In the late 1990's, professional wrestling reached unprecedented national heights with a very raunchy product. Stonecold Steve Austin flipped the bird, Shawm Michaels and HHH encouraged kids to shout "Suck it," and Paul Heyman's ECW ramped up the violence to all new levels.
Today, it's tough for the WWE's Vince McMahon to reach the same audience that loved the Monday Night Wars era of wrestling. Those fans are now watching MMA, where the violence is even more hardcore and even more real. Vince is smart enough to know he can't compete with that, at least not fighting fire with fire.
"You really can't compete with that," he said. "Why not deliver a more sophisticated product and not go to those extremes? If the audience wants those extremes, they know where to go and how to get it."
The hijinks are more disgusting too. On The Ultimate Fighter, UFC fighters curse like sailors, urinate on each others property and food, and play disgusting games with their own semen and excrement. Wrestling can't match that depravity. So why is Bloody Elbow.com's Luke Thomas taking gratuitous shots at Vince and the WWE?
Thomas actually seems to believe that the UFC presents a classier product somehow. That the UFC isn't just men fighting in a cage. I can appreciate that wrestling isn't for anyone. But someone from the MMA community claiming wrestling is beneath his notice is like throwing stones in a glass house.
You are, simply put, watching something that is repugnant to most people. That statement applies to fans of EITHER MMA or WWE. Both are horrible and probably shouldn't be allowed in polite society. They are both bad for kids and grownups alike. And yet we love them. We stand together in the face of an outraged world to scream back, together, that the sports we love are worthwhile, that the athletes deserve respect, that we are not closeted homosexuals or violent misogynists. Let's scream together instead of creating divisions and fighting back alone. Wrestling fans and MMA supporters: yes we can!