Conor McGregor and WWE have had a rather complicated relationship. On one end, WWE executives have made no secret that they’d like to have him work for the company and make some appearances. On the “Notorious” McGregor’s side of things, today’s WWE Superstars are nothing but “messed-up dweebs,” just as he had so memorably stated in the summer of 2016. But those who want to see Conor get his comeuppance for those statements may have to wait, and shouldn’t expect to see him at WrestleMania 33. That’s because new reports suggest that the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion had recently turned down a “hefty” offer to appear at the event.
Just a few months ago, there was a lot of demand from fans, and a lot of interest from WWE’s higher-ups, as Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey were both the regular subject of rumors suggesting an eventual appearance for the company, specifically at WrestleMania 33. But recent events have cast doubt on the possibility of both UFC mainstays showing up on WWE television or pay-per-views.
In Rousey’s case, it was her ignominous loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on December 30, as Ronda was knocked out in just 48 seconds by the reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, 13 months after she had originally lost her belt and lost her first UFC fight against Holly Holm at UFC 193. Prior to that, WWE’s Chief Brand Officer and on-air authority figure Stephanie McMahon was quoted by USA Today as saying Rousey is the “total package,” and would be welcome “with open arms” to sign with WWE.
The hooligan pic.twitter.com/vh1hOgfz2t
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 22, 2017
As for Conor McGregor, the WWE had seemingly held little interest, if any at all, to him, when he made disdainful remarks about the company’s current roster.
Wrestling Inc. quoted McGregor’s comments, which were made in August while promoting his match against Nate Diaz at UFC 202. In his statements, Conor had heaped praised on WWE legends such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, and Ric Flair, as well as company chairman Vince McMahon. But when it came to present-day Superstars, including John Cena, he was as dismissive as you can get.
“The rest are dweebs. What’s [sic] the main guy? John Cena. He’s 40, he’s 40 years of age. He’s walking around in a illuminous orange t-shirt and a headband talking about (how) no one can see him. We can see him right there, he’s a big, fat 40-year-old failed Mr. Olympia motherf—-r! They’re dweebs, those guys!”
Five months later, it’s not quite sure whether Conor McGregor feels the same way about WWE. But a report from The Sun suggests that the company had offered big money to Conor, only for the 28-year-old fighter to refuse the offer. Currently, McGregor is on hiatus from UFC, as he and his girlfriend, Dee Devlin, expect the birth of their first child later this year.
“WWE has made no secret of its desire to do something with Conor McGregor and there were talks between the two parties about this year,” said The Sun‘s source. “Because he’s taking time off from the UFC, there was a talk about doing something at this year’s WrestleMania (33) in April, but it wasn’t to be despite a hefty offer.”
Although Conor McGregor won’t be at WrestleMania 33 barring any follow-up deals, it’s hard to imagine WWE giving up on having the Notorious one show up for special appearances.
In November, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Paul “Triple H” Levesque attended UFC 205, and told U.K. publication The Telegraph that he’s impressed with McGregor’s potential on the mic and in the ring, and his ability to entertain audiences. And while Conor competes as a lightweight in UFC, Triple H said that size wouldn’t be an issue should he join WWE.
“What does he walk around at? 180 pounds? I have smaller guys now in the WWE. We have 200-pound guys who are stars. You don’t need to be 300 pounds anymore.”
Neither Conor McGregor, nor the WWE have commented on the matter as of this writing.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]