For a company that is always looking to make a splash by integrating celebrities into their biggest show of the year, WrestleMania 33 is noticeably absent any famous names from outside the wrestling industry.
For practically an entire year there was the plan to promote a match between The Big Show and Shaquille O’Neal, but that clash of titans fell apart for conflicting reasons.
After Brock Lesnar’s shocking inclusion at UFC 200 where he stomped out perennial heavyweight contender Mark Hunt then subsequently popped for a banned substance, the word making the rounds was that in exchange for Brock, the UFC would reciprocate by loaning one of their big stars to WWE.
The initial rumor was that person would be Paige Van Zant, who, despite being an average competitor inside the cage is one of the more well-known members of the UFC roster thanks to her aesthetics and star-making appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
Speculation was that PVZ would take part in SummerSlam, but when that didn’t happen there were really only two options left that made sense and could be considered fair trade for Lesnar:
Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.
Ronda’s return to the octagon ended with her being beaten like a human heavy bag by Amanda Nunes, and the embarrassing defeat coupled with her inability to tackle anything resembling adversity without falling off the deep end has driven a stake through the heart of her drawing power.
That left McGregor, and as far as "Notorious" goes, WWE has made no secret that they’d love to work with the brash Irish fighter, currently in the midst of a financial game of chicken with the new owners of the UFC.
His apparent unwillingness to defend either title he's won even caused some people to draw the absurd conclusion that he’d walk away from MMA to join the world of sports entertainment. This, of course ignores how harshly critical he’s been of both the industry and its participants, although when it comes to the UFC lightweight champion if he’s speaking, he’s working. Take everything he says with a grain of salt.
Now word is spreading that the two parties attempted to work something out for an appearance at WrestleMania 33 but were unable to agree on the financial terms.
Conor is currently focused on a mega-money fight against boxing icon Floyd Mayweather and probably viewed WrestleMania as an unnecessary speed bump on his road to such a massive payday.
With the type of earning potential the Mayweather "boxer vs. MMA fighter" match-up brings (we're talking mid-eight figures per competitor), WWE’s compensation for a Mania cameo would be a mere pittance by comparison.