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Ronda Rousey emerges victorious in WWE in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34

Ronda Rousey won in her WWE in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, La. on April 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of WWE)

Ronda Rousey made her WWE in-ring debut on Sunday night, teaming up with Kurt Angle to defeat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag team match at WrestleMania 34.

The match, which took place in front of an electric crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, was Rousey’s latest major test since joining WWE earlier this year. The former MMA star’s ability as a professional wrestler has been under heavy scrutiny, with fans and experts dissecting her every move.

Rousey’s contest was the fourth of the night, lasted 20 minutes, and featured Rousey picking up the victory by forcing McMahon to submit to her signature armbar, which she used often in her mixed martial arts career.

“[I feel] absolutely ecstatic,” Rousey said after the match. “After my wedding day, this is my favorite day of my life I think.”

Rousey’s entrance gear was heavily inspired by the late Roddy Piper – who she shares the “Rowdy” nickname with – coming out in a red plaid kilt and Piper’s jacket, which she also wore during her debut at the Royal Rumble event in January. Once the match started, Rousey was wearing a modified tank-top version of her official WWE t-shirt and black shorts.

After Angle and Triple H dominated the early part of the match, Rousey finally got her chance to show her in-ring ability and was mostly on the offensive, using a flurry of punches and several throws, including an exploder suplex, against McMahon.

After outside interference from Triple H, Rousey and the WWE’s chief operating officer squared off in the ring – something that has rarely ever been allowed in a WWE ring – with Rousey landing more blows before McMahon re-entered. Angle and McMahon would share a similar moment later in the match.

Ronda Rousey won in her WWE in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, La. on April 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of WWE)

During the match Rousey looked strong, showing off a diverse mix of moves. After the contest she went to the crowd and pointed to her husband, UFC fighter Travis Browne, who was in attendance at the Superdome.

Similar to how she has been received during her short tenure in WWE, the WrestleMania crowd reaction to Rousey was overwhelmingly positive, with chants of “Ronda Rousey” and “We want Ronda” breaking out early in the match. At two points during the match, the crowd gave its approval to Rousey and the other three competitors, shouting “This is awesome” in unison.

After Rousey’s initial appearance at the Royal Rumble, the former UFC bantamweight champion began her feud with McMahon and her husband at February’s Elimination Chamber event where she slammed Triple H through a table, setting the stage for Sunday’s contest.

WrestleMania 34 marks Rousey’s second confrontation with McMahon and Triple H at the “Showcase of the Immortals.” Three years ago, Rousey appeared alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at WrestleMania 31, planting the seeds for her to eventually join WWE as a full-time talent.

Rousey’s victory caps off an eventful weekend for her unofficial “Four Horsewomen” stable. Shayna Baszler, Rousey’s friend and former MMA training partner, captured the NXT Women’s Championship on Saturday night with a victory over Ember Moon.

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