There’s a lot of speculation surrounding Ronda Rousey’s in-ring debut for WWE, and all signs seem to indicate that she’ll face Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag match at WrestleMania 34. It’s already been heavily reported that WWE wants The Rock to be Rousey’s partner in that match, but due to insurance liabilities, he might not be able to participate. However, a new report from Sports Illustrated sheds some light on who else could be partnered with Rousey – and some of the names might surprise you. Beyond the names, WWE is also offering peaks behind the curtain of Rousey training.
According to Justin Barrasso, Kurt Angle is WWE’s second pick behind The Rock. He certainly has the right amount of star power to be Rousey’s partner, and they’re both former Olympians. It would also be a monumental moment: the last time Angle wrestled at WrestleMania was in 2006, when he lost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Rey Mysterio in a triple-threat match that also included Randy Orton.
As for how WWE would justify partnering Angle with Rousey, it wouldn’t be too difficult if Stephanie is in the other corner; Angle and Stephanie’s issues with each other go way back.
Shane McMahon is listed as WWE’s third preference for Rousey’s partner, but quite frankly this doesn’t make any sense at all. There might be a lot of familial issues between Shane, Stephanie, and Triple H, but Shane is the commissioner of SmackDown; it wouldn’t seem right for him to team up with Raw’s newest acquisition. Furthermore, he’s still too wrapped up in his storyline with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Daniel Bryan.
Last but not least is the Kingslayer, Seth Rollins. I’ll just get this out of the way: I don’t want this because Rollins is my favorite and I’m still not thrilled about Rousey being in WWE – it’s been weeks since her debut and she hasn’t done crap. But, even though I wouldn’t want this partnership, it would make sense given Rollins’s history with both Triple H and Stephanie.
However, this scenario thankfully seems unlikely as Rollins has squarely declared his intention to get back the Universal Championship.
If all that isn’t speculation enough, Twitter account WrestleVotes threw a wrench into the narrative by claiming that WWE wants Angle vs. Rollins at WrestleMania and that Braun Strowman is their second pick to partner with Rousey.
Regarding Rousey and Mania: WWE wanted The Rock as her partner, obviously. Whether he’s doing it or not, we’ll find out. The other choice was initially Angle but it looks like that changed. Source says Rollins vs Angle more likely. If no Rock, Strowman’s name has been discussed.
— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) February 15, 2018
Adding fuel to the fire, WWE is already showing Rousey training and kicking-butt inside a wrestling ring.
Rousey’s personal photographer also showed her working in a ring with NXT star Peyton Royce.