The Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views have gotten pretty popular over the years, which is good for the company. However, they will never be as good or fun to watch as World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) pay-per-view matches.
People often think that what happens in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) universe is unique to their brand. However, the same kinds of things happen in the WWE all the time. For example, when fighters trash talk each other before the fight, viewers often act like it’s the most unbelievable stuff in the entire world. The technique of talking up the match to sell it to the fans is what pro wrestling has been based on for decades.
“But mixed martial arts (MMA) is real and wrestling is fake,” you might say, and those are almost valid points. However, wrestling is not fake – these are real people putting their real bodies in real danger. While the punches may not be thrown at full force, the performance is very physical and pro wrestling is a form of entertainment. The wrestlers go out with a certain time they want to end the match and try to perform to the best of their abilities. A UFC title match, on the other hand, can end in one punch. I hope you get your money’s worth from that five-second fight.
While “I want to win the belt and prove I am the best” is the simplest and most effective storyline, the WWE can work with many other storylines. They can intertwine reality and fiction to give characters believable motivations. In the UFC, many of the combatants don’t even speak English and only ever talk about their particular style of fighting. Nothing gets me pumped up like a lightweight from Brazil speaking in subtitles about how he wants to work his opponent’s arms.
Even one of the most popular UFC fighters, Brock Lesnar, first became famous on the WWE. He was the second youngest WWE Champion in history, tried out for the Minnesota Vikings, became UFC Heavyweight champion almost immediately, and then came back to the WWE and resumed dominating it. Lesnar used his WWE fame to boost the UFC product as a whole.
A two-minute fight where two guys are just laying on each other until one of them locks in a submission is fine, I guess. However, I would rather see the spectacle and effort put into a show that places entertaining the fans first in mind. Plus, the shirts are way better. I know “Tapout!” shirts are neat and all, but I think the “Austin 3:16” shirt edges it out in terms of mass appeal.
Jacob Ruffo is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]