SK's Take on Vince McMahon permitting mention of UFC on RAW, WWE-UFC cross promotion
We believe that the WWE’s gradual change of stance—as regards referencing the UFC on its programming—is due to Brock Lesnar’s upcoming UFC fight.
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It’s indeed noteworthy that the mutual business benefits of cross-promotion between the WWE and UFC is a key factor that has led to WWE boss Vince McMahon softening his stance regarding on-screen references to the UFC.
It was on this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW that “The Big Dog” Roman Reigns cut a rather memorable promo against his SummerSlam opponent Brock Lesnar.
Reigns asserted that he aims to send Lesnar back to the UFC, not as “The Beast”, but as Roman Reigns’ “b***h”.
Reigns’ aforementioned promo has been receiving a considerable amount of praise from both fans and experts alike in the pro-wrestling community—with several fans pointing out how Reigns assertively spoke about the UFC as well as reigning UFC Light-Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Daniel “DC” Cormier during the promo.
Fans may recollect that although the WWE generally refrains from mentioning the names of rival pro-wrestling organizations or MMA promotions such as the UFC, around the time of Lesnar’s UFC 200 fight with Mark Hunt in 2016, the UFC matchup was referenced multiple times on RAW.
Accordingly, now that Lesnar is set to face Daniel Cormier for the latter’s Heavyweight title in the UFC early next year, WWE head honcho Vince McMahon seems to have permitted Roman Reigns to reference the UFC as well as Cormier on RAW.
Furthermore, on an edition of the Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer of The Observer explained WWE’s stance on Lesnar as he finishes up his final WWE appearances this month; stating—
“I think in their (WWE’s) minds he’s leaving. This is probably his last show…(Although) he may go and sign again (with WWE).”
“It was really set up that he’s going to be gone. I think that they are going on the impression that he’s gonna be gone soon enough. He’s going to UFC. They actually mentioned Daniel Cormier and UFC which to me means—knowing how Vince McMahon thinks—Paul Heyman must’ve pushed that.”
“Because that’s not something that WWE would do in normal circumstances.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Brock Lesnar is currently scheduled to defend his WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns at SummerSlam.
The WWE’s SummerSlam PPV is set to transpire at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on August 19th.
We believe that the WWE and UFC are indeed likely to continue referencing one another on their respective shows/events—leading up to the highly-anticipated fight between Lesnar and Cormier.
Fans can expect Cormier to defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship in a 5-Round bout against Brock Lesnar in January of 2019.
What are your thoughts on Vince McMahon’s strategy pertaining to the UFC, and the WWE-UFC cross-promotion? Sound off in the comments!