Beyond the ring. After assaulting a WWE representative at SummerSlam, Ronda Rousey has been placed on indefinite suspension.
The incident happened after the 35-year-old mixed martial artist was defeated by Liv Morgan in the women’s title battle on Saturday, July 30. Rousey was seen in the ring taking referee Dan Engler by the arm and tossing him over her shoulder. The audience roared when the Olympian pinned Engler, 44, to the ground and held him there until another official arrived to end the altercation.
According to a WWE official statement posted on the company’s website, “Ronda Rousey has been fined an undisclosed amount and will be suspended.” The athlete’s actions, according to the pro wrestling corporation’s statement, were brought on by her conviction that the referee “missed Liv Morgan tapping out to the Armbar when he counted the pinfall.”
After SummerSlam, Rousey denounced WWE on social media for showing favoritism.
“Hey @wwe if you guys could stop screwing me to put over your golden girls at every major ppv [pay-per-view], that’d be greaaaaaat,” she captioned a carousel of Instagram photos of her and Morgan, 28.
Despite the criticism, Morgan, for her part, rejoiced at her success. “AND STILL SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION,” she wrote via Instagram, alongside photos of her at the July event. “But NEW baddest woman on the planet,” she continued, referencing a descriptor used for Rousey in the pro wrestling world.
Some, though, argue that the New Jersey native wasn’t deserving of his victory lap. “Well, @YaOnlyLivvOnce won the championship by taking advantage of the situation and retained it by being a cheating coward. @RondaRousey deserves justice,” WWE television host Greg Miller wrote via Twitter on Saturday. Retweeting the post was Rousey.
The two women had previously competed on July 2 at the Money in the Bank event, when Morgan triumphed over the former UFC fighter to claim the Smackdown champion title. Prior to their rematch, the relative newcomer spoke to TMZ about how she felt about her opponent.
“Ronda, I respect you. You’ve done so much for women in sports and women in WWE,” she told the outlet. “But I love this [belt] more than you, b—h. So, this title is coming home with me.”
With her new position, the former Riott Squad member continued, she feels more pressure to “represent the organization.” “I am the Smackdown Women’s Champion. There’s layers to that. It’s not just WWE Superstar Liv Morgan anymore,” she said.