It’s been years since the Attitude Era of WWE. In a heated battle with WCW, WWF (known at the time) was in a television ratings battle with billionaire Ted Turner. Poised to overthrow Vince McMahon and the wrestling legacy of a rich history in Sports Entertainment, it looked as though the WWF wasn’t able to compete with the likes of the New World Order, Goldberg, and the rest of the WCW roster. That was, until Mike Tyson was announced to appear at WrestleMania 14.
Fast-forward 19 years and WWE finds itself in a similar position. The direct competition has all but completely been eliminated. However, they now face a new challenge: social relevancy. In a world where time and attention are a commodity fought for by both television and the internet, WWE lacks the new stars to carry forth the illustrious history it has created over the last few decades. Enter Conor McGregor.
While UFC 205 was the most historic event in MMA history, an even more disruptive event from professional wrestling emerged: the presence of Paul Levesque, otherwise known to fans as “The Game,” HHH. By his own admission, the WWE would love to have Conor McGregor step inside the squared-circle. While he may not be a full-time WWE Superstar, Conors presence on the microphone and on advertisements would give the WWE something it wants. And more importantly, it needs: relevancy.
Imagine, if you will, another resurgence in professional wrestling. It’s good for both the UFC and the WWE. Exhibit A: Brock Lesnar (UFC 200 main card draw in place of many names like Conor McGregor and Jon “Bones” Jones not being involved). Exhibit B: CM Punk (adding an approximate 250,000 buys to UFC 203, an otherwise “B” show compared to UFC 202, 205 and 207 respectively). The UFC wants WWE star-power, but WWE needs UFC star-power, and they need Conor McGregor for Wrestle Mania 33.