Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Crossover Superstars Give WWE a Boost

Crossover Superstars Give WWE a Boost
When Brock Lesnar made an appearance with the WWE in 2012, it created quite a stir within the wrestling community. Here was a legitimate world champion superstar from the MMA community crossing over into another world to claim another championship, the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Heavyweight Championship. For those who don’t recall, Lesnar first joined the WWE in 2000 when the organization ran under the name World Wrestling Federation. After claiming his first WWE championship in 2002, he left to give pro football a try only to end up as an MMA fighter of note.

With his return to the WWE in 2012, he served as sort of a trailblazer. His presence in the WWE gave the sport a newfound credibility, something the sport needed as the naysayers were getting vocal. The idea that other MMA stars and professional boxers would soon follow suit seemed as unlikely as online sports betting California options seeing the light of day. This was just the beginning.

Enter Ronda Rousey

In 2018, MMA female superstar Ronda Rousey shocked both MMA and WWE fans when she retired from MMA fighting and took on a contract as a WWE feature star. The impact she had on women’s pro wrestling was immediate. Prior to her first match at WrestleMania 34, women’s pro wrestling lingered in the shadows of the men’s division. Enter Rousey and the wrestling world went crazy. It didn’t take long before her name sat at the top of wrestling marquees all over the world.

Enter Cain Velasquez

For those with short memories, it was Cain Velasquez who put a terrible beating on Lesnar inside the Octagon back in 2010 to capture the UFC Heavyweight Title. At the time of Velasquez's victory, many experts thought Lesnar was invincible. After the beating, Lesnar took leave from MMA fighting to reassess his future and eventually migrated back to the WWE.

One could only imagine Lesnar's shock when Velasquez appeared this month at one of Lesnar's championship matches with none other than Rey Mysterio. Indeed, the WWE's signing of Velasquez to a contract electrified fans who do remember what happened in 2010. It's noteworthy that Velasquez will now try to take the WWE Title from Lesnar at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on October 31.

Enter Tyson Fury

When heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury began showing up at ringside during a couple of recent major WWE events, the speculation went off the charts. With his athleticism and rugged boyish charm, there is little doubt Fury was made for the WWE. He even has the name. This is one that could stick for a long time.

Before anyone gets too excited, Fury is far from done with his boxing career. Should Deontay Wilder successfully defend his WBC Heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz in November, Fury will get his shot to reclaim that title next February. In the meantime, it looks like Fury will be doing a little moonlighting as he is scheduled to take on Braun Strowman at WWE Crown Jewel on October 31 from Saudi Arabia. This will be his first major WWE encounter.

And who will be next?