Thursday, April 25

Becky Lynch says WWE pushed Ronda Rousey too soon: ‘She couldn’t wrestle’ at the start

Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey made history as the first women to headline a WrestleMania in 2019 alongside Charlotte Flair. They will forever be tethered together by the achievement even if there is a discrepancy between their legacies. Rousey accomplished a lot during her five years with the company, but Lynch says the former UFC champion couldn’t live up to unrealistic expectations.

Rousey made her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 in 2018, teaming with Kurt Angle in a winning effort against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Rousey captured her first world title with the WWE later that year and enjoyed three additional title runs before leaving the WWE last year.

“She was coming off a different industry,” Lynch told “The MMA Hour” on Wednesday. “She was a star and she should have been handled differently in terms of — I think she had such a great first outing that everybody thought, ‘Oh, she can wrestle.’ I mean this with respect, but she couldn’t wrestle.

“Everybody treated Ronda like she already knew it because when she first came in, she was good in that first bout, but she was also working with Kurt Angle, she was working with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon. It was a well-rehearsed match because everybody wanted her to succeed. And then it was, ‘OK, she can do this, off to the races,’ and that was mishandling her because she was a star in her own right and she’d done so much for MMA.”

Lynch believes Rousey could not make up the ground required of her so quickly despite her athletic background. Rousey had a strong run in the WWE but being shuttled to the top of the card was arguably too much responsibility for a relative newcomer. By contrast, Logan Paul has had an immaculate WWE run but is generally following the lead of veteran performers opposite him.

“What we do isn’t something that you can just have one good match and then, ‘OK, yeah, I’m off to the races.’ It’s a craft, and you have to learn your craft, and you have to be diligent about learning your craft” Lynch said.

Rousey left WWE in 2023 and recently criticized the company‘s historically poor treatment of women in her book. Lynch applauded Rousey’s efforts in pro wrestling but said it isn’t an environment for anyone who isn’t fully dedicated to the dream.

“My experience coming from nobody thinking that I was going to be worth anything and making myself very valuable to the company and very valuable to wrestling in general, it’s because I loved it,” Lynch said. “Because I loved it and I sought out to do it. 

“She came in and I think she found a place that she enjoyed, she liked, but she never sought to do it from a young age, and I think that changes the experience you have when you go into a place.”

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