Something amazing happened at UFC 200. No, it wasn't Brock Lesnar's return. It wasn't the return of Anderson Silva. It was the awesome performance of Cain Velasquez.
We saw the WWE promoted on UFC television. That's right, the premiere combat sports company in the world joined forces with the No. 1 sports entertainment company in the world.
It's about time.
With Brock Lesnar under WWE contract, the UFC was forced to cut a cross-promotional deal where the UFC got Lesnar, and the WWE got UFC to promote its August PPV, SummerSlam. Mike Goldberg said Randy Orton's name on UFC television.The UFC showed a 30-second SummerSlam promo. Chuck Liddell even introduced the WWE2K17 video game.
It's a match made in heaven. And let's hope we see more. If the two sides let their guards down a bit the could work together and create something special for their sides. And with the confirmation recently of the UFC $4 billion sale, lots of opportunities could open up.
Here are some ideas for future WWE/UFC partnerships.
6. Better UFC Ring Entrances
No one does ring entrances like the WWE. Whether it's Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Ballor, or The New Day and The Wyatt Family, WWE ring entrances are just cool. There's no reason why UFC fighters couldn't enhance their ring entrances with some specialized music. It wouldn't take away from the authenticity of the promotion.
5. Share announcers
We love Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. We love Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo and all the WWE personalities. But occasionally it would be OK to break the mold and add a special guest commentator on Monday Night Raw or UFC on FOX, or a UFC PPV.
Let JBL show up alongside Rogan and Goldberg for a match. Bring Rogan over to guest announce on Raw. Blur the line. Both promotions would be stronger with occasional shared announcers.
4. Conor McGregor vs. Sheamus
Conor McGregor already knows how to cut a good promo. Sheamus, not so much. Sheamus and all the WWE wrestlers could learn from McGregor and his ability to sell a match. McGregor has figured out a way to sell a fight even after his loss. Even though Nate Diaz hammered him, McGregor still talked his way into a rematch. McGregor on WWE television would create instant heat -- and help for the WWE. The UFC would benefit from getting McGregor on national television and the WWE would benefit by bring a hot character onto television, giving a much-needed rub to one of its own characters.
3. Share rising talent
So everyone freaks out when CM Punk says he wants to fight in the Octagon. OK, fine. He's 38 years old, we get the skepticism. But the WWE is a virtual talent factory. They are grooming the next generation of WWE superstars in NXT. The WWE is teaching these guys how to become professional wrestlers. There's no reason why some of these guys shouldn't also be given the opportunity to fight in the UFC. Could Jason Jordan and Chad Gable fight in the UFC? What about someone like Finn Balor, who holds a black belt in submission wrestling? THe UFC might find much of its new talent with a partnership with the WWE.
2. Ronda Rousey
If you haven't watched WrestleMania 31 go sign up for the WWE Network. It was one of the greatest WrestleMania's of all time, not because Seth Rollins cashed in Money in the Bank and pinned Roman Reigns. It was because of a 30-minute segment featuring Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, The Rock and Ronda Rousey.
Rousey tore the house down, putting Stephanie in an armbar and then judo-throwing Triple H. The WWE should have immediately followed up on this, but the couldn't because the UFC wouldn't allow it. Lame. Both companies lost millions of dollars by not working together. If the WWE and the UFC worked together, Rousey could have appeared at Summerslam or next year's WrestleMania. This exposure only would have elevated Rousey in the UFC. Rousey should appear on Monday Night Raw every time the WWE is in Los Angeles. It's a no brainer.
Ronda was born to be in the WWE. It's just a matter of time before the crowd starts its "Ronda is gonna kill you" chant and Rousey is crowned the new WWE women's champion. The UFC should be a part of it.
1. John Cena
John Cena is the biggest star in sports entertainment. He is a walking goldmine. Forget The Rock, John Cena is potentially wrestling's biggest crossover star. He looks like a million dollars. He can rap. He can talk. He can act. He's probably good at scrabble.
Cena is everywhere, even hosting The Espys later this week. Cena, at 38, is probably too old to start a career in the UFC, but that doesn't mean he can't participate in something extraordinary. Cena as an on-camera analyst. Cena as guest commentator. Cena as a backstage analyst. Even Cena participating in some light Jiu-Jitsu training. Anything Cena does on camera is interesting. Cena can lift the UFC into the entertainment stratosphere, and the UFC would give Cena some legitimate credibility.
(Image courtesy mmaweekly.com)