There had been a significant buzz surrounding the possibility of UFC superstar Conor McGregor appearing for the WWE on their grand stage of WrestleMania this coming April. McGregor has been anointed the most popular combat athlete on the planet, cementing that by defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November to become the sport’s first-ever dual champion.
In attendance for Conor McGregor’s match against Eddie Alvarez and the rest of that evening’s card in New York City was none other than Triple H. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, The Game spoke to the media before that event and caught everyone’s attention with his response to a question wondering whether Conor McGregor could find a home in the WWE.
“He could come over, he’s got it all, man – he’s got the personality, the skills, the talk. He’s an entertainer, for sure…what does he walk around at? 180lbs? I have smaller guys now in the WWE. We have 200lb guys who are stars. You don’t need to be 300lbs any more.”
At the time, Triple H was making comparisons between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, as far as how successful stars from different sports could be in the squared circle. As has been pointed out towards the end of November by the Inquisitr, the WWE reportedly paid Mayweather $20 million for his WrestleMania 24 program with The Big Show.
It had been assumed that that type of money would have enticed Conor McGregor, who has been making just north of $10 million for his recent fights, while brazenly claiming it should be closer to $40 million. That $20 million payday Mayweather earned nine years ago is in the neighborhood of UFC President Dana White’s recent unofficial offer to both Mayweather and McGregor who have been teasing a showdown for almost a year.
That buzz and speculation recently became a reality, at least from the WWE’s perspective. Wrestling Inc is reporting that the company took the plunge and made an offer to Conor McGregor to appear at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando this coming April. It’s unclear what the financial terms of the offer were, but ultimately, McGregor’s camp turned down the proposition. A source close to the situation provided further information on the decision.
“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. Because he’s taking time off from the UFC, there was talk about doing something at this year’s Wrestlemania in April, but it wasn’t to be despite a hefty offer.”
We previously noted that McGregor’s schedule would have allowed for a WrestleMania appearance as the earliest he was planning on returning to the Octagon would have been May. The WWE was willing to pay Conor handsomely for an angle that most likely would not have even included a match, like in Mayweather’s case. However, the company was certainly willing to place him in a high-profile segment, one that was originally pitched to be along with Triple H.
If you recall, Hunter was double-booked for WrestleMania 31, where he faced Sting in a singles match, and then later on in the evening, he was involved in a memorable segment with his wife, Stephanie, The Rock, and another popular UFC name, Ronda Rousey. Triple H was willing to do the same this year, as he’s been locked in to a bout with Seth Rollins for some time and then would have returned to the ring for whatever they might have had planned for Conor McGregor.
That’s all moot now with this rather shocking development that McGregor has turned down the opportunity to appear at WrestleMania. It’s unclear whether he is focusing on his next UFC fight or the cross-sport extravaganza with Mayweather. Regardless, fans won’t get to witness a cocky strut-off between Conor and Vince McMahon that many were hoping for.
And now we’ll have to see if the WWE amps up their efforts to lure Ronda Rousey back to their grand stage. Unlike Conor McGregor, Rousey lost her last UFC fight, but that hasn’t stopped the WWE from bringing in high-profile stars from other sports before. As of now, the only other big-name star from a different sport scheduled for WrestleMania is Shaquille O’Neal. We’ll certainly be monitoring any other developments on that front.
[Featured Image by Julio Cortez/AP Images]