As noted, Jim Ross joined Submission Radio to share his thoughts on MMA fighters crossing over to WWE. You can check out the full interview in the video above, they sent us these highlights:
Ronda Rousey going to the WWE:
“I don’t know if it’s official or not, but I’ve said for a long, long time that she was a fit made in box office heaven for WWE. Ronda has got amazing name identity globally, she’s a legit deal. I have amazing respect for her because you’ve got to remember, at one time none of the major MMA promotions were gonna promote women. Certainly, in the UFC they said no way, no how. But then all of sudden Ronda goes, she’s in Strikeforce and gets to be hugely popular, people love that hip lock and her submissions. She’s got charisma, she’s a beautiful woman, I just think there’s a perfect fit there. And whether she signs for a one-off or a short-term or a handful of matches, I have no idea, but obviously if she does sign, one would assume that it would have something to do with a Wrestlemania appearance. And I would love to see that in New Orleans this year. I’ll be down there and I’d love to see her compete, because she will train with the same intensity, the same desire to be great at that genre as she did in MMA. And of course we all know that the outcomes are predetermined, all the stuff ? and I talk to a lot of sports guys, they wanna make sure I know that they know that wrestling is entertainment. Well, thanks for the heads up, right? You should have got that early on, but I’m glad the light switch has been flipped ? but she will work as hard to be ready because she’ll wanna steal the show, she’ll want to go out and certainly not embarrass herself, but to excel. So she raised a lot of cash to the dance.
“And you look around the roster to people she could wrestle theoretically, it’s really impressive, there’s some match-ups. Ronda Rousey and the undefeated Asuka at Wrestlemania. Something’s got to give, right? You got Charlotte and Ronda Rousey. I’d love to see that. So there’s a lot of talents here. You could go down the list of all the great women WWE’s signed and there’s a story there for Ronda, cause every woman can make the story that I want to be the one that beats Ronda Rousey, so she’s not gonna come to my world and dominate like she did MMA and the UFC and so forth. So I think it’s inevitable, I just don’t know when or where, but to me, like I said earlier, Ronda Rousey in WWE is a match made in box office heaven.”
If the timing is a bit late and if Rousey going to the WWE will be as big of a deal now that she’s had two losses and people are questioning her legacy:
“It will be as successful now as it would have been then. She’s a star and her star’s shining, and I think some of those fans that actually had the nerve to say that she was not as good as we thought she was, is pretty ignorant. She changed the game, she opened the door that these other women are walking through and making a bunch of money. And Gina Carrano will get a lot of that credit, and she should, but Ronda was the one who put the thing on the map and Ronda was the one who got into the UFC and opened the door for all these other women. Now they’ve got weight classes as you guys know, and there’s a lot of young women that here to forward would not have made a dime really in fighting if it hadn’t been for a platform like UFC.
“Ronda’s a star and I would’ve been as motivated to sign her now as I would’ve been five years ago.”
If Vince McMahon knows who Conor McGregor is and if he’d like to utilize him in a WWE program:
“Oh yeah, Vince knows who Conor McGregor is. You know, Vince doesn’t live on Uranus. He’s pretty well read, he pays attention, he pays attention. And Paul Levesque (Triple H) certainly knows who Conor McGregor is. Look, I don’t have this concrete information or source telling me all that good stuff, I would be very surprised if the two parties on some level haven’t had some kind of communication. It may be lawyer to lawyer, probably that more than anything, but just to feel out interest.
“Conor is another global star and Conor will sell wrestling tickets, because for a one-off, for a one-time deal he’ll sell tickets to see how he’s going to do. And he strikes me as the kind of guy that has such a competitive ego that he will do anything to not fail, to not look bad. And I cross off the attraction exhibition match he had with Floyd Mayweather. You know, they both got rich, richer. Good for them, I’m happy, but it wasn’t, it didn’t do any wonders for any one of their careers or in boxing. Their bankers loved it, and that’s all that matters. But I think Conor would be a major hit there because, a) he can talk, and that’s half the battle. And again, he’s competitive so he wouldn’t want to embarrass himself. So I think somewhere down the road if the stars align, that’s another guy that would be (a perfect fit for the WWE). And his deal I’m sure would be a one-off, I’m thinking. I’m not sure, but I’d assume it would probably be one-off. But once he’s done with MMA and or boxing or whatever, he’s gonna look for something else to do that’s going to be fun for him and challenging, and that would be it. I mean, he fits right in, he’s a hell of an athlete and he’s tough. He walks like Mr. McMahon. He told people he picked that up from Vince. That walk he does is when he was doing all that barnstorming through for Floyd, he walked down the stage just like Vince, waving his arms and strutting around. He’s a heat-seeking missile and his fans ate it up. But the real boxing purists, and lord knows they can’t be vilified, they’re so sanctimonious that they didn’t like it cause he was, wink wink, “doing harm to the game of boxing”. Are you kidding me? The game of boxing is being harmed by one guy? Hey, all you veterans, the promoters and all the boxing people have done a good damn job of screwing up boxing over the last two or three decades, so don’t blame it on Conor.”
If backstage heat in the WWE locker room would be a problem for McGregor if he did make his way to WWE after blasting majority of the WWE’s stars, much like when Mr. T came over and Roddy Piper had issues with him
“Different generation, different time. The thing about the theory that you mentioned there of Conor coming in and making a big payday and leaving, well, while he’s getting to that payday and at that payday he’s generating revenue for the company, and the talent share in the revenues on the discretionary payroll. So, all Conor is gonna do is cook bigger pies for the wrestlers to get a bigger slice. And they’re like some of the guys on social media are like a lot of fans, fellas, they’re keyboard warriors. They’re brave as hell when they’re on their little keypad and they’ll say anything they want to say because they’re safe, they’re protected, but when Conor’s around I gotta believe that they would grab it. How many selfies are they gonna be taking with Conor in the locker room if he came in? He’d be deloused. So I don’t look at that, no issue whatsoever. And you know, Roddy (Piper) was a different spirit. There’s no Roddy Pipers in these dressing rooms, let’s put it that way. And I don’t mean that negatively at all, Roddy was an amazing, he was a wild west survivor and he grew up hard and he was a different cat than some of the kids now. You know, Roddy, probably like me, he had a hard time turning on a computer much less using one. Roddy was a man’s man and had a lot of pride, and that’s just how he was broken in the business. So I don’t think it would be an issue whatsoever. If I were talents, I would be ecstatic, because you know that when Conor McGregor would appear on Monday Night Raw the ratings will be skyrocketing. What’s he gonna do? What’s next? Could you believe what they did? And you could do that for several weeks of episodic booking that would lead to the crescendo, the Wrestlemania match, whatever it might be. So I see nothing but winners in that scenario.”