Mixed martial arts fans who like to open fire on the pro wrestling industry just got a fresh round of ammunition.
That's because World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Paul Levesque, who goes by the in-ring name of "Triple H," doesn't believe his product needs to evolve in the wake of Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) surge in global popularity.
In fact, he thinks it's the other way around, as he explains to MMA Fighting:
"I don't see us needing to evolve to what UFC does because quite frankly sometimes the fights are long and boring, guys lying around and sometimes the fights are fast and over in five seconds. I've always thought one of the things about us, if you look at us solely from a sports standpoint, is that we always give you a good show. We're never going to give you a crap game. I think if anybody needs to evolve, it's them. Give more of an entertainment standpoint. Give more form; they just have fighters who walk in in T-shirts and shorts and just stand there and then they fight and then they win and then they go "thanks, I'd like to thank my sponsors" and then they leave. The whole world was up in arms when Brock was flipping people off and was cussing at the beer company because they didn't give him any money and everyone thought, "oh my god, he's disrespectful," -- the whole world was talking about it. They couldn't wait to see him get beat up. And then he did well, and he beat some guys and then people jump on his bandwagon going 'Brock's the greatest.' I'm good friends with Floyd Mayweather and Floyd would be the first to tell ya, 'I make the most money in boxing and I have the biggest buyers because I have the biggest mouth.' He'd be the first guy to tell you that. That's what it's about. Sports is entertainment."
From a programming perspective, the WWE and UFC compete for the same demographic and despite a completely different product, the layperson, historically, often lumps the two brands together.
Both entities are driven by the pay-per-view model, something WWE has done with great success since the debut of Wrestlemania way back in the mid-1980's.
It should come as no surprise then, to learn that UFC President Dana White keeps close ties with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, even paying him a recent visit in Stamford, Connecticut, to talk turkey and "bounce some stuff off him."
One of this sport's worst kept secrets is how many mixed martial arts fans have been (and still are) fans of professional wrestling, though few would admit it due to the Scarlett letter that gets assigned upon such an admission.
But if you are indeed a fan of both, what do you make of Triple H's comments? Can the sport of MMA improve its product by embracing more of the entertainment aspect?
Or should it abandon it all together?
Would you prefer to have a roster full of Rich Franklins or Quinton Jacksons? Or somewhere in between?