In WWE news, Vince McMahon cannot be pleased after seeing Lucha Underground outshining his much more established company on ESPN last night, as two of his former stars in Rey Mysterio and John Morrison, now known as Johnny Mundo were given ample time on the sports network to promote the second season on the El Rey network, according to Cageside Seats.
Thanks in large part to Jonathan Coachman, who was a former commentator for WWE, Vince McMahon was able to finally convince ESPN to put the spotlight on professional wrestling, something that the network has avoided doing because they only wanted to focus on legitimate sports and not something that was scripted.
Once a week, Jonathan Coachman interviews a WWE star and shows highlights from the latest episode of Monday Night Raw, which essentially serves as a ten minute long commercial for the product that Vince McMahon has utilized to make billions of dollars since the mid 1980’s, when he purchased the regional company from his own father.
By opening that door with ESPN for his company, though, Vince McMahon might have inadvertently opened the door for the entire professional wrestling industry, something that he has strictly instructed his employees to never do since the days when WWE was forced to go into battle against WCW to see who would reign as the best promotion in the world.
It also has to hurt Vince McMahon to see Rey Mysterio, a performer that he desperately was hoping to lure back to WWE because of his ability to sell a lot of merchandise thanks to his massive popularity, being on ESPN and promoting Lucha Underground, a company that almost went out of business after the first year and is not viewed as a legitimate competitor.
While the ESPN appearance may not seem like a big deal to casual wrestling fans, those that understand business knows just how big of a victory this is for Lucha Underground, as there are competing companies like Ring of Honor have never even received this much exposure, despite being in business for more than a dozen years now.
Certain professional wrestling fans have long criticized promotions when they decide to shell out big money to sign older performers with high name value, but the strategy is something that is often times worthwhile because it opens a lot of doors in business that otherwise would have been locked shut.
There’s a reason why Lucha Underground reached out to Rey Mysterio to join the promotion, and it is the same reason why the company desperately tried to keep Alberto Del Rio, who decided to go back to WWE after the heat from his racially motivated backstage incident had died down, by offering a huge sum of money and a percentage of ownership.
The odds of beating WWE as the top professional wrestling promotion in the world are as good as finding a needle in a haystack, but Lucha Underground doesn’t need to beat World Wrestling Entertainment in order to be profitable.
[Featured Photo by El Rey Network]