by Kevin D’Hooge
Depending on how you look at it, the following is either a non-story or it’s the giant elephant in the room.
Numerous internet wrestling fans got heated over the weekend when UFC President Dana White tweeted out that wrestling was fake in a response to a troll on Twitter who wanted lower prices for UFC PPVs. From my perspective, White’s Tweet was hilarious. Dana White has now become synonymous with calling out trolls and insulting ignorant fans on his twitter feed.
With all of the spotlight shining brightly on him and his organization this past weekend as Ronda Rousey was gearing up for UFC 190, White unapologetically dropped an internet pipe bomb on the wrestling community. But why did wrestling fans react the way they did?
If there is anything wrestling fans hate, it’s non-wrestling fans dismissing “the art” as being fake. So would “scripted” be a better word? Even if it came from a non-wrestling fan or someone of Dana White’s stature?
Second of all, this guy, I’m sure, was fuming at Dana’s comments.
Regardless, even though I found the humor in what Dana White wrote, his comment still stung me just a little bit as a wrestling fan. It definitely makes sense that a real fight card in UFC would cost $60 while a pre-determined fight card would cost $9.99 (WWE is also a more profitable organization, so they can afford to charge less). WWE’s $9.99 price tag also makes sense when you consider that they do have their occasional PPV clunkers (Battleground, anyone?).
At the end of the day, Dana White has already stated that he respects what wrestlers do. His case is just yet another addition to the collection of somebody getting their words misinterpreted on social media. At the same time, wrestling fans need to lighten up and accept that sports entertainment is not immune to jokes.
Clearly Dana White respects WWE as he has recruited former wrestlers into his organization (Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, and he even wanted Kurt Angle to enter the Octagon).
It is noteworthy that the alleged beef between Dana White and WWE works both ways. CM Punk alleged that Vince McMahon commented that MMA is a barbaric sport and that someone would die in the octagon (one of the more ironic statements made by the WWE Chairman).
In conclusion, Dana White was clearly joking on social media by calling wrestling fake. And the best jokes are the ones that sting. Yes, John Cena broke his nose in a match last week on Raw, but he wasn’t supposed to. It was an accident in a predetermined sports entertainment clash.
Pro wrestlers need to know what they’re doing during matches and if they don’t, someone will get hurt. People still get hurt even when they do know what they’re doing. The difference between UFC and WWE is that WWE superstars are not trying to hurt their opponent while UFC fighters are. Therefore WWE is susceptible to being labeled as scripted, fake, staged, any word you want to use. But still, WWE entertains us. TNA superstar Austin Aries summed it up best by Tweeting, “Comparing pro wrestling to combat sports is silly. It’s apples to oranges. Just don’t call my apples a fake food. We all pay a real price.”
With all of this being said, the real solution to this matter would be Dana White vs. Vince McMahon squaring it off in the ring once and for all.