UFC 100 on Saturday night if Brock Lesnar is victorious could mark the beginning of a new era; the formal convergence of mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.
Lesnar, a former three-time WWE champion, has emerged as the UFC's biggest star -- even though he only has four fights under his championship belt. The reason for his success is simple. Lesnar spent three years in the WWE as a top performer, making weekly television appearances, developing a character and a monstrous fan base.
And if we know anything about professional wrestling fans it is this: They are loyal, fanatical, and, most importantly, they buy pay-per-view events.
So it should come as no surprise that UFC President Dana White snatched up Lesnar and put him in a championship match after only three professional fights.
Make no mistake about it: When Lesnar enters the Octagon Saturday night to fight Frank Mir -- the same man who vanquished him more than a year ago, the WWE performers will be watching closely and wondering whether they can make the same successful transition into the UFC. They have to be salivating over the chance to wear UFC's very professional wrestling-looking title belt - but be a champion for real. And undoubtedly, White and the UFC are scouting potential professional wrestlers to enter cage.
Let's look at the possibilities.
Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle
A UFC battle between Brock Lesnar and Olympic Gold medalist and former WWE star Kurt Angle would undoubtedly shatter all pay-per-view records. Lesnar, NCAA star wrestler, and Angle have a quiet, simmering rivalry. The two put on some of the greatest matches in WWE history in the middle of the decade. Angle, who frequently talks of his desire to do an MMA event, would draw millions of professional wrestling fans to watch a UFC event.
Lesnar vs. John Cena
Cena's entire professional wrestling gimmick is built around being a real fighter. He specializes in submission holds. A former All-American college football player and bodybuilder, Cena is a legitimate athlete outside of the wrestling ring. Could he pull it off in the Octagon against Lesnar? A five-knuckle shuffle on the Lesnar in the Octagon?!
Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley recently left the WWE and is pursuing a career in mixed martial arts. Another amateur wrestling star, Lashley has shown enormous potential in his four MMA contests. A one-on-one match would be pay-per-view gold.
Lesnar vs. CM Punk.
Punk, another guy with a pseudo MMA gimmick, who uses submission Ju-Jitsu holds to beat his opponents, would make an incredible opponent for Lesnar. Punk, at age 30, has an amazing crowd following largely because he projects an aura of authenticity.
A side story to UFC 100 is the stunning way that the WWE missed the boat on Lesnar. A guy they let slip away is about to headline one of the biggest pay-per-view events in history -- and far surpass anything the WWE has done -- ever.
Not only is the UFC trouncing the WWE in the business of pay-per-view, now the UFC is doing it with the WWE's very own wrestlers. In the 1980s, the WWE's Vince McMahon built his company by luring top stars from smaller independent organizations. McMahon treated them better, paid them better, and gave them a national stage to perform on. But if McMahon is not careful, he could fall victim to the same poaching, but this time of his own stars. The day when two former WWE champions headline a UFC pay-per-view event surely can't be that far off.
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OCTOBER 30, 2014
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