History has once again been made within the WWE (and UFC for that matter), as news broke recently that Brock Lesnar would be competing at UFC 200. The WWE has confirmed that Lesnar is still under contract with them, however they are granting him permission to do this one-time UFC stint.
Brilliant move on the WWE and UFC for that matter. Lesnar is a huge draw, no matter where he competes; and win, lose, or draw, this UFC bout is sure to make the company a pretty penny, and help further expose other audiences to the WWE, and promote their brand. While there is always a chance Lesnar could get injured (heck, there’s always he a chance he could get injured within the squared circle when he competes), having it angled as a one-time thing; the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
As soon as I got over the initial shock when the news broke, my mind couldn’t help but immediately wander to Ronda Rousey.
Are the WWE playing nice with the UFC, in hopes that they will in turn allow Rousey to participate in a WWE match? While there was tremendous speculation running wild within pro wrestling circles post-WrestleMania 31, after her appearance with The Rock, they seemingly died down as time went on, and it became apparent that UFC President Dana White would not budge on Rousey’s contractual obligations to his organization.
But could this one-time stint with Lesnar change White’s tune? In fact, I will speculate one step further: did the WWE potentially say “yes” to a Lesnar UFC bout, with a stipulation that they may be able to use Rousey in a similar fashion, down the road? An “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” deal; except with talent, and promotion of brands.
Only time will tell. While WWE’s women’s wrestling is at an all-time high, a high-profile appearance or scheduled match with Ronda Rousey is more about further attracting mainstream audiences, rather than elevating the WWE’s women’s division. Sure, Rousey’s steam may have fizzled a tad since her first loss to Holly Holm in late 2015; she’s still a huge commodity within the industry, a hot UFC star – and certainly one loss cannot take away the incredible strides she’s made as a female, in a male-dominated sport. A win/loss record of 12-1 is nothing to snuff at.
I have a feeling the WWE still has its eyes on the prize, so to speak, and this won’t be the first WWE/UFC crossover that involves stars that are under contract.
At the end of the day, I guess we will have to wait and see …