Was Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton WWE's Response to Conor McGregor's Comments?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2016

Lesnar wins at SummerSlam
Lesnar wins at SummerSlamcredit: wwe.com

Brock Lesnar's complete destruction of Randy Orton at WWE SummerSlam has the fans talking, and with good reason. It was a typical Lesnar match that suddenly took a brutal turn, and now Orton has 10 staples in his head.

Many fans believed Randy had a shot at taking Lesnar down, and they could not have been more wrong. But what was the reason for the savage beating Randy received in a match that should have seen him be much more competitive?

Could this have anything to do with Conor McGregor?

Perhaps just the suggestion of this idea does nothing but give McGregor even more publicity, which is not something his critics care to see. But the timing of Lesnar's attack following Conor's recent comments is suspect at best.

Considering WWE and UFC are two different companies generating two different products, it's a wonder that this kind of thing keeps happening.

There has always been heat between the two for some odd reason, and every time it dies down, something heats it right up again. But this time, it was more than just a few offhand criticisms. This was a major fighter blasting WWE for apparently no good reason, other than just to hear himself talk.

McGregor questioned the toughness of WWE's Superstars, which is a blatant declaration of ignorance on the business. Pro wrestlers may not be trying to wreck each other physically, but the work they do in the ring takes a definite toll on their bodies. 

Brock may have answered Conor's comments recently, but if anyone in WWE's locker room can testify to the physicality of the business, it's Daniel Bryan. (Note: The following video contains some NSFW language.)

If WWE was a non-contact sport or even a legitimately competitive sport to begin with, perhaps Bryan's career would have lasted much longer. But repeated concussions, wear and tear, as well as the punishing impacts his body has withstood over the years, have equaled an early retirement.

But Daniel did not have to retire because his opponents purposely hurt him in an effort to win matches. Bryan's opponents tried to protect him, as he tried to protect them. This does not mean there's no physical toll involved, and McGregor doesn't seem to understand that.

Yet his comments turned the wrestling world upside down nevertheless.

Many saw right through his attitude and realized he was just trying to hype himself again. Conor is excellent at selling himself; he's nothing if not a showman. But others immediately began to wonder why he would call out the employees of a company that is not centered in legitimate combat sports.

Brock opens up on Orton
Brock opens up on Ortoncredit: wwe.com

For that matter, why would those employees even care?

But is it possible that WWE cared so much that Brock Lesnar had to go out and prove his manhood against Randy Orton? Orton surely knew the elbows were coming from Lesnar; otherwise he likely would have gotten in Brock's face and broken kayfabe with the world watching.

Instead, he took it all like a man and bled all over the mat as Brock kept attacking him after the fact. Was this a statement of toughness by WWE? Was it so important to assert the Superstars' true grit that Orton had to get 10 staples in his head? If so, where will it end?

What happens when Conor, or another MMA fighter, criticizes WWE again? Will Brock break someone's arm next time? Will he deliver the F5 time after time until a guy can't get up anymore? Does all of this sound ridiculous?

Ridiculous is what fans witnessed at SummerSlam.

Randy is a pro, and he has been beaten down before. He will heal, and hopefully he will be fine. The fact that he would be OK with protecting the business and standing up for his peers to this degree is admirable. The issue is not whether he was tough enough for this; that notion brought all of this on to begin with.

The issue is why did it even have to happen in the first place?

Brock's reputation as an unstoppable monster is once again solidified, and without question. But it was without question the night before SummerSlam as well. He had lost no momentum and had no need to remind fans of who he is and what he's capable of.

But if the narrative among non-fans has changed in a positive manner for WWE at all after this match, then it's mission accomplished. Apparently, it was more important to flex rather than to just focus on business. UFC and its fighters should have no impact on WWE, but this incident forces fans to question why SummerSlam ended the way it did.

There was no need for it, other than to prove a point, and that point didn't need to be proved at all.

 

Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here