There have been rumors of WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC and last night’s UFC 226 event all but confirmed the third coming of the Beast.
Lesnar was cageside for the main event bout between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and UFC Heavyweight title holder Stipe Miocic. After Cormier knocked out Miocic in the first round to win the heavyweight title – and become the second fighter in history to hold world titles in two weight divisions – he challenged Lesnar. Not one to resist a callout, Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, entered the cage and shoved the new champion.
Take your pick ⬇️ #UFC226
— UFC (@ufc) July 8, 2018
According to reports, the United States Anti-Doping Administration confirmed Lesnar is back in the drug testing pool. There is speculation he will face Cormier at UFC 230, which is slated for Madison Square Garden on Nov. 3. Keep in mind fight fans, the fight isn’t official until the UFC confirms the date and the fight.
Even the WWE has gotten in the Lesnar-Cormier fight hype. Shortly after UFC 226, WWE published a news brief about Lesnar’s appearance and confrontation with Cormier at the event. The article even included the photo Lesnar took with White during the Elimination Chamber event weekend.
White also confirmed that Lesnar’s current WWE deal allows him to fight for the UFC. Lesnar training for a UFC bout would explain why he isn’t making many appearances on WWE TV, and how he is still holding the Universal title. Although WWE is scripted, having him drop the belt might his hurt his stock in the eyes of the UFC.
WWE and UFC are competing brands who promote different products, but it’s not much of a surprise to see them hyping the potential showdown between Cormier and Lesnar. When Lesnar made his first return to the UFC in 2016, WWE promoted his UFC 200 bout with Mark Hunt while UFC showed advertisements of the Beast’s Summerslam match with Randy Orton.
It’s not just Lesnar’s WWE matches the UFC has promoted. The company has lightly promoted Ronda Rousey’s WWE run and have aired ads for WWE 2K18 video game on pay per view events. As someone who has watched professional wrestling and mixed martial arts for a long time, it’s kind of mind blowing seeing WWE and UFC cooperate, especially given the animosity between the wrestling and MMA communities.
Given their personas, the build for Lesnar-Cormier could be great. Fans should expect WWE and UFC to co-promote Lesnar-Cormier and if the companies put forth the effort, there could be different narratives to play with.
One potential storyline is a revenge angle. Lesnar is going after Cormier because he is the heavyweight champion, but DC is also the training partner and friend of Cain Velasquez, the man who took the UFC belt from Lesnar in 2010.
Cormier could go for the obvious and bring up Lesnar’s failed drug test that resulted in his win against Hunt being overturned. DC is no stranger to having his fight resume affected because of failed drug tests. He was scheduled to defend the Light Heavyweight title against Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 200, but the fight was scrapped after the latter’s doping violation. Cormier would later face and drop the title to Jones at UFC 214, but Bones would be stripped of the belt after he tested positive for Turbinol. Cormier would be reinstated as Light Heavyweight champion.
There’s the possibility of Cormier showing up on WWE TV to call out Lesnar. Cormier is a wrestling fan. Given the potential of how much money this fight could make, it’s likely fans would see him on RAW and at WWE events to promote the feud and get in Lesnar’s face.
The idea of an MMA fighter not signed with WWE being on RAW might irritate fans who don’t like seeing “part-timers” receive a spotlight, but once they see how much Cormier loves the wrestling business, they will welcome him into the fold.
One way to have Cormier on WWE programming is to have him appear at Summerslam. There is speculation Lesnar will defend the Universal title against Roman Reigns – but other names have been kicked around, including Seth Rollins.
Having Cormier appear at Summerslam to cost Lesnar the title, or corner Rollins would receive a big ovation. It would also be organic since Cormier has referred to Rollins as one of his favorite wrestlers. There is a video of Cormier cheering when Rollins won the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 31.
WWE fans can criticize Lesnar for his schedule, his lackluster matches and recent booking, but he is a draw – and his fight with Cormier could be one of the biggest MMA bouts in years. Folks might be irritated because Lesnar is competing in UFC and not in WWE, but his presence in MMA will bring more eyes to the product, which will benefit both companies and their performers.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? February 4, 2019
For Raw, the whole back and forth rivalry between Jeff Jarrett and Elias was entertaining. What started at the Royal Rumble and has carried over for the past few weeks, seeing Elias and Jarrett exchange guitar shots had a throwback feel to it. Along with that, Road Dogg being in the corner of Jarrett really brought times back. Lastly, Elias ended up winning the match, which helps give him momentum going into whoever his next rival will be.
For Smackdown, Mustafa Ali and Randy Orton put on the best match during their show this week. Ali’s high flying against Randy Orton’s slow attacking pace was a great matchup of styles and it showed. Orton ended up winning after hitting an RKO from the top rope and gives him the upper hand towards the Elimination Chamber match.
For Raw, the lack of featuring the tag team champions on their show this week was evident. While they did have a number one contenders match featured this week, the winners ended up being the Revival. This is a match that we have already seen one too many times and if there isn’t a different result this time around, then what is the point of the Revival facing off against the tag team champions.
For Smackdown, after R-Truth shocked the world last week by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura to win the United States championship, you would think that we would get a segment of him celebrating this victory the next week. Instead, he wasn’t even really on the show this week. As good as R-Truth is, at least a 30 second segment would’ve been better than nothing from him.
The Final Verdict
Both shows were average this week. They did help build the Elimination Chamber as well as still pushing Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch as the main event of Wrestlemania. But, there was lots missing from both brands this week. Both shows were missing champions this week and didn’t even bother mentioning them. As talented as the champions currently are, each one should get respective time. With that said though, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A debuting EC3, a solid double match with Ronda Rousey, and a decent main event gave Raw a better show this time around. In conclusion, WWE still has some work to do when building up these next two PPV’s, hopefully, they can put on better efforts that they did this week.
The Hart Foundation To Be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame
The original group, and the ones being honored, includes WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, and WWE Hall of Famer ‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart.
Sadly, Neidhart will be inducted posthumously as he passed away in 2018 at the page of 63.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 28, 2019
For Raw, the ending segment between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar was an awesome way to close out the show and start the build for this match at Wrestlemania. After Rollins won the Royal Rumble on Sunday, he had to make a decision on which champion he would face. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar told Rollins to choose Daniel Bryan over Lesnar because he didn’t want to fight with Lesnar, which led to Rollins responding by igniting a brawl. Overall, great way to help ramp up the intensity for what could be the main event of Wrestlemania.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States champion and this moment really came out of nowhere. R-Truth went one on one against Shinsuke Nakamura for the championship and he won via roll up. Soon after Truth won, Rusev then came out and challenged Truth to defend his newly won belt. Truth won again via roll up, which led to both Nakamura and Rusev attacking him after. Its a fresh start with the US championship and somebody with as much charisma as Truth is a good way to hit the reset button for this belt.
For Raw, who knows what they are trying to do with Kurt Angle. After losing to Baron Corbin in about five minutes, this leaves lots of questions on where Angle stands with WWE. Ever since he has came back to the ring, he has lost over and over again. This shouldn’t be happening with a hall of fame of his status. But, this could lead to an interesting story considering how good Angle is.
For Smackdown, while it was a feel good moment to see the Miz and Shane McMahon win the tag team championship, their celebration on the show this week wasn’t that compelling. At the PPV, when they won the match, they celebrated with the Miz’s father. Then, during this celebration, it was the same thing as the Miz’s dad came out and celebrated with them along with a video package being played. This could’ve been done better and differently considering we already saw this type of celebration during the PPV.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were really good this week. Not only are they starting to layout some of the big matches for Wrestlemania, but they are also starting to implement matches for their upcoming PPV, Elimination Chamber. Smackdown felt a little crammed though as they were trying to fit in promos during superstars entrances and having promos during commercials. While Raw, on the other hand, was able to announce two huge matches for Wrestlemania as well as help build up some rivalries going into Elimination Chamber. Raw had the better show this week for a few reasons. A solid ending, a great beginning for the Ronda Rousey versus Becky Lynch match, and an entertaining segment with Elias help Raw deliver this week. In conclusion, 2019 continues to be good for WWE so hopefully they can continue this pace going into their next big PPV of the year.
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