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Triple H does not see the UFC as a competitor: WWE is 'like the movie Rocky'

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WWE wrestler turned executive Paul Levesque aka Triple H explains why he doesn't consider the UFC and WWE to be competitors.

Michael N. Todaro

It shouldn't be a surprise by now: Triple H is not much of a fan of the UFC.

Regardless, the WWE wrestler turned executive took the time of divulge into the details as to why he does not see the top MMA promotion as a competitive threat. When contrasting the two categories of entertainment in a "fireside chat" with senior business analyst Laura Martin at the Needham Interconnect Conference for investors in New York City, HHH referred to wrestling as movie-like, while the UFC was sporting drama that culminates with the conclusion of the bout.

"They aren't really a competitor to us and I explain this to our talent this way in the Performance Center and every time I say it people will say to me oh, that made it very clear for me: people like UFC, they like boxing, but it's completely different from what we are.

"We are like the movie Rocky. We're a story. We're a great story that just happens to take place sometimes in the wrestling ring, so if you think about us less of Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match which you'll watch one time and on pay-per-view and then once that fight's over it's kind of done, you know, and you're really not going to go back and watch it a bunch of times unless you're a connoisseur of boxing science, you're gonna watch it one time. But Rocky the movie you will watch over and over and over again. It's the story, it's the characters. Boxing is irrelevant to the movie really. It's a triumph story, it's a love story, it's all those things and that's what we do.

For Levesque, the key difference is in the basic structure. The UFC is looking for the top athletes in the sport, while the WWE attempts to create stars through carefully planned storylines.

"We create characters that you gravitate towards, that you connect with, that you passionately engage with, you believe in on a visceral level, whether you hate them or love them. We put them in unique storylines with creative passions and good guys and bad guys and the drama and sometimes love throws."

Triple HHH also suggested that it is those elongated storylines that made fans go back and rewatch decade old matches - something he does not believe is the case with the UFC.

"We were married and divorced once on TV long before we did it for real, you know? It was a dry run, that's why it works so well, we got it out of our system. You know, you have all those components, but that's what makes us so successful and at the end of the day that's what makes the Network successful because while a sport, who is gonna go back to watch the Superbowl from '84? Yeah, right, unless you're a massive technical football fan! Or who's gonna go back and watch boxing from five years ago, you're not, or UFC, it's the same thing, it's the same component.

"But our product is evergreen, because its the characters and the stories that you engage in, that's what makes a passionate fan of the WWE and it's lifelong, because even if you move away from it, even if you become a lapsed fan, you get out of college, you don't have a lot of free time anymore, you get a job, you have kids, you do all those things, and now all of a sudden your kids start to watch, and you get on the Network and you start to watch the Attitude Era or the '80s, that Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior that you watched when you were a kid and all that emotion comes flooding back to you and it's something that you don't put down, that you don't walk away from, it's always there and it's very easy to get hooked back into it to watch it again"

Transcription taken from CageSideSeats.