There is a big myth being perpetrated on pro wrestling and MMA fans by lazy bloggers and Internet journalists. It is becoming more and more common to see news crossover to both genres while ironically there is less in common with pro wrestling and MMA every day.
Before you start to jump all over my case as a blogger that writes about pro wrestling and MMA on the same site, I think you need to understand The Camel Clutch Blog. This blog has never been a pro wrestling or an MMA blog but a blog where you can find a variety of opinions about all kinds of sports and pop culture.
I get it. I know it can be difficult at times to find enough content to populate your website on a given week. News doesn’t always happen and sometimes there are weeks between events to report on. I just find it absolutely ridiculous when I go on an MMA website to read about UFC news to find an article on Brock Lesnar beating up John Cena and I find it even more ridiculous when I go on a pro wrestling website to find an article about The Ultimate Fighter television show.
I am a big Dave Meltzer fan and a subscriber to his newsletter but I blame him for this mess. He is a brilliant man and in a shrewd manner found a way to blend MMA into his Wrestling Observer Newsletter just as WCW and ECW went out of business and the pro wrestling content started to thin. In all fairness to Dave, he was reporting on MMA in Japan since the 1980s. However, it was different back then as there was always a pro wrestling element to that MMA. Once he went full swing with MMA coverage in the 21st century, it all of the sudden became okay for pro wrestling websites and newsletters to start writing about the UFC and MMA.
I never understood it and I say that as a fan of both. I find very little similar between MMA and the WWE and even less between their fans. WWE fans like big shows, compelling storylines, and worked matches whereas a UFC fans wants real, competitive, unpredictable fights. Heck, most MMA fans will tell you that they despise any interview on a UFC show that may come off as “WWE-ish” (although the biggest UFC buyrates prove differently). These fans could not be further apart in what they are expecting to see when they pay $50 to watch a pay per view.
I know the argument on Brock Lesnar but that is a very convenient argument to make for those looking to tell me different. Brock was the biggest draw in MMA history. People that disagree with my argument will tell you that Brock brought over pro wrestling fans. I say bull! The reason that Brock was such a big draw was because of his freakish size and the fact that the most in the MMA community wanted to see the fake pro wrestler get beat. It wasn’t as if the pro wrestling world was rallying around Brock and buying his pay per views. There was always the casual “What is Brock up to in the UFC” interest, but that doesn’t mean that those fans are also interested in hearing about the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans UFC countdown special!
I fell victim to this fraud myself. I have been an MMA fan going back to the late 1980s when UWF caught my attention. Once the UFC exploded I started bringing UFC guests on my Pro Wrestling Radio talk show as well as include UFC news and topics. Guess what happened? I turned off most of my audience. None of my callers ever touched on the UFC subjects I’d commented on. Additionally, the feedback I received through email was that my listeners had no interest in hearing UFC and MMA guests on my show. I quickly learned the lesson myself that pro wrestling and MMA don’t mix when you promise your audience one genre, yet deliver another.
Dana White and Vince McMahon seem to have a high level of respect for each other but neither appears to have any desire to pattern their product after the other’s promotion. I could almost guarantee you that most MMA fans don’t know or care who the current WWE stars and vice versa with the UFC. If anything, the WWE has done a better job of blending their stars more into the crossover than the UFC. My hunch is more people at a UFC event know who CM Punk is as opposed to asking a WWE fan who Chael Sonnen is. I don’t remember a big chant of “UFC!” when Rampage Jackson appeared on RAW to promote the A-Team, yet you stick Daniel Bryan or Punk on a UFC event and I get both get star reactions.