THE RINGER: Why Are ‘Real Fighters’ Taking Over WWE?


WWE2K16_Render_BrockLesnar-12437-512Less than a week into WWE’s new partnership with Fox and coming off a Hell in a Cell pay-per-view that confused some devoted fans, the WWE appears to be betting that fans will appreciate a heavy dose of ex-champions from other combat sports.

Cain Velasquez, who became the UFC heavyweight champion in 2010 after pulverizing Brock Lesnar, showed up on the Friday SmackDown premiere to briefly ground and pound his old rival and current WWE champion. And former unified boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury—still the undefeated lineal heavyweight title holder—also appeared to exchange words with Braun Strowman, words that gave way to a madcap brawl three nights later on Monday Night Raw.

Those kinds of names have always drawn big-time media attention from journalists outside the wrestling press. And this is a venerable practice: Boxers and other acknowledged tough guys have been entering the squared circle to lend their legitimacy to predetermined bouts for over a century, either as referees or as participants. The more important question for serious followers of the sport, however, is how this will affect the wrestling product. Across its multiple brands and divisions, the WWE arguably boasts the deepest roster of skilled wrestling performers it has ever had, enough that their underused or injured talent could fill several supercards. WWE has the deepest wrestling roster in the history of wrestling… Read More HERE

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