Dana White may not be in the wrasslin’ business, but he sure could learn from it.
Brock Lesnar has taken the UFC by storm and his post-fight antics Saturday night after beating Frank Mir for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship was an example of classic wrestling booking 101.
After the final bell had sounded with Lesnar beating Mir to the point of his face looking like a halloween mask that had accidentally been washed, Brock Lesnar continued to taunt Mir by getting in his face, the fans by flipping them the double bird, and UFC’s corporate sponsor, Bud Light, by claiming he was going to drink Coors Light instead.
He even teased the idea of him having sexual intercourse with his wife later that night.
Okay…I can understand why White doesn’t want Lesnar insulting the primary sponsor. That’s one thing that Vince McMahon would not have tolerated either and although they may not be paying Brock directly, they certainly pay the company that is signing his massive checks after each fight.
Outside of that, what did Brock do?
I mean, what did he do besides guarantee Dana White’s company more exposure, more interest for Brock’s next fight, and more overall buzz following a UFC pay per view than there probably has been up to this point?
Brock Lesnar single-handedly solidified himself as the company’s top heel evoking passion from all spectators, be it positive or negative. Wrestling fans and performers ate it up. MMA’s fans and professionals rediculed Brock for his WWE background, all the while screaming dramatically from the top of their lungs and/or keyboards.
At the end of the day, "everyone" was talking about Brock Lesnar.
I question Dana White’s true feelings toward Lesnar’s supposed tomfoolery Saturday night. Is he really that upset or deep down, is he singing Brock’s praises and thanking the big man for putting on a show after the show? I understand the public responsibility White has as the "boss", but I doubt he is genuinely upset with the former wrestler.
In fact, I can hear the Vince McMahon in Dana White coming out right now:
Dana White (talking to himself): "I just had the biggest draw in my company’s history ‘heel out’ on national television. He acted a fool, taunted one of my top fighters and the entire UFC audience, insulted Bud Light, and referenced sex all in one night! Now, how can I build on that? Let me be the sympathetic boss that tries to tame the beast, but can’t, and let’s bill Brock as a loose cannon that does whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He’ll be a true badass that some people love and others love to hate, but regardless of the fans’ stance, he’ll back it up in the ring, bring excitement, and sell pay per views!"
Remind you of anything…or anyone?
Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin created magic in the 90’s with this exact formula. The only difference is that Lesnar and White are not being scripted.
Not yet, anyway.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not want the UFC to become the "real version" of the WWE. The fact that they aren’t is what makes them most attractive to common America. However, highlighting the true characters of their top stars and exploiting the real-life storylines that ought to come naturally is not going in the way of the "E". Rather, it’s adding another element to MMA that fans can grasp and believe in called "build up".
It’s not difficult in the first place, but as Wesley Snipes said in White Men Can’t Jump, Brock Lesnar makes it "TOO EASY’. Hopefully, Dana White will realize it and capitalize on it.
If he doesn’t, he could always hire Paul Heyman.