WWE vs. Boxing: A Comparison of America's Favorite Combat Sports | Smark Out Moment

WWE vs. Boxing: A Comparison of America's Favorite Combat Sports

Posted by Outside Interference Tuesday, January 26, 2021

WWE and boxing are two of the most beloved combat sports in America. Each has its own dedicated fan base, and enthusiasts often find themselves at odds.

But while boxing and wrestling are quite distinctive, there are also similarities between the two. Want to learn more? We've put together a comparison of these prized pastimes, so you can gain a healthy appreciation for the other side.

Check out our comparison between boxing and WWE to learn what makes each one special.

Conceptual Differences & Performance in the Ring

Boxing and WWE are built around very different concepts, and this has a substantial effect on fighters’ presentation. WWE fights are scripted performances, relying heavily on personality and spectacle to captivate the audience. The thrill of WWE is in the theatre itself, and fans find beauty in the drama that each fighter delivers in the ring.

Boxing matches are not scripted, nor is the outcome predetermined. A winning pugilist must score more points than his or her opponent to win or knock foes out of the fight completely using sheer force. Each moment of a match relies heavily on technique and brainpower to achieve the desired outcome, and fans derive joy from the gritty, intense realness.

Despite these distinctions, some aspects of performance are the same. Fighters in both WWE and boxing must remain in peak physical condition to perform competently and must maintain command of a wide range of combat techniques.

There are even a few notable fighters who have switched from boxing to wrestling or UFC to wrestling, including Ronda Rousey and Ricky Hatton. This just serves to show further that although people may view them differently, competitors in both sports ultimately rely on similar skills.

The Brawl for All

WWE even tried its own hand in boxing with the Brawl for All tournament in 1998. It was one of the rare instances where the outcomes weren't predetermined and instead, some of the wrestlers were given an opportunity to enter a real boxing competition on Monday Night Raw.

This was a notoriously bad idea and one of the most heavily-criticized angles in wrestling history. Not only was it unsafe, as these performers hadn't trained as legitimate boxers, but it accomplished almost nothing on a creative standpoint. The supposed intended winners (in the sense that WWE thought they would definitely win) came up short, while midcard talent Bart Gunn came out with a surprise victory.

This led to boxing star Butterbean fighting Gunn at WrestleMania XV and easily defeating him. After making quick, easy work with the winner of WWE's legitimate tournament, it left a bad taste in the mouth of these performers and the company in general. Gunn's career never bounced back.

Betting Big with Boxing & Wrestling

Sports betting is a favorite pastime of both boxing and wrestling enthusiasts, but those who fall into the boxing camp are more likely to find a venue that supports their sport of choice. Fans of boxing will be able to wager from any state with legalized sports betting, and they won’t necessarily have to do it in person.

For example, those in Pennsylvania can utilize numerous PA betting sites to make wagers on their favorite fighters, while those living in other legalized states like New Jersey and Nevada also have online options.

In contrast, the wagering landscape for wrestlers looks rather bleak. Because the outcome of wrestling matches is often predetermined, many sportsbook operators won’t set bet lines in case information is leaked to the public before the match.

And even though some bookmakers do see the value in accepting WWE bets, those which take the time to set odds will often limit the amount patrons can wager to protect themselves against big losses. However, some providers are rethinking their strategy as WWE grows more popular, so more options will likely become available as time goes on.

Fighting Styles & Signature Moves

The fighting styles and techniques in boxing differ greatly from those in pro wrestling. Boxers can only use their fists to overpower opponents, relying on jabs, hooks, cuts, and another handwork to strike down adversaries. Strict rules apply regarding which moves boxers can make, and those who break them risk losing the fight and ruining their reputation in the process.

WWE matches employ a wider range of moves that engage the entire body, from grappling and holding to diving and other more dramatic maneuvers. While rules and regulations also exist in pro wrestling, many fans believe that they are made to be broken. In fact, those who break them theatrically may find themselves more popular than ever before.

Personalities and Crossover

The world of boxing (as well as MMA) has seen more of a trend toward professional wrestling style characters over the years. Fighters like Connor McGregor has made more of a name for himself for being an over the top entertainer than if he had just been any other guy.

Over the years, Mike Tyson has involved himself in WWE several times, as well as All Elite Wrestling, where he was planned to do a match against Chris Jericho before the pandemic put that on hold. Floyd "Money" Mayweather even has a win over Big Show from a match at WrestleMania XXIV. Most recently, Tyson Fury fought Braun Strowman in Saudi Arabia for the Crown Jewel 2019 event and has expressed interest multiple times in fighting current WWE champion Drew McIntyre.

WWE and boxing both serve the entertainment needs of audiences around the world, each with their own signature style. If you're a fan stuck in one camp, why not consider branching out a bit? After all, you could find yourself with a newfound passion for a sport you never knew you loved.


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