The hit series “Total Divas,” is back with new and returning fan-favorite WWE Superstars ready to face their fears, rise to new challenges and live their lives on their own terms as the new season premieres on E! Wednesday, October 2 at 10 PM ET/PT. WWE Superstar, Olympic Medalist and UFC Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey joins Natalya, Naomi and Nia Jax for the new season, which also includes returning cast member Carmella, and newcomer Sonya Deville. Nikki Bella and Brie Bella will make guest appearances in the series as well.
“Total Divas” kicks off showcasing another side of Ronda Rousey, as she gushes about her MMA fighter husband Travis Browne, enjoying her time in WWE and working on her ranch, Browsey Acres.
We recently sat down for a rare chat with Rhonda.
You recently were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. What was that night like for you?
It was kind of surreal in a way. A lot of those nights I just want to do a good job and than enjoy it afterward. It was just really, really cool seeing everybody again. It was a moment for me to talk to the people I normally don’t get to speak to personally.
You’re career has had many highs and lows. Currently you’re on a high as the female face of the WWE. But it was Dana White you made you a super star. How would you describe your relationship with him today?
Dana will always be one of my best friends. I love him so much. I will never, ever forget that he believed in me when nobody else did. His belief changed my life. I don’t want to get into history, but I also feel like he’s somebody I can relate to alot. He understands my view point and I feel like I can relate to him. I can talk to him about things nobody else could understand and different situations that I’m in. He’s just been a great friend and not just a boss. We have moved on from just a boss relationship and we are bonded by more than just the UFC.
You changed the face of the UFC. Do you allow yourself to think about that?
Yeah, I’ve had time to self reflection and things like that. I want my legacy to be a force for good and mankind is better off because I fucking existed. I don’t need people to know that, I just need to know I had that effect. That’s the most rewarding thing for me. You see things that I don’t get credit for, but it’s happening and it makes me so happy. Like I was driving past some shopping center and I saw a Victoria Secret model in a sports bra and hand wraps covered in sweat in a sports bar and I thought, “I FUCKING DID THAT!” I don’t need anyone else to scream from the mountain tops and say how much I changed the culture, but I also don’t need to censor myself and worry about people hating on me. I don’t mind giving myself some credit. Fuck you guys! I’m proud of myself. That’s some awesome shit! I really enjoy the effect that I’ve had and I can’t wait to see my daughters enjoy that effect.
You’re number one fighting skill was judo. Do you still practice judo?
(Laughs) No. I see people in their 40s and 50s and their still out on the mat and I think, “What the fuck are you doing!” These days I do just the little bit of judo and I’m like, “This shit is dangerous!” I feel like I’m going to tear a joint out any second. The rules have changed so much with judo that I can’t even watch it.
What about MMA? Do you watch it?
I have so many friends in MMA that I can’t watch it because I don’t like seeing my friends get into fights. I just want to relax at home. Tell me how it went afterwards. I hope it goes well, but it’s too stressful for me to watch because I’m too emotionally attached. Do you understand?
What about the WWE?
Well that’s different. I feel like I have to keep up and know what’s going on. I’ll actually leave the room to watch Smackdown. I just love watching wrestling. I love anything narrated by David Attenborough.
You never made it a secret that you loved wrestling even as a kid. When you began to do it as a career did you expect to love it that much?
No. Not at all. We were planning on having kids. So we made a list of things I wanted to fucking do before we started to have kids and the WWE was always something I thought would be cool to do. I didn’t think I could become great at it, but it was something I could do for a few months. Little did I know how it would completely snowball within a year. It’s like learning how to swim for the first time and the very next year you’re swimming in the Olympics. I was thrown in the deep end, but I fell in love with it and with every single person involved in it. I feel like I found many life long friends. It was supposed to be a small detour but it became my whole life.
Is it still on your short term plans?
(Laughs) They say that nobody retires. So we’ll see. I mean I’m still pulling pieces of glass out of my leg from the other day when I kicked out some glass during a Wrestlemania performance. I kicked out a window backstage. It was supposed to be a sugar glass window but they weren’t able to fit it in the frame, so I said, “I’ll kick out the real fucking window!”. So I did and my heel slipped and the glass went right into my leg! So I’ve been sitting at home pulling glass out of my leg. Yeah, who says wrestling is fake? (Laughs) Yes we script everything, so it’s not so stressful. But that also makes it easier to endure more. Sure I can do Wrestlemania with 14 stitches in my leg. That’s fine. I’ll take them out after.
How would you compare fighting in the UFC where it’s not scripted to fighting in the WWE where it is scripted?
The WWE is physical in a different way. The stress from real fighting is much greater. Someone could walk into the room right now and I would beat the fuck out of them. I could beat the fuck out of anyone on this planet. But it’s the training camp, the diet and going to sleep each night thinking about it. That’s the real wear and tear of MMA fighting. It’s not so much the physical part of it. You give yourself a month to recover from a real flight. It’s a peaking system of reaching a peak and crashing. With WWE it’s just a grind and it’s non stop. I did the easy version. Everyone else does 300 days a year. In the WWE our bodies don’t get to rest as much as MMA, but our minds get to rest much more. There’s no pressure. I’m older now and I don’t want to be that stress anymore.
Wrestlemania. Tell me about it.
When I first came onboard the WWE I thought I would do it for a few months. I just wanted to do my storyline with Stephanie [McMahon]. I love Stephanie so much! I love all the girls so much! Every aspect of it was such a great experience. Triple H even taught me how to lace my boots. How can I not succeed in this sport when I have all the best people around me and supporting me. I would be ashamed of myself if I couldn’t succeed and meet every expectation.
And so you decided you could succeed to the point of headlining Wrestlemania.
How great is that? It really was huge for me. It felt big. It felt like all the stars were alined for us to succeed. So many things had to happen for it to be a success. 80,000 people watching and millions around the world. I had not not only do well, but I had to do well in a big and entertaining way. The stakes were high. But with MMA even though the venue is smaller the stakes are even higher.
How nervous were you?
Yeah. But I get to enjoy wrestling so much more than everybody else because I’ve maxed out on pressure. My fellow wrestlers are dealing with such high pressure at Wrestlemania and I’m just sitting back saying, “I love Wrestlemania!” They are all worried about doing a good job and I’m laughing and excited that Joan Jett in there! That’s awesome! She’s so cool. I actually broke my hand while looking at her. I love her!
Tell me about the joys of success and money
The only thing success and money get you are that you get to choose how to spend your time and who you spend it with. That’s really it. There are times I want to get on the road and do what I’m good at and other times I just want to lay in bed and play video games. I’m a fucking adult who worked her ass off to be able to lay in bed and play Pokeman and that’s really empowering for me. So the cool thing for me is I get to play things by ear and do only the things that I want to do and whenever I want to do it.
You mentioned you want to have a baby. Well?
Every single person I speak to says, “So when are you going to have a baby?
We’re trying! It’s such a positive time our lives. What a great time to bring a new life into this world. I think I’ll test myself tomorrow and surprise Travis the second he walks in the door. I wouldn’t be able to hold it in.
How did you meet your husband and MMA fighter Travis Brownie?
We worked out in the same gym for a year in a half. One day I said, “Oh wow, we’ve known you for 2000 life times. How did I not reconize you until now?”
Lets talk about your side projects. You’re now a voice on Mortal Combat. Sonny Blade I believe.
Yes! I’m so excited! I wanted to be Sonny Blade forever! Whenever I played Mortal Combat I wanted to be Sonny Blade. I wanted to grow up to be Sonny Blade and now I am actually Sonny Blade! When I heard the news I was in the car and thankfully nobody died. She was the first female character in the game. Now she’s the whole franchise.
And of course your website.
RondaRousey.com. It’s a way for me to pass down all my knowledge and information I’ve gained from fighting. In the past it was all done by word of mouth. But now that I’m not competing I feel I can share on my own outlet. Now I’m just looking forward to the next part of my life and letting everyone else be a part of it.