by Ivan Trembow
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was furious when he saw the UFC commercial during his own TV show, WWE Raw, saying that pro wrestling is not “real,” according to a report in the Wrestling Observer. The commercial, which is still running on Spike TV programs other than WWE Raw, features an announcer saying, “What’s real? Pro wrestling? No! Boxing? Not anymore! The UFC is real!” I’d love for the UFC to explain specifically how boxing “is not real anymore,” but as you might have guessed, that wasn’t the part of the interview that sent Vince McMahon over the edge.
With WWE set to leave Spike TV at the end of September, and with Spike TV now relying on the UFC as its number one provider of original programming, the Observer reports that the relationship between WWE and Spike TV has “turned very cold.”
The Observer adds, “Among the specifics was Vince McMahon apparently going nuts about the UFC commercial that implies pro wrestling is not real, that was being played so often on WWE programming. Spike TV made a new version of the commercial that only implies boxing isn’t real anymore, and makes no mention of pro wrestling. This is hilarious because WWE has spent the last several years insisting that pro wrestling isn’t real, and now they get all worked up when someone else says it. The UFC and Spike are still airing the commercial saying that pro wrestling isn’t real on all shows other than WWE, but they cut a new version of the commercial just for WWE programming.”
As the Observer report alluded to, the irony in Vince McMahon’s rage about the UFC commercial is that when WWE was recently faced with perhaps its biggest media scandal ever due to its extremely tasteless terrorism storyline (which aired on the same day as the real-life London terrorist bombings), the company’s defense consisted largely of, “Pro wrestling isn’t real! It’s just entertainment!” In general, whenever the media or a Wall Street analyst questions something that WWE does, the response is always that it’s not real and it’s just entertainment.