Government confuses Ronda Rousey's staged WWE arrest as real life in COVID-19 PSA docs

·3 min read

Ronda Rousey is a UFC icon who turned her career path toward WWE a few years ago. She’s a well-known superstar with wide appeal, or at least interest. Hence why the federal government wanted her as part of its educational COVID-19 response.

Except, the government didn’t do its homework correctly and got her staged WWE antics mixed up with real-life events.

Sports stars listed for possible PSA on COVID

Rousey was one of the 274 celebrities vetted to be part of a series of public service announcements by the Department of Health and Human Services to educate people about the pandemic, per a report by Politico on Thursday. The Donald Trump administration’s “Helping the President will Help the Country” campaign was eventually nixed.

In reporting about the efforts, Politico published the “PSA Celebrity Tracker” acquired by the House Oversight Committee, which is currently investigating the $300 million taxpayer-funded effort. The tracker gives the celebrity’s name, status for their inclusion, demographic targeted and additional notes. The notes focus on the person’s political leanings and personal history, including arrests.

Mike Ditka, Conor McGregor, Mariano Rivera, Tito Ortiz, Corey LaJoie, Rob Gronkowski, James Harden, Shaun White, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams were all listed as possible celebrities for the PSAs.

Trump COVID campaign confuses Rousey’s WWE role

Ronda Rousey in the WWE ring.
Ronda Rousey was 'arrested' at a WWE event, but not in real life. (George Napolitano/MediaPunch/IPX)

Rousey’s additional notes reads as follows:

“Publicly supported Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders for 2016 election. Anti-feminist view at times. Arrested during WWE event in 2019.”

The former UFC bantamweight champion was indeed arrested at the event, but it was a staged exit. During an April 1, 2019, episode of Raw, Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair brawled at the end of a match. Security personnel entered the ring and were taken down by the wrestlers. Men and women dressed as police officers then entered the ring, handcuffed the trio and attempted to get them in squad cards in the garage.

Rousey and Lynch were put in the same vehicle and Rousey quite easily kicked through the back window of the squad car. She then drives her car into the car in front of her. No extra officers were called in. That none of those antics raised questions about the plausibility of an actual arrest is concerning.

In true WWE fashion, Rousey spoke about the arrest as if it were real life on her YouTube channel.

“What was on my mind was these cops weren’t doing anything to protect me,” she said in 2019. “I was f------ going along with them cuffing me. As soon as they put the cuffs on me, and went ‘you’re arrested’ I was like, ‘fine I’m arrested.’ Then Becky comes over and clocks me while I’m cuffed and none of them do anything about it and then it was like ‘come and take me out’ and I’m like ‘OK officers, you’re coming to take me out.’”

Trump had been tricked by WWE before, calling Vince McMahon in 2007 to see if he was OK after the boss staged his limo exploding.

Rousey was a regular on the WWE circuit in 2018-19, but seemed fed up with the company’s fans earlier this year.

[H/T Sports Illustrated]

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