Last night, I was watching UFC 230, and during the main event bout between Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis, it occurred to me that Brock Lesnar might come out after the fight if D.C. won. It’s very “sports entertainment” of Dana White, but he’s been setting up the Cormier/Lesnar fight for a while, even setting up a face to face after Cormier’s most recent fight. After Cormier absolutely embarrassed Lewis, he called out Lesnar again, this time even telling Lesnar to bring his “New WWE Championship” with him.
This reminded me that Cormier has been rumored to be Fox’s pick to commentate SmackDown when the Blue Brand moves to fox.
WWE’s MMA Invasion
WWE Are The Champions
Don’t look now, but both of Raw’s major champions are former UFC Champions. Brock Lesnar beat Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel last Friday to win the Universal Championship again, and Ronda Rousey’s been the champion since she beat Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam. Two of Dana White’s biggest draws are now making some big cash for Vince McMahon as well. United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura never fought for UFC, but he does have four MMA fights, three of which he won.
The Other Guys
That’s without mentioning Bobby Lashley, who isn’t a champion yet, but is still a pretty big deal on Raw, who many forget was 15-1 in MMA, mostly fighting for Bellator. Lashley recently turned heel and is finally starting to find his footing in WWE, which is a good thing… even if it means we have to keep enduring Lio Rush.
I couldn’t tell you who the Raw Tag Team Champions are right now, seeing as Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are feuding, but the Authors of Pain will likely have a shot at the belts soon. One of the autors, Rezar, has some MMA in history. He had eight pro fights, even getting a shot in Bellator.
If you couldn’t tell from her ridiculous match attire, Sonya Deville also has a MMA history. She had two fights, winning three, and even hosted a UFC YouTube show, “Afterbuzz” at one point.
Taking Over NXT
You can’t cough in NXT without bumping into someone with MMA experience. The NXT Women’s Champion? Ronda Rousey’s teammate, Shayna Baszler. Her new lackeys? The other members of the real Four Horsewomen, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafer. Outside of them, beloved indie darling, Matt Riddle recently made his debut. Riddle was an up-and-comer for UFC before his love of a certain herb cost him the job. Even Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish had a MMA fight for Cage Wars back in 2010, though it wasn’t a very successful one. Still! If we can laud The Undertaker for having “elite striking” then we can applaud Fish for trying something different.
From Main Event to WWE’s Main Event
How crazy would it be if Cormier did join the WWE’s SmackDown announce team? There are rumors that SmackDown moving to Fox will mean the end of the brand split, and if that’s true, we could very easily see Cormier commentating a Brock Lesnar match, mere months after their real fight. Back in the 90’s, when the then-WWF had Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, and Steve Blackman, they were able to work together despite having fights in the past, but none of their battles were as high profile as DC/Lesnar promises to be.
What if this could lead to Cormier stepping into the squared circle and having a match for himself down the road? I’d be down.
From WWE to MMA
Now, I didn’t mention this earlier, but Brock Lesnar started his career in WWE before he went to UFC, so it’s not really fair to include him as part of some “invasion” angle. He wouldn’t, however, be the last to transition from fake fighting to shoot fighting. Dave Batista, best known as Drax The Destroyer these days, also had a MMA fight, which he won, even if it was only for CES. It’s still impressive when you consider that he’s trained with the legendary Gracies.
But of course, the most famous WWE to UFC attempt probably belongs to CM Punk, who got into MMA way too late, and just didn’t take. As of this writing, he’s 0-2, and hopefully he stays that way. It’s awesome that he decided to chase a dream, but the thing about all dreams is that they all end eventually when you wake up. So go ahead and wake up, Mr. Brooks.
So what do you guys think? Anyone I forgot? Let us know in the comments below.