SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
Ronda Rousey has long been vocal about her desire to step away from WWE to have a baby with her husband at some point. WWE is bracing for that time to be shortly after WrestleMania this year, which is sooner than had been hoped by WWE officials.
Rousey hasn’t been shy about feeling torn between her young WWE career and the window of time when it’s considered ideal for a woman to try to get pregnant and have a healthy baby. At 31 years old, she feels the clock is ticking.
PWTorch is told this is not a done deal or a firm date, but she has been more vocal lately about her desire to have a baby as soon as after WrestleMania this year. She turns 32 in February. Booking-wise, WWE is preparing for her to potentially take an extended leave after WrestleMania.
This isn’t a negotiating ploy or necessarily an indication of any discontent with working for WWE. This has been something she’s been open about, especially behind the scenes, since signing the deal with WWE in the first place. PWTorch is told there is “hope” among some in WWE she will stick around longer, but of course they want her to do what is best for her and not end up with regrets over putting her career ahead of her desire to become a mother.
She is under contract until Apr. 10, 2021. If she steps away from WWE, it wouldn’t by any means mean she wouldn’t return at some point. Mickie James, for example, took time away from in-ring wrestling to have a baby and returned to wrestling.
TMZ rightly pointed out that a simple passing comment by Dave Meltzer on one of his podcasts this week led to “hysteria” and click-bait headlines proclaiming a “bombshell end to Rousey’s WWE career.”
In a tearful statement on a video she posted on YouTube on Nov. 22 last year, she acknowledging struggling with this choice. “I can’t do it all, I have to pick one thing,” she said. “I can’t wrestle forever because I’d feel like I’m failing my family.” She talked about being pulled in multiple directions with her career, her family, her ranch, and even her time to cook meals.
LISTEN TO WADE KELLER AND SAM ROBERTS TALK ABOUT THE ROUSEY SITUATION ON TODAY’S WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING PODCAST…
SHOW SUMMARY: PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents an “Interview Friday” edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast with NXT pre-show panelist Sam Roberts. They preview NXT Takeover and the WWE Royal Rumble including match by match predictions and hype analysis along with some potential dark horse Rumble winners.
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Consistent in informed coverage of Rousey since she signed with WWE has been the caveat that she’d expressed a desire to take a leave and start a family, perhaps sooner than later during the term of her contract, and an insistence on having the option to exercise that choice when she initially negotiated her deal.
Rousey was a central figure in this week’s Monday Night Raw’s third hour, which drew nearly 700,000 viewers fewer than the first hour of Raw, more than double the average drop-off. While Rousey is a big name who has gotten WWE into mainstream media headlines since her signing, WWE Network subscriptions have been flat, live attendance has been shaky, and TV ratings have plummeted in her time as a central figure on Raw. There are no metrics that indicate losing Rousey as an in-ring performer for an indefinite amount of time should be a big concern to WWE investors. That said, her association with WWE may have been a key to WWE signing massive new TV deals with NBC Universal and Fox network starting next fall. How those networks feel about not having Rousey as an active roster member at that time could be a story to watch.