Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Affliction VP Tom Atencio for a recent Q&A that is available on both cbssports.com and 15rounds.com. We covered a lot of different subjects, but one the more interesting topics we discussed had to do with professional wrestler Kurt Angle.
According to Atencio, the – now highly unlikely – possibility of Angle entering a mixed martial arts ring would not be positive occurrence for the sport.
He is a legitimate wrestler, but he also comes from WWE (now TNA),” said Atencio, “I’m not sure how good that would be for the new fans in possibly thinking MMA is fixed. To me, MMA is a true combat sport. It doesn’t get any more real. To bring people over from WWE, it could cheapen it.”
I don’t know that the negatives outweigh the positives on this one. Sure, what Atencio says could be possible with a few people watching the shows, but the amount of first time viewers that would tune in to see Angle would be a much greater number.
Seeing the pay-per-view success that Brock Lesnar was in his UFC debut, I don’t believe Affliction would quickly pass on using either Lesnar or Angle.