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Lots of random thoughts and opinions...
Brock Lesnar's loss to Cain Velásquez wasn't a shocker to some MMA aficionados even though those that read our blogs know that I am and always will be a 'Lesnar guy' and wanted the former WWE Champion to continue to win inside the Octagon. I wrote on numerous occasions that I was concerned with Lesnar's striking defense and, unfortunately, that matter manifested itself Saturday night in Anaheim. Nonetheless I predicted a Lesnar victory and I was wrong.
When talking about Brock's stand up, striking defense, I am in no way taking any thing away from Velásquez's performance. Cain's preparation for Brock is a credit to Cain's camp and to the new UFC Heavyweight Champion himself. Their game plan was immaculate and will likely be a road map as to how future Lesnar opponents will attack the powerhouse wrestler.
Brock Lesnar will be 'game planned' by future opponents as a monster wrestler who can ground and pound his way to victory over any human being if he can navigate his adversaries to the Octagon canvas. However, many feel that Brock is also a man who has suspect, defensive, striking skills. The 4 ounce gloves, made by my pal Mike Dillard's Century Martial Arts company, are extremely unforgiving.
The Brock Lesnar that I know will throughly examine what he needs to work on and no one will work harder to improve than the former NCAA Wrestling Champion and Minnesota All American. The UFC has big money to still be made with Lesnar as Brock on the 'comeback trail' is a potentially compelling storyline that's real, organic and easy to document. For any promotion, it's good to know that one has a marketable main event in their back pocket when the time is right with a re-grouped Brock Lesnar.
One point that should be made is that Brock will continue to get better at MMA as Lesnar is still relatively inexperienced inside the Octagon. Keep in mind that Brock didn't get really serious about MMA training until 2007 so here's an athlete who is still learning, evolving, and growing as a mixed martial artist.
With that said, the better man won on Saturday night in Anaheim. With Velásquez's victory and Lesnar's pending return, the UFC and their fans are the winners as UFC's heavyweight division got stronger from a promotional standpoint.
Velásquez is indeed special. The proficient, mat wrestling skills that Cain possesses are significant but what impressed me the most, aside from him being a cardiovascular machine, is the Mexican star's punching prowess and particularly the accuracy with which his strikes land.
The UFC did an astute marketing job in pushing Velásquez's heritage. The UFC, contrary to what some uninformed critics and those devoid of promotional skills have said, did not create Cain's heritage but merely underscored it. Velásquez had an impassioned, emotional rallying cry in representing his people, in particular, which , as sport's fans have seen on numerous occasions, can lead an individual or team to significant successes.
Just think of the Olympics and what winning a medal means to a country, what winning in the World Cup of Soccer means to countless people, or even college football rivalries such as Oklahoma vs. Texas and one can easily see how heritage and the commitment an athlete has to their heritage or traditions can not only motivate a fighter to fight but can also motivate fans/consumers to invest in the process.
Velásquez will wrap his powerful arms around his Mexican heritage while non Hispanic fans of MMA will also attempt to squeeze into the group hug and the new Heavyweight Champion will, undoubtedly, welcome them all.
The buzz created by the seemingly impromptu 'confrontation,' and I use that term loosely, after the UFC event between the Undertaker and Lesnar seems to be subsiding. I do not know conclusively what actually occurred in those few seconds but one might ask, were the two, former business associates merely 'fishing' for a response? If so, the response from the WWE fan base, in particular, was significant.
What then does that mean? I suspect that it means nothing as it relates to a future 'dream bout' between the WWE's most prolific, active superstar, who has never lost at a Wrestlemania event, and the man formerly known in WWE as 'The Next Big Thing.'
Could a one time, re-entry into the world of sports/entertainment be a lucrative move for Lesnar? Of course it could. Not only for the cash that he would earn for his Wrestlemania performance but also, potentially, for other ancillary income such as licensing, merchandise, and overall promotion of the Lesnar brand including Lesnar's biography which comes out sometime in 2011.
As I have said from the get go since hearing of the Undertaker-Lesnar matter, Brock is a UFC talent and one would assume that legally Brock could not take a WWE offer even if he wanted to. Secondly, Brock knows that his immediate future in UFC is bright and continues to be a lucrative business venture for him that does not require him to travel to any significant degree and allows Brock to live the quality of life that he desires.
Reportedly, Lesnar got a $400K guarantee for the Velásquez fight but with PPV bonus money added in, assuming that the event did north of 1M buys, some speculate that Brock might earn approximately $3M for the Velásquez fight. That doesn't include separate marketing deals Lesnar has with his sponsors.
Without question an Undertaker-Lesnar meeting at a future Wrestlemania event would be a winner and as a WWE fan I would love to see it someday but I simply don't feel that it will happen any time soon.
I had a nice visit with Vickie Guerrero, who has lost over 30 pounds BTW, in Minneapolis Sunday about her daughter Shaul starting soon with WWE in Florida Championship Wrestling. Like any Mom, Vickie is anxious to see how this matter works out with her oldest daughter leaving El Paso and moving to Tampa. Who wouldn't be? Vickie will find herself in the unique position of being the wife of a wrestler, the late, great Eddie Guerrero, an active performer and now the Mom of a potential WWE performer. Vickie is very supportive of her daughter's dream to become involved in the 'family business.' I hope that Shaul will continue to take college courses on line which is extremely important for many reasons not the least of which is that the 20 year old beauty is an excellent student. Nothing is more powerful than education and I think that it would be tremendous some day if WWE strongly suggested that anyone seeking a career in a WWE ring have a college degree.
As I recall, HBK's new, TV show will debut on the Outdoor Life network on Tuesday nights in the fall of 2011. Shawn is shooting episodes of the unique, hunting show now and will even be hunting alligators in Florida later this year.
Emailer...Absolutely 'yes' when asked if a TV wrestling show can be successful having a PG rating. Going low road, featuring risqué, non family friendly segments, and blood for blood's sake isn't the magic formula. Telling great stories via well thought out storylines featuring persona's/stars that the fans have emotionally invested in are more significant in a TV show being compelling and successful than the show's TV rating.
Good to see the return of the King of the Ring which will be the apparent focus of an upcoming, 3 hour Monday Night Raw. The concept will apparently start and end on one night which sets the premise for the night and then will deliver the pay off with the crowing of a King of the Ring. At least that is my uninformed impression.
The first King of the Ring PPV that I ever broadcast was in 1993 and won by Bret Hart who then had a post match confrontation with The King while Mean Gene Okerlund looked on. That's three WWE Hall of Fame talents involved in the process which subsequently produced some compelling and entertaining TV moments.
The Q&A section of the site has been updated as of Wednesday evening.
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