He’s dabbled with the idea in the past, but don’t shut me down quite yet. Vince McMahon may have experience in exactly two large scale enterprises, but he’s got all the solid basics for a Mixed Martial Arts organization.
Vinnie Mac could literally be making better MMA.
The first, and most important part of this little exercise, would be to look at what the WWE does well. That’s putting on a hell of a live show. You may not like the product, personally, but they get thousands of people on a weekly basis together to scream at the top of their lungs at a pre-determined storyline and sell a ton of their products.
They even have four legit MMA fighters in their ranks: Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, Ronda Rousey, and Shana Baszler. Are there ones I haven’t mentioned? Yes, but let’s move along.
Aside from just putting on a great show, they know how to promote things in a somewhat last minute fashion.
How is pre-determined storylines considered “last minute?” Don’t you think that injuries happen? Yeah, they do, and sometimes the online rumor mill causes the WWE to swerve to a different outcome… last minute.
All Vince needs to do is build up things the way he did with the WWE when he took over. Was the WWE #1 when he took over? No, it wasn’t… but he had a vision for where he wanted to be and a plan on how to accomplish that vision.
Slight history lesson.
The WWE was one of many regional wrestling federations under Vince’s dad… when Vince took over, he started buying regions and placing them under the banner of the WWE (then WWF) to build the first non-regionally limited wrestling company. He even went so far as to stop calling it wrestling and use the term sports entertainment, more accurately reflecting what the company actually does. While the simulated violence is a foundation, there is so much more going on in the sports entertainment world than just wrestling.
Let’s start simple, by thinking about what an MMA organization would need in order to launch itself into the competitive market and thrive.
First, you need a PPV platform, which WWE has built in. You also could use a network to back up some programming for development or marketing of events. WWE has that built in. Rather than start with nothing, you could buy one of the established organizations and have talent already on contract to fight. WWE has the money to do that, too.
If Vince went the route he did with WWE, he could either buy a smaller company or build a basic one and start buying up other competition. I’m not talking about Vince attempting to take the UFC down, or ONE Championship for that matter, but I think that if Vince bought up some of the “farm leagues” and maybe a bigger piece of a pie (like Bellator), then I think they would have a solid foundation to build up from there.
Hell, UFC fighters either love the organization or hate it, and for those that hate it you could scoop them up with a better deal.
They already know how to run PPV events. They already know how to hype events and talent. They have a build in distribution network. They are set up for selling merchandise. Those WWE superstars who want to dip into MMA can do so without leaving the WWE umbrella… and they can even give them “light” competition so that they’re not going in against the #1 fighter in the world right away.
I’d love to see it, especially with the UFC/ESPN deal killing the ability of folks to watch as much UFC as they had been without paying.
Vince McMahon was looking into this at one time and I don’t think anything came from it. With the MMA stars on their roster and others interested in testing the waters, they could have huge crossover potential without shelling out wads more cash for bringing that talent in.
I don’t like the way he operates, but Vince knows what he’s doing.