On November 17th, Ronda Rousey, a renowned figure in the wrestling world, made an unexpected appearance in Ring of Honor (ROH), partnering with Marina Shafir. Their opponents, Athena and Billie Starkz, faced defeat in a match that echoed their earlier encounter at Revolver Unreal on the 16th, which had ended in a no-contest.
This gripping match was televised on November 23rd, capturing the attention of wrestling fans worldwide. While initial reports suggested Rousey's participation was merely a gesture of support for her friend Shafir, deeper layers of complexity soon surfaced.
Renowned wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, revealed that Rousey's involvement in ROH was strategically orchestrated to navigate a complex political situation within the wrestling community.
Meltzer noted, "Ronda Rousey's appearance wasn’t just a regular show-up. It was a calculated move to ease a complex political issue, while also supporting her friend Marina Shafir." This intriguing development was kept under wraps until the day of the show, when Rousey was spotted in the dressing room.
The decision for the match to occur under the ROH banner, instead of AEW, was a result of specific agreements between Tony Khan, the owner of AEW, and Rousey. Khan's role was pivotal, as he had to approve the participation of his signed talents, Athena and Starkz, in this event.
Moxley's Diplomatic Maneuver
The arrangement was delicately balanced. Jon Moxley played a crucial role in smoothing the negotiations, advocating for the match's inclusion in the Revolver event. The compromise reached allowed the match at Revolver, but with a stipulation of a disqualification finish, setting the stage for a rematch in ROH.
Despite the buzz generated by her appearance, Rousey's future collaboration with AEW or Tony Khan remains uncertain. There were negotiations, and though they concluded positively for the matches, Rousey's future involvement in AEW is still a topic of speculation.
The situation, laden with negotiations and strategic decisions, highlights the intricate dynamics of the wrestling industry, where alliances, friendships, and business interests often intertwine.