Two years after WWE superstar Ronda Rousey opened up about her family history of and experience with mental health issues, she is now facing suspension from the network over an unprecedented blow to her competitor.
Recap … what happened last night?
Rousey pseudo-threw her former mentor — in an act of “kayfabe,” or scripted wrestling — on the floor and hit him with a briefcase.
Next, she slammed the WWE women’s champion Alexa Bliss through a table during her celebration on Raw. As the general manager of Raw, Angle suspended Rousey from Monday Night Raw until July 18th. They are careful not to mention other live WWE events, and Rousey is slated to make four house appearances in the meantime.
Angle tweeted that he believed Rousey crossed a line with the attack. “If Ronda can’t take a few verbal “shots”, then she needs to reconsider her career in Sports entertainment. This is NOT some fight club. This is WWE. I regret suspending her from Raw for 30 days… but My hope is she’ll learn from it,” he wrote.
This isn’t Rousey’s first brush with a competitor
Pre-Holly Holm, Rousey was the UFC Women’s Bantamweight superstar. Holm shocked audiences — and stole the gold — at UFC 193. The competitors took their battle off-screen when Rousey appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and discussed her desire to remove the stigma on mental health.
Rousey revealed to DeGeneres how serious her depressive thoughts became. “I was literally sitting there and thinking about killing myself and that exact second I’m like, ‘I’m nothing, what do I do anymore and no one gives a shit about me anymore without this,'” Rousey told DeGeneres. The November fight featured Holm’s now infamous kick to Rousey’s head which won her the gold.
The WWE star told DeGeneres she felt like “no one [would give] a shit” about her now that she wasn’t No. 1.
Rousey is an advocate for mental health discussions
TMZ quickly followed up with Rousey about her comments on Ellen, and she was ready with a clear response. “[We need to take] the stigma away from everything suicide and [make] it actually acceptable for people to talk about and look for help and not feel ashamed of themselves for it,” Rousey said, specifically referencing her experience with the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Foundation.
Rousey lost both her father and grandfather to suicide and wants to be a voice for a community she believes desperately needs discussion. “I think that [dialogue] should be encouraged. It’s not about damning people and I feel like there’s been an overly negative light on that. It’s something real people are going through,” she said.
Holly Holm responded with a controversial statement
Press at a WWE media event asked Holm to comment on Rousey’s statements on Ellen and TMZ.
“For me, I would never get that low after a loss,” Holm responded. “Maybe I’m a selfish person, but I just think I want to get back and win for me … You deal with a lot of doubt in your mind. Obviously, those are the questions that go through your mind, but you have to be honest with yourself and think, ‘Maybe not.'”
While Holm made clear she wasn’t dismissing Rousey’s experience and had no expertise on the subject, critics felt she reaffirmed the belief that mental health was a choice or decision one makes.
Rousey has stayed silent on the suspension
… For the most part. Ever since Angle announced Rousey’s 30-day suspension from Raw, Rousey has been posting photo updates on her Instagram counting down the days until she can compete with Bliss once more.
Bliss took to Twitter to relay her opinion to her fans. “Last night was supposed to be a celebration. A happy moment for the ENTIRE @WWE Universe. It was our day to rejoice with a new and REAL #Raw Women’s Champion…,” she wrote in her first tweet. ” She followed up chastizing Rousey for “[ruining] that for everyone,” and told her fans not to worry. “I’m still your champion!”
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