMania a boost in interest, from casual and perhaps new fans as well.
Newspapers, websites and TV shows are going to show more clips of Rousey tangling with Flair and Co. than previous contests like Lita vs. Trish Stratus, Flair vs. Banks or The Fabulous Moolah vs. Wendi Richter.
Rousey will help amplify what Flair and her peers have been building during this ongoing revolution.