Getting Over: What WWE Can Learn From UFC | Smark Out Moment

Getting Over: What WWE Can Learn From UFC

Posted by Stephen Wadelin Tuesday, April 22, 2014
UFC Post-Fight Scrum Dana White Brock Lesnar WWE Vince McMahon Youtube
Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts are more like professional wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment than either one of their fanbases would like to admit. I, however, fall in between both, snug in that crossover demographic.

For years, I've watched WWE, starting with the 1997 Royal Rumble. As far as UFC goes, I jumped on that bandwagon during the first Ken Shamrock versus Tito Ortiz fight in 2002.

The obvious differences are the biggest. WWE is a scripted television show in which the outcomes of its matches are predetermined. UFC and other MMA promotions, on the other hand, are real combat sports. Both have an appeal to a particular audience and can one-up the other in different areas. Because of that, there are things that each one can learn from the other.

So, with that being said, what is it that WWE can learn from UFC to better themselves?


If you do not take your own product seriously, nobody else will. Legitimacy is something that WWE has lost over time. Some people like to point to the fact that since kayfabe's been broken, it's a lost cause, but that's far from true. Every time WWE does something different and has a sense of being serious about it, people become invested. The Summer of Punk and the Nexus angles are two examples of that.

A sense of realism can go a long way. If a bunch of guys have been assaulting each other week in and week out, I don't want to see them cracking jokes and smiling the next week. Someone needs to get serious—get angry. If someone pissed you off in real life, how would you react? That's what I want to see in professional wrestling! In MMA, when one guy is pissed off at another, that's what you get. That sense of "oh, he is going to kick that guys ass" can be the difference between a pay-per-view buy or an illegal stream.

In more recent years, UFC has implemented and focused on the rankings of their fighters. We have so many televised matches that amount to absolutely nothing. Why should I care that Fandango is wrestling Santino Marella? Why does it matter if Damien Sandow loses to Big Show? What are the consequences of a win or a loss? If not a ranking, I'd love to see some consequences for coming up short or the spoils of victory shown in some fashion. Too many of these matches are unimportant placeholders, and they shouldn't be.


sexy Ronda Rousey wearing WWE title belt
Ronda Rousey, a legit Women's Champ
Outside of the booking of storylines and characters, we also have the promotional malpractice of the championship belts. What do these titles mean? Are they indeed just props, or do they serve a higher purpose? I want to see some legitimate contenders and some legitimate champions. More often than not, championships aren't being defended or even acknowledged. When they finally do get some spotlight, it fizzles out in weeks, sometimes even days.

The guys who are challenging for the titles should be stringing together a series of wins prior, picking up a lot of momentum and giving a reason for why they deserve the shot. Outside of a few occasions, UFC is almost always putting the best against the best. With a consistent string of new challengers, the divisions stay interesting. A champion like Daniel Bryan would benefit from WWE feeding him a series of guys like Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and more, but they've failed to put any momentum behind that upper-midcard tier. Thus, Daniel Bryan is stuck facing a guy that he's feuded with as recently as last month in Kane.

International Expansion

I have to give credit where credit is due: when WWE goes to another country, they do their best to make sure to put on an entertaining show. They embrace the culture and put it on display for the American viewers, even if it's just props on the entrance ramp. My biggest gripe, though, is that they do a few tours and not much else.

As of right now, UFC is in the process of—and I quote—"World Fucking Domination". They're going into other countries and not only expanding their presence via television and pay-per-view deals, but they're also scouting a variety of talent. What was once a company that was filled with national fighters has now become a wide variety of talented personalities from all around the globe.

I would love for WWE to bring in several guys from Mexico, England, Japan and so forth and build them up as stars for their particular countries. We could finally have some storylines that are built on cultural pride outside of the stereotypical "foreigner vs. American" deal.


If I sat here and tried to think of a few more things, I'm sure I could, but to avoid a case of making this too long to read, I'll cut it short here. If we are entering The Reality Era in WWE, we should take into consideration reality itself. WWE should objectively look at the holes in their system and fix them with logic. Despite all this, I still love both WWE and UFC and I hope you all can see where I am coming from. If not, tell me why in the comments below, and if you have any other suggestions of what UFC can teach WWE, toss out your ideas as well.

If you'd like to know what I think the WWE can teach the UFC, click here.

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