Of all the reasons that Conor McGregor would retire from the UFC, by far the most intoxicating is the wild notion that McGregor had been poached by Vince McMahon and was going to embark on a career smashing chairs over the backs of likes of Roman Reigns, the Honky Tonk Man and Jake 'the Snake' Roberts. We call this 'The Reverse CM Punk' theory. Admittedly this is based on nothing bar few follows on Twitter and a Jimmy 'Mouth of the South' post by John Kavanagh but there is something so beautiful about the thought of McGregor bringing his charisma to the squared circle, we're ready to suspend disbelief for as long as possible.
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) April 20, 2016
A cousin of this conspriacy theory is the theory that McGregor and McMahon are going to launch a rival MMA promotion company that would do to the fight game what Bill Simmons has done to digital sports journalism.
Yesterday, Canada's Ariel Helwani, the Dana Whisperer, took a phonecall from David Shoemaker, aka the The Masked Man, on the Channel 33 pod network. Given Shoemaker's roots in the wrestling community, the 'reverse CM Punk' theory would inevitably be broached. Helwani was clear: McGregor would not be joining the WWE.
"He can't go to WWE. He has a contract. That's not going to happen. Just because you say 'I'm out' doesn't make you a free agent...That would be a fun scenario. But that's not happening, him going to WWE. And neither is him versus Dana White "
Shoemaker had floated the idea that according to wrestling logic, McGregor's next fight would have to be against White himself, the CEO who screwed him and tried to make him do promos when his heart was burdened with grief. Helwani reminded Shoemaker that the UFC had previously dabbled with the idea of putting White in the Octagon - against Tito Perez - only for Perez to duck the fight.
Helwani though made it clear that McGregor does have a great affinity with the pro wrestling world.
"Conor had talked in his early days about watching The Rock's promos and watching Stone Cold's promos. There was a time before UFC 178 - this was before his fight against Dustin Poirier - when he was walking down the hotel hallway and he was doing the Vince McMahon billionaire strut and he was calling it the billionaire strut.
In an interview with Balls.ie Cavan bureau chief Mark Farrelly in 2013, McGregor imagined a hypothetical fight between himself and Sheamus and talked about working on a film with Sheamus.