Josh Barnett recently took part in a media conference call to promote last weekend’s New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 specials from Long Beach, California. Barnett called the shows alongside Jim Ross. WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri was on the call and asked if he could see any way Conor McGregor could beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
“Yes, I do,” Barnett said. “Are you ready? Punching him in the face and knocking him out. Yeah, I think that if Conor McGregor punches Floyd Mayweather in the face and knocks him out, he will win. I really do.”
WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri also asked Barnett about Bellator incorporating pro wrestling’s presentation into their product and asked if there is anything pro wrestling should use from Mixed Martial Arts.
“Well not specific to MMA but I think that wrestling should, in general, get more back to its roots of being treated like a serious sport,” said Barnett. “I think that by doing so you make it a lot easier for heels to be heels, I mean the rules should always be enforced I believe. So if you put your hands on a ref, you should DQ’d. People should be counted out at times. If you don’t break a hold at four, you’re done.”
“I feel like a lot of rules of pro wrestling need to be upheld a lot more with a much stricter sense because then when you break them, it makes the moments more meaningful,” he continued. “And also I understand that wrestling is exposed but if you treat it like it’s exposed the whole time, then you’re basically just making people think that they’re watching fake wrestling. And it’s just like if you went to a movie and they just blatantly were telling you how much it’s all special effects and not real the whole time, it’d just ruin the whole experience. I think wrestling needs to take some cues from that concept and start dialing back the choreography and the abuse of the fact that people know that it’s worked.”
“And start getting back to treating it like it’s real because it’s really about intent and emotion,” explained Barnett. “And when you take away the sincerity of a real match then now you’re just trying to often grasp at straws to get people to clap at something and you become botville instead of a professional wrestler.”