WWE and UFC on the face of it may look very different, but they do have a lot of similarities as well.
One of those has developed for both companies over the years and that is the promo.
To hype up a match, competitors need to deliver a good promo to get fans excited to watch the bout. You could be a good wrestler in the WWE, but if you can’t deliver a good promo, you’ll lose out on a possible audience being invested in your match.
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WWE Hall of Famer Bret 'The Hitman' Hart knows all about delivering a good promo, and he had many during his time as an active wrestler. He compared pro wrestling promos to that of UFC in an interview with Duane Finley of FloCombat recently and said the MMA promotion does it better.
"I'll say it now, UFC does better pro wrestling than pro wrestling," Hart said. "The promos, the whole, [Jon] 'Bones' Jones and [Daniel] Cormier sitting in a chair. That's the gripping television that pro wrestling used to deliver."
Conor McGregor is one of the best fighters in the UFC. Not only that, but he could deliver a good promo as well, which fitted in well with his very outspoken personality.
He isn’t afraid to go above and beyond to promote himself and his fight, from extreme name calling, to even going as far as stealing the championship his opponent currently held during press conferences.
His influence has helped UFC reach the next level and move towards a global scale of coverage. He is one of the most talked about UFC fighters in history, and his shock ‘retirement’ announcement earlier this week showed just that. When he speaks, people listen.
It appears real-life or passionate promos tend to work the best when it comes to the WWE. In recent times, almost every fan remembers CM Punk’s ‘Pipebomb Promo’ from his feud with John Cena back in 2011. His passion helped elevate him to the next level within the WWE.
Likewise, Cena’s feud with The Rock less than a year later got very passionate and personal when the leader of the Cenation pointed out a ‘tattoo’ – which was actually notes for his promo – on The Great One’s arm. This kind of stuff has been what the WWE has lacked over recent times.
WWE and pro wrestling as a whole could learn a lot from UFC. Their fights and promos are real drama. Although WWE’s fights may already have the result predetermined and scripted, the promos can be real, and bring back the slow-build and drama to the occasion.
Slow-build and drama can help turn an ordinary pay-per-view into a must-see show, and it could certainly help WWE and pro wrestling promos create gripping television once more.