In the hours leading up to Saturday night’s slate of fighting, from boxing to mixed martial arts, current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Shayna Baszler tweeted the following:
The fact that there’s more news about PaulXAskren than WhittakerXGastelum shows you that everything is pro wrestling. Everything. Just enjoy it.— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) April 17, 2021
Which, yeah. Jake Paul is a celebrity who made his name on YouTube and decided he would take his antagonistic personality into the world of combat sports, where he would draw a lot of pay-per-view buys with said antagonistic personality. First, he fought fellow YouTubers, then former NBA star Nate Robinson, and this weekend he headlined an event against Ben Askren, a former champion in MMA.
Considering their relative experience, many expected Askren to defeat Paul, with UFC President Dana White saying he would bet $1 million that Paul would lose.
He ended up knocking Askren out in the first round.
Twitter immediately lit up with accusations that the fight was fixed, considering Askren went down to one right hand and then the referee just decided to put a stop to it when it seemed Askren could continue. Many pointed to the fact that Askren has taken far more punishment in past bouts without being finished.
Here was Chris Jericho’s response to it:
Haha ...What a scam! Congrats to @jakepaul for a bullshit fake win! https://t.co/sUvMk00skl— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) April 18, 2021
Was it fake? The better question may be — does it matter?
All this is without mentioning that Ric Flair was also on the Triller Fight Club show officiating a slap fight with Pete Davidson in the background providing commentary.
Like Baszler said, everything is pro wrestling.