Wrestling Forum banner

41 - 59 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
Genuine question, I'm not commenting or debating their skill and ability.

WWE, and wrestling in general has a long-standing history of celebrity crossover. You've got Rodman, Leno, Tyson, Mayweather, Jackman, Trump, etc.

All major stars that I'd bet majority of wrestling fans have heard of. I'm not debating how good or bad their appearances were, or whether or not they should have been brought, just simply the fact you knew who they were.

Until their WWE apperance, I had never heard of Fury or Velasquez. I knew who Ronda Rousey was, I'm familiar with McGregor, Pacquiao etc. I'm not entirely oblivious to the MMA/Boxing world.

Anyways, my point being if I don't recognize these two guys, while I'm sure they're major in their sport, can't be that major in the mainstream.

So it perplexes why these guys are brought in to do main event things. Wrestling fans, unless you prove me wrong are not generally familiar with these guys. That lead to me tuning out of the Saudi PPV because I didn't give two fucks about seeing them compete, no interest at all.

So what's the point? Is it actually gaining much attention outside WWE and drawing boxing and MMA fans in?
What do they (and Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather before them, to name a couple) have in common?

They all have (or in the case of the latter two had) a proven track record of getting people to pay to see them perform. That’s something an actor like Mr. T or NBA star or Dennis Rodman (crossovers to wrestling past — or Trump or Jackman, etc.) did not have. These are people who might be able to get U.S. customers to subscribe to the Network or, in some countries, buy the big PPV.

Same appeal as Brock that way. And Rousey.

So it’s not that my mom knows who Cain is or the average Joe at Starbucks. It’s the demo of ‘people who have probably paid to see this guy before and might do so again.’

The idea isn’t ‘wrestling fans who already follow us and pay for our product will love having these ‘celebrities’ from other sports join the mix,’ it’s ‘these are people who could expand our paying customer base.

Seriously, who could you add to, say, WrestleMania that would move the needle with current WWE fans? Edge? Possibly he sparks a bit of interest but isn’t a game-changer. Batista again? Well that didn’t work. The Rock? Almost certainly, because he has nostalgia fans and crossover appeal. Cena at this point in the right match might actually garner new interest. But apart from The Rock, it’s all narrow and doesn’t actually stand to expose the product to new customers — a Fury could get some Brits who haven’t been fans to watch and they might like it. Cain could expand your Latino demo and draw some MMA crossover fans.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
Didn’t realise Fury wasn’t well known in the states. Alongside AJ he’s probably the biggest name in UK boxing right now so I would have expected him to be fairly known elsewhere,

I feel like most wrestling fans should have an idea who Cain was. If nothing else than from the match he had with Brock in UFC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,855 Posts
I'm sure American wrestling fans know who Cain Velasquez is simply because of his fight with Lesnar. UK wrestling fans most likely know of Tyson Fury because of how popular he is there. That doesn't me we'd care to see either of these two in the WWE, non-wrestling fans definitely don't care about seeing two real fighters fake fight in the WWE. I mean, Ronda is arguably more popular than both of these two combined and she did nothing to entice casuals to watch WWE and she was there for a whole year.
 

·
The Fastest of the Fastest of Jamaican Sprinters
Joined
·
3,487 Posts
Seriously, who could you add to, say, WrestleMania that would move the needle with current WWE fans? Edge? Possibly he sparks a bit of interest but isn’t a game-changer. Batista again? Well that didn’t work. The Rock? Almost certainly, because he has nostalgia fans and crossover appeal. Cena at this point in the right match might actually garner new interest. But apart from The Rock, it’s all narrow and doesn’t actually stand to expose the product to new customers
Very true - the list of options is rather short. Fury and Velasquez were both worth trying, though I don't think either can be considered a box office or mainstream media coverage success.

Didn’t realise Fury wasn’t well known in the states. Alongside AJ he’s probably the biggest name in UK boxing right now so I would have expected him to be fairly known elsewhere,

I feel like most wrestling fans should have an idea who Cain was. If nothing else than from the match he had with Brock in UFC.
I'm sure American wrestling fans know who Cain Velasquez is simply because of his fight with Lesnar.
Not really. Velasquez heard crickets when he debuted, and it wasn't because he had the body of an uncle coming off a Cinnabon bender. Nobody cared because nobody had a GD clue who he was. Before he debuted, I'd heard his name, but I couldn't have picked him out of a lineup. Same thing with Fury - most Americans have never heard of him because boxing is a super-niche sport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,806 Posts
Tyson Fury is pretty much a household name in the UK (unless your a Brit who avoids sports and does so by hiding under a rock)

Never had heard of Cain Velasquez before his WWE appearance but my UFC/MMA knowledge is extremely limited, I never even knew who Ronda was before WM31!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,198 Posts
I'm not into boxing or MMA, but I've heard of both guys. It's anecdotal, but I'd say that's a good indicator that these people live in the public sphere. It doesn't mean they are going to draw in wrestling, because wrestling is wrestling. Boxing/MMA fans might see it as legit stars doing fake acting on the side and not care. Wrestling fans can also get very protective and not bite for outside forces. But ideally, with the right presentation and booking, there's no reason both can't be huge assets to the WWE.

I wouldn't go huge out the gate with them, because that's how you get the hardcore fans offside and sabotaging things on telly. I'd have Fury in the Andre Battle Royal at Mania. Earn some stripes. Velasquez could be huge. I think the relationship with Rey is a good one. They could make a fun tag team on Raw or NXT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,525 Posts
Personally, I have not even heard Velasquez or Fury's names outside of WWE programming.

I don't like boxing and I'm not interested in MMA. I saw one UFC fight, many years ago, which one guy won by snapping the other guy's arm. That was enough for me. :)

So, when it comes to these two in WWE, all I have to go on is what Michael Cole has SCREAMED about them on commentary. And frankly, that hasn't made me interested at all.

Disclaimer - I haven't seen their WWE matches, as they were on one of the Saudi shows.

Edit: I'm a Brit that has never heard of Tyson Fury outside of WWE, so I guess I do fall into the "Living Under A Rock" category lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,939 Posts
Didn’t realise Fury wasn’t well known in the states. Alongside AJ he’s probably the biggest name in UK boxing right now so I would have expected him to be fairly known elsewhere,

I feel like most wrestling fans should have an idea who Cain was. If nothing else than from the match he had with Brock in UFC.
I feel like a lot of people are saying they didn’t know who Fury was just to be cool tbh, it’s pretty much impossible to have ‘no idea’ who he is.
 

·
Fearless University Graduate
Joined
·
14,967 Posts
Its amazing how many Wrestling fans claim they live under a rock. "Oh I'm not a Boxing/MMA fan so I dont know who they are."

Well I'm not a Tennis fan but I know who Serena Williams is. I'm not a Basketball fan but I know who Steph Curry is. I'm not an American Football fan but I know who Tom Brady is, etc.

In this day and age you actively have to go out of your way not to know who the biggest names in particular sports are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
I knew who Cain was very much. Even helped that he wrestled in AAA right before WWE, that opened my eyes up to him.

I honestly didnt know who Fury was. Just being honest.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
43,707 Posts
It doesn't matter if Wrestling fans know who they are.

It matters that casuals and non-fans do and the hope is that they can bring outside eyeballs to the product.

Full disclosure, I knew who Cain was and I've watched quite a few of his fights, including the bout with Lesnar where he beat him. I had heard of Tyson Fury, but I've never seen him fight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,122 Posts
Its amazing how many Wrestling fans claim they live under a rock. "Oh I'm not a Boxing/MMA fan so I dont know who they are."

Well I'm not a Tennis fan but I know who Serena Williams is. I'm not a Basketball fan but I know who Steph Curry is. I'm not an American Football fan but I know who Tom Brady is, etc.

In this day and age you actively have to go out of your way not to know who the biggest names in particular sports are.
Biggest names in mma are McGregor, Rousey, Lesnar, gsp and Jon Jones in order. I would imagine majority of wrestling fans know them. Velasquez would be on similar level to Cormier, JDS. Sure he beat Brock but that was 10 years ago and so did Overeem but it's extremely doubtful Overeem would generate any buzz in WWE. Velasquez did have strong Mexican following a decade ago which WWE might have been trying to lure back hence Mysterios push.

Fury wouldn't be big name to American fans. He would be miles behind likes of Mayweather or Pacquiao in name recognition. Even guys like Canelo would be far better known among US wrestling fans. Fury probably jumped as chance to appear on WWE tv and get free advertising in front of couple of million us wrestling fans that had never seen him before, open yourself to potential brand new fanbase. It's a very smart business move.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I’m going to say, in general, no. Before now, WWWF/WWF/WWE has done well bringing in athletes with mainstream name recognition - Ali, Buster Douglas, Tyson, William ”the fridge” Perry, Lawrence Taylor. You want some sizzle? Go work a deal with Conner McGregor, Khalil Mack, or Zion Williamson.
 
41 - 59 of 59 Posts
Top