WWE superstar Triple H recently promoted his new movie Inside Out with AOL Moviefone. Ironically it wasn’t questions about the movie or even the WWE that made headlines. Questions about the UFC took front and center and like a true ring general, Hunter addressed them head on.
I always find it fascinating to hear big stars from professional wrestling talk about the UFC. Most are fans, yet some can get very defensive when comparisons are made to their business. It appears that Triple H is somewhere in the middle. The former WWE champion offered both praise and criticism about the competition and quite frankly, had some interesting recommendations for the UFC.
Triple H was asked flat out by a reporter how the WWE needed to evolve and respond to the UFC’s growth in popularity. Like a true WWE politician, Hunter turned the question around and offered an interesting response.
[adinserter block=”2″]”I think if anybody needs to evolve, it’s them. Give more of an entertainment standpoint. Give more form; they just have fighters who walk in in T-shirts and shorts and just stand there and then they fight and then they win and then they go “thanks, I’d like to thank my sponsors” and then they leave. The whole world was up in arms when Brock was flipping people off and was cussing at the beer company because they didn’t give him any money and everyone thought, “oh my god, he’s disrespectful,” — the whole world was talking about it. They couldn’t wait to see him get beat up. And then he did well, and he beat some guys and then people jump on his bandwagon going “Brock’s the greatest.” I’m good friends with Floyd Mayweather and Floyd would be the first to tell ya, “I make the most money in boxing and I have the biggest buyers because I have the biggest mouth.” He’d be the first guy to tell you that. That’s what it’s about. Sports is entertainment.”
Very interesting answer by The Game and you know what, he is right. Sure, the first response from WWE critics is to re-ask the question because to a lot of us, the WWE really hasn’t evolved. However, to an objective eye he is dead on.
If there is one thing lacking about the UFC it is the “big show” feel and I don’t mean slow, boring, matches. The UFC is missing the big ring entrances and money making promos that the WWE and even some of the most successful Japanese MMA companies used at their peak. Check out some MMA entrances from Japan and you’ll see everything from Jason Miller dancing down the stage with schoolgirls to Sakaraba coming out in a Big Van Vader gimmick. You aren’t going to get that in the UFC.
I even saw this in boxing, specifically with the opening round of Showtime’s Super Six tournament. You had Arthur Abraham coming out in the opening round in Germany to a glamorous entrance as The Scorpions played his music live. I know Floyd Mayweather has come out in the past to rappers rapping his entrance music.
The UFC is still very conservative in that regard. As edgy as the UFC can be at times, they can be very hesitant to embrace the show-aspect of combat sports. While I know purists prefer it that way, a more big-time feel would really open up the sport to casual fans. It would also help creating those historic moments and offering promos and entrances that nobody will forget.
Triple H was also talked about Brock Lesnar leaving the WWE. The questioner phrased the move as controversial, yet Hunter disagrees.
[adinserter block=”1″]”Well [the terms] weren’t controversial. Brock’s a country bumpkin. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. Brock just wants to be on his farm and he doesn’t like being famous. He doesn’t want to be bothered. Before he left, he was talking about buying a prop plane, and hiring a guy to fly him so he wouldn’t have to go to airports ever. He could just literally fly from town to town so he wouldn’t have to see anybody, go to the building and wrestle. That’s the one thing about what we do for a living: you go to the ring twenty minutes every night, it’s the highlight of your day. But you’re on the road a couple 100 days of the year, that twenty minutes a night, that is the juice.”
Overall Triple H came off very intelligent in my opinion when discussing the UFC and the areas of improvement with the company and the sport. Before the MMA defenders and anti-WWE critics get all riled up, process what he is saying, and think about it from an objective point of view. The guy knows what he is talking about.
Thanks to MMAFighting.com for the quotes.