Stephanie McMahon, the WWE’s chief brand officer told Business Insider last week that Brock Lesnar is in one of the most unique positions of any WWE star. Stephanie talked about Lesnar returning to the UFC octagon while still under contract with WWE.
Brock is a unique proposition, but just to get to the broader question: UFC is not a competitor to the WWE because we are entertainment and UFC is competitive sport. It’s very different. WWE is all about protagonists and antagonists where ultimately our conflicts are settled in the ring with action that is akin to Hollywood. It’s incredible stunt-like action and the match itself tells a story, but our audience is engaged in the characters and their storyline. It has to be relatable to them so that they care to see the tragedy or triumph and we’re at an advantage because we can script it.
McMahan also talked about why it’s so hard to create a star in the UFC and why it’s easier to create them under the WWE promotion.
UFC, they can make a big star but the second that person loses, they lose credibility, and how do you continue to make that star rise? So I think we have the best of both worlds and the opportunity to tell the stories in the way we want to tell them.
So why is the WWE allowed Lesnar to fight? Simple, the more WWE talent promote themselves outside of pro wrestling, the more eyes focus on the WWE platform down the line.
In Brock Lesnar’s case it was really a special case that we are allowing him to do this fight [against Mark Hunt on July 9]. But like you said it’s not really a cross-promotional opportunity, but we are allowing him to participate in that fight.
We are not supporting the fight necessarily but, again, it’s not a competitor to us and the more that our superstars, that’s how we refer to our talent, the more they do outside of WWE, the more awareness it generates and the broader the audience can be that is then brought back into our properties. So we recognize the value of that.
UFC 200 takes place on July 9th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt will feature as the co-main event on the night.
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