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Triple H responds to Ronda Rousey calling WWE fans “ungrateful”

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Triple H and Ronda Rousey

Earlier this month Ronda Rousey caused controversy by labelling WWE fans “ungrateful” while discussing her run in the company.

 

 
Rousey, who last wrestled at WrestleMania 35, told Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast that she would rather be spending her time at home with her family than performing for “a bunch of f**king ungrateful fans that don’t even appreciate me”.

“I love performing, I love the girls, I love being out there. But, at the end of the day, I was just like, ‘f**k these fans, dude’,” she also said. “My family loves me and they appreciate me, and I want all my energy to go into them. So that was my decision.”

Triple H , Stephanie and Ronda Rousey

While Rousey’s comments received instant backlash from WWE fans and Superstars alike, WWE legend and executive vice president of global talent strategy and development Triple H, hinted that Rousey got exactly the reaction she was looking for.

“Ronda is an expert at pushing buttons,” Triple H told CBS Sports.

“It’s a funny thing, when you promote the fight, whether boxing or MMA, part of your job is the fight and the other part is to promote fights.

“The question for people is, is she promoting or are these her true feelings? I think that is where the rub comes in for most people. I think that’s what makes this intriguing.

“Is this the real Ronda Rousey? Is this the Ronda Rousey she wants you to see? Is this Ronda manipulating people? Or is this just Ronda being Ronda?” he continued.

“The world needs to wait and see and find out – I need to wait and see and find out. I’m just as intrigued as everybody else. So, time will tell.”

And if Rousey does want to come back to WWE, she already has a challenge waiting for her from Nia Jax.

Earlier this week Jax called out Rousey on Twitter, using a video of herself executing a particularly dangerous looking spot on Kari Sane during Raw.

Nia captioned the clip: “Since @KairiSaneWWE can’t [do] anything about it, maybe @RondaRousey would like to try #Samoan4Real.”

The decisions that led to Roman Reigns being one of WWE’s most hated superstars ever
Roman reign

With every generation of WWE, there always tends to be a superstar at the heart of it.

They’re the backbone to the company. The work horse. The heart of whatever era they define.

We’ve seen Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena all assume that mantle.

The latest to do so is Roman Reigns.

The 34-year-old is now firmly established as WWE’s poster boy and after main evening four WrestleManias in a row from 31-34, WWE couldn’t have made it clearer that he was the guy.

Roman Reign

At those events he faced Brock Lesnar twice, Triple H and The Undertaker. There’s not really any bigger match-ups he could have had on WWE’s grandest stage.

Of course, Reigns burst onto the scene in WWE as part of The Shield alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.

All three men went on to win world titles in WWE and are three of the biggest stars in the business right now. While all have had ups and downs, it’s fair to say no one has encountered more resistance than Reigns.

The Shield quickly got over as one of the most dominant forces in WWE history and as a trio, you can count the amount of matches they lost on one hand.

All men were clearly ultra-talented, but Reigns was the obvious muscle of the group. He was the powerhouse that gave all their talents credibility and they could plausibly take anyone on.

Roman Reign

After nearly two years they established themselves as top stars in WWE and after working a fantastic programme with The Shield, Rollins turned his back on the Hounds of Justice and The Shield disbanded.

Of course, that’s not the last time we’d see them, but more on that later.

The break up happened in the summer of 2014 and then, the big push for Reigns began.

The Big Dog had been the sole survivor in the 2013 Survivor Series match-up and that’s when the warning signs that WWE were all-in on him began. Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble to one of the worst receptions in living memory.

The fans wanted Daniel Bryan to be their main eventer, but WWE were not listening. They had given the fans their Bryan moment at WrestleMania 30 and they had no intention of giving them another one.

Roman Reigns and The Rock

Even The Rock raising Reigns’ hand did nothing for the former Shield man. WWE were forcing the Big Dog on the fans and they did not appreciate it.

However, WWE didn’t care for the reactions. They established Reigns as a top guy – and a babyface to boot – whether anyone liked it or not.

The problem was, chairman Vince McMahon used the same tactics he used to get guys like Hulk Hogan over – the consummate underdog hero – but in this day and age that’s not what fans want.

They want characters with attitude, with an edge. Reigns was presented as the classic underdog and pushed to the moon. Fans didn’t want to see it.

They were more enamoured with Bryan, CM Punk and even Rollins. Guys who were terrific in-ring performers and had earned the respect of the audience through years of working the independents.

Roman Reigns and The Rock snap

“I don’t think I’m headbutting with [hardcore fans], I feel like they are headbutting me,” Reigns said after the backlash to his Rumble win. “One thing that kind of confuses me is that it is a performance, it is a show, there is a storyline. When people start doing the ‘He deserves this, He deserves that’, really did Brad Pitt deserve to be Achilles in [2004 film] Troy?”

Braun Strowman

Then WWE set about carving every top storyline with the goal of eventually putting Reigns back on top. Rollins would cash-in and cost Reigns against Lesnar at WrestleMania 31.

But then Reigns would do the tired ‘me against the authority’ storyline where he clashed with Triple H, Vince McMahon and the League of Nations (remember them?) to once again serve as the underdog. Previously, working with McMahon sent Steve Austin into another stratosphere, but lightening would not strike twice.

John Cena

Triple H then won the title from Reigns who was defending it in the 2016 Royal Rumble match before culminating that story at WrestleMania 32 with, you guessed it, a Reigns win.

McMahon thought if Reigns associated with enough top performers, he would be one. He thought that by beating big names, he’d become one. In truth, Reigns has the talent, look and charisma to be a top guy, but WWE butchered his ascent from the get-go.

Several months prior to his original Royal Rumble win, Reigns was red-hot with the fans. They could smell something special about him, but instead of letting them fall in love with him, WWE saw the signs and forced him upon them. That’s the genesis of the hate towards Reigns in the simplest sense.

Roman REigns

His Superman punch is not a great finisher. That doesn’t help him. But, ultimately, it’s the booking and presentation that fans have a problem with. Considering WWE haven’ even considered switching his character up or switching him heel, it tells you all you need to know: WWE aren’t interested in what you think when it comes to Reigns.

They’ll manipulate the crowd reactions – even though they deny it – and tone down the boos just to suit their narrative.

WWE had Reigns beat Undertaker at WrestleMania. He eventually overcame Brock Lesnar after a long feud. He handed Braun Strowman his first clean loss in WWE. He defeated John Cena in their only one-on-one pay-per-view match. None of those accomplishments elicited the reaction WWE hoped.

Roman Reigns

Reigns has gradually gained respect from fans. He’s a great company man, a hard worker in and out of the ring and fans can appreciate that. None of the boos have ever really been his fault.

When he battled leukaemia for the second time in 2018, fans began to soften their stance and support Reigns. Since then, WWE have also been wise to keep him out of the world title scene and his reactions have been vastly better.

How will they turn once he regains the top spot? He inevitably will, but how WWE present his character always has been and always will be key.