The UFC and the WWE are two different companies when it pertains to the art of fighting, but to think the two aren’t in it for the money is just plain dumb. They are both a business and do what is right for their respected parties.
Some fans only watch one or the other. Some fans love the real excitement of MMA, while some love the sport’s entertainment level that wrestling offers. Then some fans like myself, admire both. Now, I’m not talking lame TNA-Brooke Hogan wannabe wrestling (storyline wise), I’m talking the fun/entertaining stuff that has been around for ever.
I have been watching wrestling for over 23 years and am not ashamed to admit it. I will never forget watching Earthquake fight Jake “The Snake” Roberts at my uncle’s house, hopelessly falling in love with the sport of wrestling. We all know that wrestling is “fake,” but the athletes aren’t, plus they are entertaining.
I’m tired of fans complaining about how Dana White/UFC have been handling things as of late. Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with all the MMA fans in some aspect. Do I think Nick Diaz or Chael Sonnen should be getting title shots after coming off losses? Of course not! Do I think Frankie Edgar should have been able to drop down a weight-class and receive an immediate title shot? That made no sense.
Do I think releasing Jon Fitch (a top 10 welterweight no less) just because of money was a dumb decision? You bet I do! And of course I think Lamas should be getting the next shot at Aldo, not Pettis. But for all you fans that hate all of this, it isn’t going anywhere and will never stop. This is a business.
The WWE has been doing this forever, and the fact that the UFC knows how to get PPV buys and fans in seats, isn’t a problem. All you fans can complain, but you can’t tell me you’re not going to watch GSP vs. Diaz or Aldo vs. Pettis.
At least the UFC is giving us good fights. I just think they shouldn’t have made a ranking system if it wasn’t going to be properly used. All it does is give guys like Johny Hendricks and Ricardo Lamas false hope.
There is always going to be that guy with more star power like Chael or Pettis, and then there will always be that guy who works harder to prove he has that star power like Johny Hendricks. It is sad that guys can’t earn their shots anymore. Now, you have Jose Aldo talking if he beats Pettis that he will be the number 1 contender for the lightweight title.
Guys getting to decide what they want when they want isn’t fair, but it isn’t going anywhere. Dana White is a business man and will always do what is right for the company. Some fans don’t like it, like myself, but being more marketable gets you further than being a better fighter now a days. It’s not fair, but it’s happening.
Brock Lesnar is a great example of all this. He started his career as a NCAA wrestler and was just a big dude with nothing else besides a manager in Paul Heyman to be his voice. Lesnar became a star over night as he was wearing the WWE’s championship title in no time.
This kind of sounds like the same thing he did when he entered the UFC. A few fights, then a title shot. UFC fans didn’t agree with it, but I can bet that you all watched every time Lesnar entered the octagon. He was a huge sell, and even though he was catered too, the UFC sold PPV’s like hotcakes.
Lesnar gave the UFC everything he had before not being able to compete anymore, then he re-joined the WWE. Why? It’s a business. Lesnar needs the money and knows how to sell PPV’s, whether it’s for the UFC or the WWE, business is business.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think guys like Johny Hendricks, Ricardo Lamas, and even Chris Weidman are getting screwed just because they aren’t as marketable. But I also thought the same thing about a couple of guys named Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels when they weren’t getting the respect they deserved either in the WWF.
Granted they didn’t have the social media market to voice their opinions like we do now a days, but did they complain? No, they never let anything stop them from getting to the top. It did take them longer than guys with the look like Hulk Hogan, but sometimes if you want something bad enough, you’ll keep fighting for it. And if you’re in the UFC, then fighting for something should come natural to you.
You don’t need to know wrestling to know the name Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea). He was one, if not the best marketable guys in wrestling. This was not because of his actual wrestling talent. If you look back at his career, he has done a lot, but is still probably one of the worst wrestlers that has ever entered the business.
He threw sloppy punches, would slam a guy here and there, and would drop his horrible leg drop finisher, which to this day is still the worst finisher in wrestling history in my opinion.
Hogan made a lot of money and never really even tried. His look got him very far. He was a big muscular guy with blond hair and had it all. He told kids to eat their vitamins, would flex a lot, get the crowd pumped up, and represented himself as a great role model/hero for the fans. The WWF made millions and millions off of Hulk Hogan, but there was so many other talented wrestlers that had to take a back seat to Hogan.
Bret “The Hitman” Hart was an actual trained wrestler and the best technical wrestler in the business at the time, maybe of all time. He knew that he was a better wrestler and could be a bigger star than Hogan, but wasn’t given the chance until Hogan literally left the company.
Hogan didn’t even leave the company until 1992 when he denied taking steroids, which later he would admit it in 1994. At least Dana White has guys willing to work with him and not control everything.
Bret Hart was running everything fine, and just because he wasn’t “big enough” in Hogan’s eyes, he would again get the shaft. Hulk Hogan returned to the WWF in February 1993 feuding with the team Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster),helping out his long time friend Brutus Beefcake.
At WrestleMania IX, Hogan and Beefcake took on Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championship. The problem was, Hogan thought he was too big of a star to be a tag champion (didn’t want to share the star power) and instead wanted the world title. And he always got what he wanted at all times. He wanted the title back that night and got exactly what he wanted, it’s like keeping your favorite child happy just so they won’t leave.
So, Hogan and Vince McMahon (WWE Owner) came up with the plan that Hogan and Brutus would be disqualified in their match. Later that night Vince would do what he does best and screw guys out of what was rightfully theirs while keeping his big talent happy.
Vince is one of the best businessmen out there and does what ever he can to keep his top guys happy, even if it means screwing guys who are the lower totem pole. That same night Hogan won his fifth WWF Championship by pinning Yokozuna in a weird turn of events only moments after Yokozuna had defeated Bret Hart for the title.
McMahon then planned a Hogan and Bret Hart fight in a big match at Summerslam 1993 where Hogan would drop the title too Hart, but Hogan did not want to lose the title in a clean victory to Hart due to Hart’s size and doubts on whether he could draw a fan base, even though he already knew how. Hogan decided (cause he really did call the shots) to lose the title to the heel Yokozuna instead.
At the first annual King of the Ring pay-per-view on June 13, 1993, Hogan defended the championship against the former champion, Yokozuna, in his first title defense since defeating Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX. Yokozuna was one of the first to kick out of Hogan’s signature leg drop.
He then got the pinfall after Hogan was blinded by a fireball shot by a “Japanese photographer,” which was Hogan’s idea as he did not want Yokozuna to gain a clean victory over him. For a guy who couldn’t wrestle, he refused to lose a clean match afraid of ruining his image, even though he went NWO years later, but that is a whole other topic.
If you don’t believe me, go watch WrestleMania when Hogan versed anybody, then go watch any Bret Hart match and tell me who the better wrestler was. If it wasn’t for guys like Randy Savage and Sgt. Slaughter, guys like Hogan wouldn’t have been such a huge draw.
The fighter doesn’t make the fight, the fighters make the fight. So, for guys like Hendricks and Lamas, keep your head up and keep doing what you are doing. There is always going to be that marketable guy and that good fighter, but only sometimes are they two in the same. The “Hulk Hogans” will always be around stealing your thunder, but hard work pays off and there is a little Bret Hart in all of you.
Watch Hart vs. Piper, The Undertaker, The Mountie, The British Bulldog at Summerslam ’92, Hart vs. Shawn Michaels in 1992 in the first ever ladder match, Hart vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania Iron Man Match (both wrestlers wrestled for over in hour, Hogan never did that).
It will always be a business first and if you can’t sell PPV’s and get fans in seats, then you will always be “second best” no matter how you look at it. It isn’t fair, but that’s reality.
Watch Dana White explain why he (and the UFC) cut Jon Fitch and others recently.