Ronda Rousey popped back up on this week's Friday Night SmackDown to pay the (storyline) fine she was handed after attacking a referee back at SummerSlam. Rousey gloated over the issue by saying she had arrived with double the amount, then dumped a duffle bag full of dollar bills around the ring. She then took to Instagram with photos from the show and joked that WWE could use the money to deal with their "budget cuts" and bring back more wrestlers. From April 2020 to January 2022 WWE released well over 100 wrestlers from their contracts, often citing budget cuts as the reason. Since Paul Levesque took over as Head of Creative, he has rehired former stars such as Dakota Kai, Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Dexter Lumis and three-fourths of Hit Row.
"Use that cash wisely @WWE – Maybe it can help with those "budget cuts". Bring back some asses for me to kick," Rousey wrote. The former women's champion also had a verbal exchange with Shayna Baszler ahead of her contract signing. Baszler then tried to attack Liv Morgan's already damaged arm, but the champ then managed to put her through a table.
Rousey's heel turn at SummerSlam, caused by her forcing Morgan to tap out with an armbar only for the referee to be distracted by her quickly getting pined, was something she was planning on doing when she initially returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble in January. However, fans reacted favorably to her upon return and WWE had to change course.
"There's a lot of times where what you think is coming online and what the live audience is expressing are two opposite things. Case in point, Royal Rumble, I left as a heel and was getting booed out of every stadium, and I was like, 'okay, so I assumed everyone thought I was still a heel.' And any interviews I gave any time I was talking — on the fans. Like, being in character for in case I come back, and that's what I assumed I would come back to. When it ended up being not that reaction, I was really, really surprised," Rousey said on the Wives of Wrestling Podcast earlier this year.0comments