Levin: WWE Shouldn’t Give In To Conor McGregor

The MMA star's comments shouldn't be seen as dollar signs for Vince McMahon and company, writes David Levin.

There is no other way to say this nicely. I don’t want to see Conor McGregor anywhere near a WWE event or in a wrestling ring anytime soon. The big mouth of UFC has pissed off a locker room of professional wrestlers, for what reason is unknown, but as a fan of both MMA and Vince McMahon’s soap opera, I for one do not want to see cross pollination of stars from either side trying to prove they can survive in both arenas.

That goes for Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, or anyone else who thinks they can blur the lines of sport versus entertainment. There is a reason for UFC’s success—proving a fighting sport has merit in today’s mainstream. There is also a reason WWE has been king of the ring for so long—providing a fictional soap opera for masses who want to escape reality.

McGregor’s comments, which were reiterated in Rolling Stone Magazine, are just another way for the fighter to remain relevant in the sports world. McGregor caused outrage within the world of professional wrestling after the UFC champion boldly called WWE superstars “messed up pussies” on a recent conference call promoting his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz later this month.

For the most part, I think these guys are pussies, to be honest. They’re messed up pussies if you ask me. Fair play to Brock [Lesnar]; he got in and fought, but at the end of the day, he was juiced up to the fucking eyeballs. How can I respect that?

Conor McGregor on WWE performers

I am sure it’s a calculated move in trying to bring attention to fiction and reality, but all it did was anger wrestlers who lashed out at McGregor—anyone from Ric Flair to AJ Styles. Unless the diminutive McGregor gets in a wrestling ring to prove his superiority, it means nothing. And to that effect, he does not need to be part of any WWE sanctioned event in the near future.

WWE has prided itself on promoting the obscure, the matches fans would love to see as a novelty. Big Show and Floyd Mayweather. Shaquille O’Neal and Big Show. Bam Bam Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor. Forget about suspended animation, those matches were more ridiculous than anything else. But like a true businessman, Vince McMahon promoted them all the way to the bank.

In a sick and twisted way, it’s celebrity exploitation at its best.

The recent “dating” between WWE and UFC over Lesnar and the potential for Rousey and other female MMA competitors has drawn the two sides closer together. Yes, strange bedfellows to say the least. And just when we all think both promotions can peacefully coexist, McGregor opens his mouth. I’m sure there was some calculation to it, no doubt, but what purpose will it serve?

As you can tell by now, I am not a fan of gimmick wrestling in today’s promotions. Loser Leaves Town matches, Texas Deathmatches, and midget competitors all had a place in the 1970s and 1980s. The Boxer vs. Wrestler theme has been done to death and the idea McGregor may be able to squash a WWE Superstar has yet to be proven, but it may be coming to an arena near you sooner than you think.

Again, please don’t let this happen.

If you carefully watch Raw and SmackDown Live, WWE is attempting to bring back some of the same characteristics from the ’80s that made my generation fall in love with this business. In effect, it’s working and the McMahons are winning again. McGregor’s comments cannot become the prerequisite for a match involving an MMA fighter and say Chris Jericho—it makes no sense.

Let’s all hope the comments made this past week by McGregor—calling out WWE Superstars and berating them—remain just comments. Anything that gives the McMahons a chance to make money I am sure will be explored. But for now, let this barking dog rest.

Professional wrestling is crazy enough without having a new villain in town trying to make a name for himself by bullying the business that has been staggering too long.

David Levin
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