World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will follow the lead of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) within the next month, providing a new way to view live events and pay-per-views online. Both companies like to keep the comparisons as minimal as possible but there is no denying this one. They have both made their claims to fame in their own way, yet still can’t avoid each others name when it comes to certain discussions. UFC is the gladiator sport of North America, and is becoming more global as they gain increased popularity throughout the world.
The WWE is mostly known for their soap opera like story lines and highly noted characters to bring in the viewers for their company, which has become more difficult as it has been in years for the WWE. As success in pay-per-views and buys reach record amounts for the UFC, WWE’s famed pay-per-view orders and buys have fallen off since 2010. In their defense, though, the UFC still cannot pull in the fans during their live television programs and still have never been able to live up to the bill when it comes to the WWE and their shows like ‘Monday Night Raw’ or ‘Smackdown’.
The comparisons between the two don’t stop there. They’ve swapped superstars back and forth between the companies. There are certain fighters in Mixed Martial Arts that have stated they may contemplate making the switch some time in the future. Fighters like Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir have debated it. There are fighters that have successfully done it, like Brock Lesnar and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
WWE has it’s fair share of stars of enjoy the world of MMA as well. The Undertaker, Dave Batista, Bobby Lashley, and Kurt Angle, among others have either tried to make the transition or have done it. Brock Lesnar and Quinton Jackson are probably two of the most successful who have undertaken the switch from one to the other and made it work. Quinton Rampage Jackson went from a UFC Light Heavyweight champion to making movies and regularly showing on WWE’s competitor organization, TNA. Brock Lesnar, on the other hand, became a star in the WWE and made a successful move over to the UFC, winning the UFC Heavyweight title and successfully defending it multiple times before deciding to move back to the WWE. With such an incestuous relationship, it is no wonder that the WWE will follow the lead of the UFC into the realm of online entertainment.
Executives from the WWE consider pay-per-view to be a dying breed, while the UFC is still breaking records every year. UFC still has a big draw for highly anticipated cards like Silva vs Weidman when it aired two weeks ago. Both of the organizations plans are quite similar in that they’ll both be offered to to the fans at a cost of $9.99 per month, with both companies offering different perks to their plans. The UFC will offer all the past and most recent footage of the UFC along with that of companies they’ve purchased along the way, like Strikefore, Affliction, and Elite XC. Overseas fights will also be offered on the Fight Pass as long as it’s not a UFC title holder. Those will be aired on pay-per-view or Fox network shows.
The WWE offers 50 years of past events and pay-per-views, dating all the way back to the WCW and WWF days, while also offering new pay-per-views. The WWE plan is a little different. Signing up for the $9.99 per month rate, the shortest term you can sign up for is a 6 month lease. You are making a $60 dollar commitment to the WWE. The UFC is a month-to-month term for the fans. They may not want to admit it, but the WWE, in following the UFC ‘s lead, may lead to a brighter future in the long run and may be found more appealing by the casual fan.
by Justin Huffman