Sometimes the most intriguing wrestling news stories are broken or teased on the Wrestling Observer / Figure Four Online message boards. This is one such case, as UFC.com writer/German UFC commentator (and former German WWE commentator/marketing staffer/keeper of savage secrets) Oliver Copp let the news leak that Vince McMahon is attempting to sabotage UFC's expansion into key European markets in a thread about Dana White's recent ambition to hold an event at the newly opened largest domed stadium in the world, Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.
Oliver thought this was a bad idea for the following reason:
Unless UFC manage to pack a stadium they go into, it'll be a negative for the brand's development. WWE, for instance, is only waiting for a high-profile failure like that to try and mock the UFC. They're already actively trying to get UFC banned in many European countries. Don't give them ammunition.
Dave Meltzer then corroborated the story:
Well, I guess that cat is out of the bag.
Yeah, very scared of what happened in the U.S., and more particularly Canada, would happen in Europe.
But Oliver would know better, my impression is it's whispering behind the scenes about violence and brutality not being suitable for television, not inability to draw.
And, of course, he couldn't leave without taking a potshot at WWE's official line that UFC is not their competition:
But none of that could be true, since Donna Goldsmith continually says that they are not competition because one is scripted entertainment and the other is not, plus UFC doesn't know how to make stars, has no stars, or something like that.
Finally, Oliver Copp expanded on his vague original post:
Yeah, WWE's that shady. Of course UFC isn't competition, and that's why they really don't care how UFC does. Just like TNA which also isn't considered competition but who they constantly try to screw with.
The bottom line is WWE don't like it too much when UFC's bottom-of-the-barrel shows still outdraw 90 percent of the WWE PPVs in North America.
And suggests how UFC failing to draw well at Cowboy Stadium would be twisted to fit WWE's agenda:
"UFC only appeals to a small, socially disturbed percentage of the viewing audience. Due to the violence it portrays, it shouldn't be considered acceptable in any civilized community. When they went to Cowboy Stadium, they only drew 20,000 people. We have had four years of 60,000+ fans at WrestleMania. Our appeal is much broader and we present a safer product."
If you were a television executive, could you see through the BS? They're really good at twisting the facts.
Personally I could do without Oliver's "holier than thou" pro UFC tone. Sure it's shady. Part and parcel of the job of being a great promoter, unfortunately yes. It's not like Dana White is above doing a whispering campaign against his enemies, whether it be Pride, Elite XC, M-1 Global, Fedor Emelienenko or Strikeforce. Dave and Oliver should just be thankful that Vince McMahon wasn't ahead of the curve and didn't nix the first series of The Ultimate Fighter from following Raw on Spike TV in January 2005.