CM Punk deserves respect, but MMA is a reality check for WWE enthusiasts
Does CM Punk's loss validate Conor McGregor's jibes directed at the WWE?
When Connor McGregor claimed that WWE stars were “pu****s” and that he would easily beat the life out of them, it created a tempest among WWE wrestlers and fans. Roman Reigns took it to another level when he opined that McGregor is of the size of his leg and should shut up.
However, when you watch the UFC 203 fight between CM Punk and Mickey Gall, you can only but wonder whether Connor McGregor was actually right.
I remember gluing myself in front of the television when WWE Raw/Smackdown was telecasted on TV. I was a child and absolutely loved it. Obviously, the fact that everything was scripted was unbeknownst to me at that point, making it all the more intriguing and exciting for me.
As I grew up, many of my supposed realities turned to nothing but fantasies; the child’s heart was broken, the man’s heart was formed. However, I didn’t quit watching the WWE until CM Punk decided that his journey with Vince McMohan’s company was over.
That was the breaking point for me. You see, even though it was all scripted, it did what it was intended to do: entertain us. And Punk, for me, was the best entertainer in the business. And as much as I hate saying this, right now, and I use “right now” very strongly – CM Punk is just that: an entertainer.
And that is the case with almost every WWE star on the roster. They are entertainers and not fighters. They might have an outward appearance that oozes machoism, but inside the octagon, it is not big bodies or giant frame that matter.
A lot of hype surrounded the former WWE star as he took on Mickey Gall inside the octagon. His fans were hoping that he, against the tide, would do the impossible and beat Gall. That would have done it, wouldn’t it? It would have stamped WWE’s superiority over UFC fighters.
Perhaps, it would have. But MMA is the reality that younger fans think WWE is. The only way Punk could have done the impossible was if the match was scripted for him to win.
But Punk was destroyed inside the Octagon. So much so that it was embarrassing and hurtful to watch. As an avid fan, it made me sad to see an idol fall like that. It looked like a professional fighter against a school kid. The saddest part, however, is that Gall didn’t even seem to put in that much of an effort to finish Punk off.
I mean no discredit to Punk for what he did. He might have been desecrated in that ring, bullied like a weakling, but he deserves respect for his courage. Punk trained for two years to get here, but training and experience are two completely different sides of the coin.
However, Punk lived a dream; and he deserves reverence for that alone. After the loss, he said some truly inspiring words.
“In life, you go big or you go home. I just like to take challenges. This is a hell of mountain I am trying to climb, and I didn’t get to the summit today, but it doesn’t mean I am gonna [sic] give up, it doesn’t mean I am gonna [sic] stop.
“I appreciate all the support from everybody. Obviously, Mickey is a hell of a fighter.
“I will be back, believe it or not. This is the most fun I have ever had in my life—the second best night of my life since I married by wife, obviously.
“I know there is a lot of doubters, but listen: life is about falling down and getting up. Doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it is about getting back up. So if there is any kid out there that’s told by a parent, or a coach, or a teacher, or somebody that they look up to, somebody that’s supposed to push them and believe in them, and they are told ‘no’: don’t listen to them, believe in yourself!
“Sometimes, the outcome isn’t always what you desire it to be, but the true failure in life is not trying at all.”
He is right. After all, even Brock Lesnar lost his first UFC fight via submission. So Punk can still come back stronger if he puts in the effort and hard work.
But the truth is, WWE stars are way behind Mixed Martial Artists when it comes to natural fighting. Sure, they might be over 190m tall and 300+ pound in weight, but after today, it would be hard to imagine a WWE star take on an MMA fighter and get the better of him.
Perhaps, McGregor was right. Perhaps, he would indeed, in his own words, “slap the head out of the entire roster.”