WWE News: Conor McGregor Referenced On SmackDown And We All Seemingly Missed It

This was SO under the radar!

BYJake Skudder
2023 NBA Finals - Game Four

The world of wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA) often intersect, with athletes from both sports showing mutual respect and admiration. A recent episode of WWE SmackDown featured a subtle nod to UFC megastar Conor McGregor, a detail that many viewers might have missed.

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Grayson Waller's Debut and the Conor McGregor Tribute

Conor McGregor Mike Perry BKFC
MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter Conor McGregor walks in the pit area after the qualifying session at the Monaco street circuit in Monaco, ahead of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, on May 28, 2022. (Photo by CHRISTIAN BRUNA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTIAN BRUNA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The reference came from Grayson Waller, a rising star in WWE who is also a massive MMA fan. Waller made his main roster debut in a match against Edge. Before the match, Waller struck a pose that was a clear tribute to McGregor’s stance during his fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 (via FightFans). This subtle tribute was a testament to Waller's admiration for McGregor and his impact on the world of combat sports.

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Waller's Rise in WWE

Waller's tribute to McGregor is just one of the many highlights of his burgeoning WWE career. Despite being new to the main roster, Waller has been involved in high-profile moments with top WWE stars. He has shared the ring with John Cena at Money in the Bank and hosted guests like Charlotte Flair and Logan Paul on his in-ring chat show. His rapid rise in WWE is a testament to his talent and charisma.

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Waller's Performance Against Edge referencing Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor Netflix documentary announced
(Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Waller’s in-ring debut against Edge was impressive, even in defeat. After the match, Edge acknowledged Waller’s performance by telling him “You swam,” referencing their earlier segment where Edge told Waller it was time for him to “sink or swim.” Waller’s performance has reportedly earned him high praise backstage, marking a successful transition to the main roster.

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Waller's Journey in WWE

Waller’s journey in WWE has been unique. Despite suffering a broken leg in his last match on NXT before moving up to the main roster, he continued to appear on WWE television. His resilience and dedication to his craft have not gone unnoticed. Waller's recent in-ring debut marks a significant milestone in his WWE career.

In conclusion, the subtle reference to Conor McGregor in WWE SmackDown is a testament to the influence of MMA on professional wrestling. As Grayson Waller continues to rise in WWE, fans can look forward to more exciting moments and tributes to the world of combat sports.

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About The Author
Jake is the SEO Content Lead for HotNewHipHop. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling, gaming and music across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy. His work has also been featured on GiveMeSport, Sportskeeda, Pro Sports Extra, Wrestling Headlines, NoobFeed, Wrestlingnewsco and Keen Gamer, again under the name Jake Jeremy. Previously, he worked as the Editor in Chief of 24Wrestling, building the site’s profile with a view to selling the domain, which was accomplished in 2019. As well as his work for HNHH, Jake is also the Editor in Chief for Fight Fans, a combat sports and pro wrestling site that was launched in January 2021 and broke into the millions of pageviews within the first two years. Jake also previously worked for the biggest independent wrestling company in the UK, PROGRESS Wrestling, as PR Head and Head of Media across the company's social channels. Jake's favourite Hip Hop artists are Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys and Body Count.