WWE superstar CM Punk was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani yesterday to talk about some recent MMA/pro wrestling crossovers. Punk, who is an avid MMA fan and was actually scheduled to walk out with Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 before Vince McMahon pulled the plug on the deal, talked about Dave Bautista's MMA debut over the weekend and King Mo's chances at succeeding in both Bellator and TNA. He started off by doing a good job of explaining what Batista was trying to accomplish in MMA:
"It's definitely a bucket-list kind of thing," he said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I think it's awesome, too. Dave just wanted the experience. He wanted to fight even if it was just one time. It was something that he wanted to do. He loves it so he put his mind to it and did it, and I think that amazing. I don't think anybody can criticize that. He has no delusions of grandeur. He's not trying to get a big, fat UFC contract. He's not trying to coast on his name from the WWE. He's just fighting because he wanted to experience it."
He also addressed the people that put down Batista for trying to fight in the first place. Punk knows a thing or two about haters, and might currently be in trouble for legitimately punching an overzealous fan in the face last night at a live event (and for all of you that think it's BS, fake fans don't file real police reports):
"The haters, if you’re doing something right you’re going to get criticized. I don't think there's a whole lot of people who can do what Dave did, and those are the ones that are going to criticize him. To me, those are the funniest ones. They say funny stuff. They make the funniest comments and they’re fun to laugh at."
Finally, he talked about Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal's decision to join both Bellator and the pro wrestling organization TNA, and try to compete in both concurrently:
"It definitely is [a tall order]," Punk said. "Both jobs are full-time jobs. This is the evolution of our sport. MMA is so huge, and there's a lot of fighters that are fans of pro wrestling and there's also a whole lot of pro wrestlers who are huge MMA fans. This is just the next step. I think somebody was going to do it or try it eventually."
A lot of MMA fans are vehemently against pro wrestling, and that's their prerogative. But I believe that we will continue to see crossovers between the two along the lines of what Brock Lesnar has done, and it's something that people are just going to have to get used to.