On a recent edition of the “Strictly Business” podcast, Eric Bischoff discussed the UFC-WWE merger into the TKO Holdings Group, a possible crossover between athletes of the two brands, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On potentially WWE and UFC packaging media rights fees together: “Every time this subject has come up over the last ten years, I’ve been consistent in saying that while there’s, I guess, some psychographic or — demographic and probably psychographic parallels between an MMA audience and a professional wrestling audience meaning that they like action, they like physicality, obviously the live event experience. But they’re not even apples and oranges, they’re apples and bricks. And some of that is the culture of the sport. You know, one of the things that I think UFC has done so amazingly well over the last 10 or 15 years, and it probably really started with the Gracies and really introducing and showcasing jiu jitsu as such a powerful dynamic or element within UFC. Along with that comes an education. You’re teaching people about the sport. They’re interested in the sport, they come, they want to watch guys beat the s**t out of each other. Kind of what started out as a no-holds-barred kind of an event.
“But it has evolved into a pretty sophisticated audience that knows their MMA. And I think to try to pull them out of that cultural mindset and plug them into fantasy sport, that’s where the resistance is going to be. You’re asking them to kind of give up what they find most appealing in many respects about UFC, because the audience has learned about MMA with the success of UFC. You know, people know now what a rear naked choke is. They know some of the moves and they appreciate MMA much different than they would have 15 years ago. Because UFC has educated them along the way. And I think that’s where you’re going to run into a cultural divide is, ‘Forget everything about this thing that we do over here that you can bet on and it’s an actual sport, and come on over here and enjoy this too.’”
On crossover between WWE and UFC fans: “It’s two different things, and I just don’t think it’s going to be as easy as people assume it would be because, ‘Hey, it’s a ring. It’s guys beating each other up in a way.’ It’s the pageantry. You know, Dana White may not like the over-the-top WWE-ish entrances. He certainly doesn’t mind the smacktalk.”
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The Potential Merger of UFC and WWE: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities
In recent years, there has been speculation about a potential merger between the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This idea has sparked discussions among fans and industry experts alike, with many wondering what such a partnership could mean for both organizations. Eric Bischoff, a prominent figure in the wrestling industry, recently shared his thoughts on the matter during an episode of the “Strictly Business” podcast.
Bischoff acknowledged that there are certain similarities between the audiences of MMA and professional wrestling. Both fan bases appreciate action, physicality, and the live event experience. However, he also emphasized that the two sports are fundamentally different. While UFC focuses on real combat sports, WWE is known for its scripted entertainment and theatrical performances.
One of the main challenges in merging these two entities lies in the cultural differences between them. UFC has successfully educated its audience about mixed martial arts over the years, making them knowledgeable and invested in the sport. Asking these fans to transition to the scripted world of professional wrestling may prove difficult, as it would require them to abandon what they find most appealing about UFC.
Bischoff highlighted the importance of UFC’s introduction and promotion of jiu-jitsu as a powerful element within the sport. This educational aspect has played a significant role in shaping the audience’s understanding and appreciation of MMA. The challenge lies in convincing these fans to embrace the fantasy elements of professional wrestling while still maintaining their interest in the authenticity of UFC.
Furthermore, Bischoff pointed out that there are distinct differences in the presentation and style of both organizations. While UFC may not favor WWE’s over-the-top entrances, it does not shy away from the trash-talking aspect that is prevalent in professional wrestling. These differences in approach and presentation further highlight the challenges that would arise from a potential merger.
Despite these obstacles, a UFC-WWE merger could also present exciting opportunities. Combining the star power and crossover appeal of athletes from both organizations could create a unique and compelling product. The potential for dream matches and crossover events could attract a broader audience and generate significant interest in the combat sports industry.
However, it is essential to consider the potential backlash from loyal fans of each organization. Both UFC and WWE have built strong and dedicated fan bases over the years, and any drastic changes or compromises made during a merger could alienate these fans. Striking the right balance between the two worlds would be crucial to ensure the success of such a venture.
In conclusion, while the idea of a UFC-WWE merger may seem intriguing, it is important to recognize the challenges and complexities involved. The cultural differences, audience expectations, and presentation styles of both organizations pose significant obstacles. However, if approached with careful consideration and strategic planning, a merger could potentially create a groundbreaking and captivating product that appeals to a wide range of combat sports enthusiasts. Only time will tell if these two giants of the industry will ever join forces and redefine the world of combat sports.