The WWE are hot after the UFC’s biggest star and why wouldn’t they be? Just hours after drawing the biggest gate in UFC history, rumors are swirling about Conor McGregor coming to WrestleMania 33 for a fight.
Dave Meltzer had the latest on a recent F4WOnline.com podcast. Meltzer reported that the WWE wants McGregor at WrestleMania. Triple H has been reported as being at UFC 205 which seems to correlate with the story. While the WWE wanting a UFC fighter to wrestle is not big news, the big news here is that according to Meltzer…it could happen.
The WWE were red hot after Ronda Rousey for WrestleMania 32 after her appearance at 31. The deal never happened and while many WWE fans had fantasies of Rousey at WrestleMania, UFC president Dana White consistently said that the UFC would not allow it. A few years before that the WWE had a deal in place to bring then UFC champion Brock Lesnar back to the WWE to wrestle the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Dana White also squashed that deal and exercised the UFC’s contractual control over Lesnar. With new owners in place, a lot of debt, and an unhappy top star, Meltzer reports that the UFC could let it happen.
Meltzer reported that the UFC is more willing to work with the WWE than ever. While he didn’t get into the particulars, this would make sense coming off of a successful deal to bring Brock Lesnar back to the UFC at UFC 200. In exchange for Lesnar’s appearance, the WWE received commercials for WWE 2K17. A closer look at the current state of the UFC reveals why the company could actually allow this deal to happen.
For starters, the company is in debt…a lot of debt. If the new ownership sees this appearance as a way to mass market their new company, it’s a no-brainer. You also have a guy who is clearly the top star in the UFC already asking for a new deal. McGregor wants equity in the UFC, something never done before in the history of the company. I don’t see that happening, nor do many analysts a lot closer to the situation than I. The UFC could use this as some kind of a bargaining chip, throwing McGregor a bone for an easy payday as part of a concession without giving McGregor equity.
The biggest obstacle in making this happen could be McGregor. The guy plays hardball and will likely ask the WWE for an extraordinary pay day to do Mania. Floyd Mayweather reportedly got $20 million several years ago from the WWE for wrestling but that money figure was later debunked. It is not inconceivable that McGregor asks for the same $20 million if not more. Will the WWE pay it? Is he worth it? They already have Shaq signed for Mania. It just may not be in the budget.
So what happens if the WWE does sign McGregor? What do they do with him? That is really the bigger question in my mind. I think he either wrestles Roman Reigns or John Cena. As much as fans loath Reigns, he is the only guy they are truly invested in elevating. McGregor could get Reigns over as he’ll come into the WWE and insult the company and the fans. It would be hard for me to imagine fans cheering that. If it isn’t an investment in elevating Reigns, it’s an investment in elevating the brand and that means McGregor vs. John Cena.
There will be much more to come on this story. My hunch is that if you hear this story completely go away that it means McGregor is just asking for too much money. If not, you could see this one start to heat up real soon with the road to WrestleMania starting in just a few weeks.