WWE Wrestlemania 34 Result: Ronda Rousey And Kurt Angle Vs. Stephanie McMahon And Triple H Highlights
Help me Ronda.
Although professional ass-kicker Ronda Rousey only officially signed to the WWE at the start of 2018, the build up to this upcoming match at Wrestlemania 34 started years ago at Wrestlemania 31. At that show, special guest The Rock (or Dwayne Johnson as he's known outside the squared circle) was interrupted mid-promo by Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, with Steph slapping The Rock right across his big dumb chiseled face. Luckily, Rousey was standing in the front row as a regular old audience member, and The Rock invited her into the ring, where she proceeded to get physical (ie placing Steph in an arm bar). And now, after years of will-she-won't-she speculation about joining the WWE, Rousey showed what she can do inside a wrestling ring in front of a packed house at Wrestlemania.
As a complete wrestling newbie (well, the sports entertainment type at any rate), Rousey was thrown into a mixed tag-team match for her first bout. This gave her and the WWE the chance to hide her rookie status by pairing her with some experienced stars (Triple H and Kurt Angle) who could handle the bulk of the actual wrestling--though she ended up doing more than expected. Rousey had been visibly uneven in her promos leading up to Wrestlemania 34, but as a legitimate badass in real life, her area of excellence should be inside the ring, where her years of UFC physical dominance have a chance to shine.
In terms of narrative, this bout is built on the age-old trope WWE has been running since the Attitude Era--tough, take-no-s*** wrestler takes on the corrupt establishment. On the establishment/management side is Steph and Trips, reprising their roles as the overbearing Authority. On the take-no-s*** side is Rousey and current Raw GM Kurt Angle. The rationale as to why someone in middle management like Angle is so willing to put the hurt on his bosses is kinda muddled, but this match is really less about the story leading up to it as it is about the story coming out of it. Rousey is being positioned as a big deal and has the potential to become a dominant WWE star in the same way Brock Lesnar dominated after his own return from the UFC. Will Sunday's match at Wrestlemania 34 be the start of a long reign, or the first signs of an implosion in the grand Rousey experiment? Here's a recap of how things played out:
- Steph/Trips come out first to the sound of Motorhead, with both riding matching hogs and being led by a procession of other motorcycles. In a nice power couple touch, they do a tandem version of Triple H's water-spout-in-the-air intro to the ring. That's how relationships work, you see. By having shared interests.
- Kurt Angle gets his own intro, and he's sporting his Olympic gold medal (he's accompanied by pyro, which I believe is the first time it's been used for an entrance at Wrestlemania so far). Rousey comes out, and is beaming at the crowd again. It's clear she loves this, but maybe look a little meaner, Ronda?
- Steph slaps Ronda right at the start, and then pulls her hair even before the bell rings. Some great heel work from McMahon there, as Rousey is fuming. Angle and Triple H then kick the match off.
- They're really playing up Rousey's inexperience with wrestling tropes, with Triple H and Steph's various mindgames (such as distractions and messing with the ref) all working rather too easily on the green Rousey.
- Angle was about to make the hot tag to Rousey's outstreched arm, but Steph sneaks around and pulls Rousey down off the apron.
- Finally, Rousey tagged in. She races straight over to Steph, pulls her over the top rope by her hair, and goes to town! Lots of strikes and throws in rapid succession. Rousey looks good! The crowd is chanting "Break her arm!"
- Rousey almost gets McMahon in an arm bar, but she manages to counter and rake Rousey's eyes. Now McMahon is on the offensive.
- Rousey Samoan drops McMahon, but before the ref could count to three, Triple H pulls him out of the ring. Triple H then pulls Rousey out from the ring, and throws Angle onto the announce table.
- Rousey stirs, and decides she wants to take on Hunter in the ring. Triple H, cocky as ever, says why not?
- Rousey absolutely smashes Triple H with some fast strikes, and then lifts him on her shoulders for a drop! But McMahon breaks it up just in time.
- Now it's time for some Angle/Triple H action. After three German suplexes from Angle to Triple H, Angle manages to break up a Pedigree attempt and deliver an Angle Slam.
- Angle gets McMahon into an ankle lock, but Trips breaks it up. He delivers the pedigree to Angle, but then it's Rousey's turn to break the count.
- Hot sequence as Rousey manages to reverse a pedigree attempt from Triple H , before putting the Cerebral Assassin into an arm bar. But Steph comes in and stops it, and then it's her turn for an arm bar from Rousey. At the same time, Angle put Triple H into an ankle lock. But the heels managed to get out of both submission moves!
- The heels set up for a double Pedigree, but Angle manages to flip Triple H over the top rope. Rousey gets McMahon into a final arm bar, locks it in, and forces McMahon to tap!
- That was, in all honesty, a very impressive debut from Rousey. Lots of false finishes, some great spots, and Rousey showed plenty of potential.
Whatever the quality of that actual match, GameSpot was tipping Rousey and Angle to walk away with the W. After all, Rousey couldn't lose in her first match, right? You can catch a replay of the entire event on the WWE Network, and we've got full results for the event. In light of how the night went, Rousey says he's happy she lost her final UFC fights.
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