Tonight is Wrestlemania 31 featuring Brock Lesnar. For somebody who doesn’t follow wrestling, Brock Lesnar is what makes Wrestlemania interesting. Lesnar’s accomplishments are well documented (NCAA, WWE, NFL, UFC) so I won’t spend time on it.
Earlier this week ESPN stopped their regular programming to break in live to Lesnar’s special announcement, where he announced that’s he’s not returning to the UFC but instead he re-signed with the WWE. ESPN doesn’t care about the WWE, they cared about what Lesnar had to say. Why? People are obsessed with this freak of nature. Why? Because he’s entertaining as hell. Lesnar is this larger than life figure. People want to be entertained and Brock Lesnar delivers exactly that. Even with a scripted outcome, people are turning in to see what Lesnar is doing in the WWE.
You can put Brock Lesnar in a bowling game and people will buy the PPV in droves. He’s one in a generation. We can’t clone him. He’s a monster with almost 300 lbs of pure muscle, where a boat fits on each shoulder, his neck is as large as a tree trunk, and he’s as fast and mobile as a 170 lbs fighter. Then he goes on to beat people up. That’s what makes him scary as hell. When people see him on TV, they are just glued to it. You have this “wtf is this” moment and you are paralyzed. The last time I had this feeling was with Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson would come on CNN for one of his trials and you were just possessed. Then you look at the clock and you lost one hour of your life. Why? Without a doubt Michael Jackson was this larger than life character.
The WWE signing resigning Brock Lesnar is a major business decision. Last year the WWE took a giant gamble by going all digital with their new WWE Network, now $9.99 a month for all the wrestling you want. The network is the future of the company (they killed the PPV business and the days of paying $60 for a show are over). The WWE desperately needs to meet their WWE Network subscription numbers to keep its stock afloat. Thanks to heavy promotions and freebies, they reached the 1 million subscribers milestone and they need more if they want the company to spit cash. I think the break-even is somewhere between 1.2 to 1.5 millon subcribers. Now that the WWE network has the hardcore wrestling fan and some casual fans signed up, they need to find a way to get the non-wrestling fan to fork over $9.99 a month. Tough sell. Solution: Enter Brock Lesnar. Non-wrestling fan will watch this beast have fun throwing around opponents all over the ring.
Fans follow Floyd Mayweather, not boxing. Fans follow Mike Tyson, not boxing. Fans follow Tiger Woods, not golf. Fans followed Michael Jordan, not the NBA. Just like fans follow Brock Lesnar, not the WWE or the UFC.
Floyd Mayweather is set to make $120 million plus at his next fight not because he’s an excellent boxer but his larger than life personality drives people to buy PPVs. The United-States have the boxing heavyweight champion (one of the belts) and nobody knows who he is, but they are sure still talking about Mike Tyson. When Tiger Woods is not playing, golf is in a slump. Michael Jordan is still getting millions from his popular Nike shoe collection. When Lesnar sets foot in the octagon, people buy PPVs. Even when you know the quality of the show will be sub-par. Let’s admit it, Brock’s fights are not making the all-time must see fights. They were very lump-sided and short. But entertaining and good entertainment makes people happy.
These guys are larger than their sport (or respective industry). Their personality over-floods their sport into the mainstream. My wife knows who Floyd Mayweather is but doesn’t watch boxing. And what’s interesting is you don’t necessarily need to be the best at your trade. You just need to be really really fun. You need to grab people’s attention and emotions. Lesnar is not the best fighter but people buy tickets. Because he’s a beast. Anna Kournikova wasn’t the best tennis player but filled up stadiums because of her beauty. Kim Kardashian wasn’t the best at porn and now has her own game for kids because….because, well I don’t know about this one. But the Kardashians are entertaining and they are definitely a case study.
Below are three videos of Lesnar. First one he’s doing a backflip shoothing star. In the 2nd video he’s hunts a deer and carries it on his back up a mountain. Then he F5 a shark.
2:25 is the workout session.