By Paul Duncan
March 29, 2015
WWE superstar Brock Lesnar’s contract was going to end this Monday and rumors were swirling around that Lesnar would make his long awaited return to UFC. On Tuesday Lesnar appeared on SportsCenter to make his surprise announcement.
In an interview with noted WWE fan Michelle Beadle, Brock Lesnar declared that “my legacy, this Sunday at WrestleMania, (the Super Bowl of the WWE world) will not be my last.” He then went on to to explain the decision and even cut a brief promo about his title match with Roman Reigns. He then does an interview with ESPN anchor and former WWE commentator Jonathan Coachman and says that he loves wrestling for WWE.
What was even more interesting that they put this live segment over coverage of the Sweet 16 or of baseball starting soon. It is just really strange that they would put a “fake” sport over some of the other doings in sport.
Surprisingly this wasn’t the last interaction between WWE and ESPN during WrestleMania week. On the episode of RAW before WrestleMania, Grantland founder and ESPN personality Bill Simmons joined the commentary team during a match previewing the Andre the Giant Battle Royal and displayed impressive wrestling knowledge.
He even asked where the rabbit was referring to the long gone fan favorite “The Bunny.” (Yes WWE had an on screen character in a bunny costume, in fact he was pretty darn good.) On SportsNation Roman Reigns appeared to do some promoting when Brock Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman interrupted rather rudely, and continued to hype up his client and his match against Reigns.
In addition Jon Gruden filmed a funny video of him breaking down wrestling footage for the upcoming Andre the Giant Battle Royal. He did mention that wrestler Titus O’Neil once played for the Florida Gators and got a sack on Peyton Manning to get some sports cred. These promotions make me wonder whether ESPN and the WWE have some type of agreement. This makes sense considering the close proximity of there headquarters and similar demographics that watch both products. It also doesn’t hurt that many of the WWE’s talents are former athletes themselves. Perhaps in the future we will see more interaction between the two entertainment giants even after WrestleMania.