Professional wrestler and Olympic Gold medal winner Kurt Angle has posted a heartfelt article on his blog, titled: Don’t Comment On Something You Don’t Know, defending the professional wrestling business in the wake of Conor McGregor telling the WWE roster that he would ‘Slap the head off them’
Angle, who is in a great position to compare the two arts, given his background, has stood on his hill, and challenged the critics, Dana White and Conor McGregor included, to step foot in a wrestling ring and take just five bumps, saying professional wrestling is:
The toughest thing I’ve ever done, and I won a gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck. My body has been beaten up over the years. Why? Because the stunts are very real. We wrestle and bump on plywood. It’s NOT a bed mattress.It’s PLYWOOD. So if you want to comment on how fake wrestling is, then I challenge you to get into the ring and take 5 bumps. That’s all – 5 bumps
Chances are, this will never happen, and given the way McGregor plays the media like a finely tuned harp, there is nothing to say that this whole thing is not a work to lay the foundations of an eventual foray into pro wrestling once his MMA days are done.
But, as someone who has dabbled in both MMA and pro wrestling myself, granted, at nowhere near the level of Kurt Angle and Conor McGregor, but at enough of a level to understand fully the training, desire and above all else toughness it takes to simply be classed as a professional in either form, I have to agree one hundred percent with Angle’s stance.
Professional wrestling is not MMA, and I would be very, very wary about placing any current WWE performer inside the octagon with even the lowest ranked UFC fighter, and harbor any expectations of a victory. So, yes, Conor McGregor does have a salient point with regards a MMA fight.
A straight up fight? Well, that’s a different story.
That being said, would I put McGregor into a WWE ring, as an active performer right now? No, not at all. It would be dangerous for all concerned, as he isn’t trained.
Therein lies the problem, although both wrestling and MMA have a similar appearance in terms of the final, televised performance, what the viewer actually sees is the result of two very different paths.
I actually think that given time and training, McGregor could be a headline act in the world of professional wrestling, and given his mic skills, I would love to one day see him in WWE, and hopefully that is where this whole thing will lead, one day.
It is still folly however, for McGregor to comment so negatively on an entire roster, a roster, by the way that contains some brilliant amateur wrestlers, such as Chad Gable and Dolph Ziggler and stand up fighters such as Baron Corbin, who could all potentially shake things up in the UFC.