MMA fans have a weird relationship with professional wrestling. On the one hand, they absolutely, positively love when pro wrestling angles get incorporated into fights. Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia did some of the biggest numbers for any event in UFC history, and it wasn’t because people cared about Correia…they just ate up the “she beat up Ronda’s friends so now she’s out for revenge” angle.
On the other hand, you can look at the comments that this article will get over on Facebook. Some MMA fans are so terrified about having the legitimacy of the sport come into question that they go out of their way to taunt and reject professional wrestling as a defense mechanism for their own insecurity.
While it’s not entirely clear that Conor McGregor fits into that particular camp, he doesn’t seem too far off, either, judging from a recent conference call. When asked whether or not he had any interest in pursuing a career in pro wrestling (or “sports entertainment” as WWE executives would prefer), McGregor went off the chain and, most likely, burned some bridges with his response to the question.
“For the most part, those WWE 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 eye balls, so how can I respect that? And then what’s the other guy? The other guy hasn’t fought yet, so I don’t know about him yet.”
Not nice at all, Mr. McGregor!
While pro wrestling is clearly, undeniably, indisputably not a real sport, saying that professional wrestlers are anything short of courageous is beyond question. It can’t be understated how horribly destructive being a professional wrestler is on one’s body and the injuries that pro wrestlers have to work through (and the short windows they have to recover from serious injuries) would kill most men.
McGregor paid a couple compliments, for what it’s worth, but also completely shut down any chance of a jump to the WWE:
“There’s some dons in that wrestling game. The McMahons, they’re dons. Triple H is a don. The Rock is a don. But the rest of them are pussies. I haven’t really thought of that to be honest. Again, that’s a little more show business. This is the fight business.
It’s kind of a shift for McGregor, though.
McGregor has generally been very respectful when it comes to professional wrestling. While he hasn’t made any major public appearances like Ronda Rousey or professed his love for the WWE like Georges St-Pierre, he has referenced WWE media in the past and has been willing to engage with WWE personalities on social media.
This is probably a bit of a disappointment to some folks in the WWE. While McGregor wouldn’t fit into the company the way that, say, Ronda Rousey would, WWE will take any plug from a major celebrity they can get.
Having McGregor run them down hard AND shoot down any potential future collaboration? That’s got to hurt.
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