Friday 22 June 2018

Ronda Rousey lights up Wrestlemania 34 with emphatic win on WWE debut

The former UFC star teamed up with Kurt Angle to defeat Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.

Rousey with Triple H on her back
Rousey with Triple H on her back

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

Ronda Rousey claimed victory in a stunning WWE debut at Wrestlemania 34.

Teaming up with veteran Kurt Angle in New Orleans, the 31-year-old defeated Stephanie McMahon and her partner Triple H in an encounter that thoroughly entertained the 78,133-strong crowd.

The former UFC bantamweight champion was aided by 49-year-old Angle’s first reappearance at Wrestlemania in 13 years.

Rousey’s victory by submission was touted by many watching as the highlight of the evening.

After the fight Rousey said defeats to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in her final two UFC bouts, losing her unbeaten record, were “worth it” for the evening at Wrestlemania.

“I thought I would never say this, but I’m so happy I lost those fights, because it led me here,” she told ESPN. “This is so worth it.

“Every missed opportunity is a blessing in disguise. I really believe it now.”

Fellow former UFC fighter Brock Lesnar rounded off the evening at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome by defeating challenger Roman Reigns to retain his position as Universal Champion.

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Lesnar with Reigns on his back

However, the match was met with jeers from the crowd, as many hoped or expected 40-year-old Lesnar, the longest-reigning Universal Champion, to lose his title.

Lesnar’s victory comes amid speculation that he will be leaving WWE to return to mixed martial arts in the UFC.

UFC president Dana White told FOX that Lesnar would be returning to the sport last week.

Elsewhere 40-year-old star John Cena was defeated by WWE legend The Undertaker, 53, as the latter came out of retirement to win in less than three minutes.

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Cena being thrown by the Undertaker

Nia Jax won the Raw women’s title from Alex Bliss, while AJ Styles claimed the WWE Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura.

The event set a new record at the stadium in Louisiana, as its highest grossing entertainment event ever, bringing in 14.1 million dollars (£10 million).

Press Association

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