In a stunning turn of events, Ronda Rousey, the "Baddest Woman on the Planet," made a surprise debut in Ring of Honor (ROH), delivering a performance that left fans and critics alike buzzing with excitement. This remarkable appearance, which took place during the TV taping on November 17 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, California, was showcased on episode 39 of ROH TV (Nov.
23, 2023) on HonorClub, and has since become a hot topic in the wrestling world. Teaming up with Marina Shafir, Rousey faced off against Athena and Billie Starkz in a tag team match that was set up following Athena's open challenge.
The anticipation reached its peak when Shafir entered the scene and made a mysterious phone call, hinting at a significant development. As Athena and Starkz waited in the ring, Shafir's calm demeanor gave way to a dramatic reveal when Rousey joined her, leaving Athena visibly shocked.
The match kicked off with Athena quickly opting to tag in Starkz upon facing Rousey.
The challenge is OPEN!...& received
Watch #ROH TV on #HonorClub at https://t.co/8dcdtxqvDf@AthenaPalmer_FG | @BillieStarkz | @MarinaShafir pic.twitter.com/JuDOtAAbPs — ROH - Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 24, 2023
Demonstrating her formidable Judo skills, Rousey dominated Starkz with a series of expert throws. Shafir also had her moments in the spotlight, effectively wearing down their opponents. However, the dynamics shifted when Athena, showing initial bravado against Shafir, hastily tagged Starkz back in upon Rousey's entry.
The intensity of the match escalated with Rousey and Shafir unleashing a barrage of powerful moves.
RONDA ROUSEY HAS ARRIVED!
Olympian & Hall of Famer @RondaRousey makes her #ROH debut as she teams with "The Problem" @MarinaShafir right now on #ROH TV!
Watch #ROH TV on #HonorClub at https://t.co/8dcdtxqvDf pic.twitter.com/XHdPyFtyxc — ROH - Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 24, 2023
A notable moment occurred when Shafir responded to a cheap shot from Athena with a Sparta kick, sending her off the apron. This set the stage for the highly anticipated face-off between Rousey and Athena. Despite Athena's attempts to avoid confrontation, she was ultimately forced to engage with Rousey, who delivered a series of impactful strikes.
The match reached its climax outside the ring, with Athena executing a double Samoan drop fallaway slam on both Rousey and Shafir. In a nail-biting moment, Rousey narrowly countered Athena's finishing move with an armbar, only to be interrupted by Starkz.
The chaos continued with all four wrestlers exchanging fierce blows, showcasing their athleticism and tactical acumen. As the match neared its end, a controversial moment arose when Athena connected with the O-Face on Rousey, only for the referee to disallow the pinfall due to a blind tag by Starkz.
The bout finally concluded with Rousey securing a victory via armbar submission on Starkz, while Shafir kept Athena at bay. In the aftermath, Athena's attempt at a sneak attack was promptly thwarted by Rousey and Shafir, with Rousey symbolically holding the ROH Women’s World Championship aloft, taunting her rival and hinting at future confrontations.
The match was a testament to the athletes' prowess, with each participant contributing significantly to the high-energy spectacle. Athena, in particular, stood out as the MVP, her reactions and interactions with Rousey adding a compelling narrative layer to the contest.
This event not only captivated ROH regulars but also attracted new viewers with its gripping storyline and electrifying performances. Rousey, in a post-match interview, indicated that this appearance might not signal a full-fledged return to wrestling, stating her intent to support Shafir and expressing hope for continued success in her absence.
Nonetheless, the wrestling community is abuzz with speculation about Rousey's potential involvement in future matches, particularly with the upcoming ROH Final Battle PPV on December 15 presenting an ideal platform for such a showdown.
EXCLUSIVE: Backstage cameras catch a candid moment between @MarinaShafir & @RondaRousey
Watch #ROH TV on #HonorClub at https://t.co/8dcdtxqvDf pic.twitter.com/OWUzRis6Dh — ROH - Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 24, 2023