In early 2022, Ronda Rousey made her return to the WWE after taking some time off for what she called an “impregnation vacation.” Her comeback was highly anticipated by many fans, but not everyone was thrilled with her return. Dutch Mantell, a wrestling veteran, was among those who expressed some negative feelings towards Rousey joining the WWE roster.
Mantell made his feelings clear on an episode of his podcast, Story Time with Dutch Mantell. During the show, he revealed that he would like to give Rousey an open-handed slap to the face, Slap Fight style. This comment was likely in response to Rousey’s recent remarks about the WWE’s creative team.
Rousey caused a bit of controversy when she criticized the WWE’s creative team, specifically regarding her feud with wrestler Liv Morgan. She referred to them as “a bunch of octogenarians” who don’t know how to be hip, and suggested that they only put five minutes of thought into each women’s storyline. This comment did not sit well with Mantell, who believes that Rousey should show more respect to the people who help shape her career.
“I would like to have Ronda standing right in front of me right now, and I’d open-hand slap her. [Any reason?] She came out earlier in the week and says that WWE with those octogenarians like the 80-year-old guys, they don’t know what it’s like to be hip and this, that, the other, and I’m thinking, ‘shut up Ronda!’ You can’t do it on your own, so listen to somebody. And the octogenarians, I think she was talking about Vince maybe, I don’t know. There’s nobody there that’s 80, close to 80 except Vince,”
Mantell’s podcast comments were not the first time that Rousey’s WWE return had been met with criticism. Some fans were disappointed with her limited in-ring appearances and her inability to perform at the same level as she had in the past due to her injury. Despite this setback, Rousey was still able to participate in a four-way women’s tag team match at WrestleMania, which she and her partner Shayna Baszler won.
Overall, Rousey’s return to the WWE has been a mixed bag of reactions. While some fans were excited to see her back in the ring, others felt that she was not living up to expectations. As for Mantell, it remains to be seen whether he will ever get the chance to give Rousey the slap he’s been talking about.