Imagine the year is 2001, the WWE and MLB are riding high in terms of popularity. The champions at the time, both underdogs. Chris Jericho aka Y2J aka the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla had declared “Raw is Jericho” and topped “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment The Rock to become undisputed WWE (then WWF) champion. In the MLB the Arizona Diamondbacks aka, well nothing as cool as Jericho’s nicknames, had just upset the New York Yankees for the World Series. This was the peak of these two organizations, that peak has passed.
Why am I writing about the MLB and WWE together? Well, because they have formed an unlikely tag team and now plan on distributing WWE replica title belts to all 30 MLB teams! (Source: ESPN)
That’s right, the WWE and MLB have formed the most unlikely tag team since The Rock and Sock Connection (The Rock and Mankind). What does this mean? Probably nothing, but hey, what can it hurt?
As of late, both companies are struggling, at least in popularity. Monetarily, it couldn’t be better, both companies have signed massive TV deals. But the golden age has come and gone, and with little on the horizon in terms of resurgence, a partnership feels like a move to help each other.
This article could quickly devolve into how the WWE has backed itself into a corner that is going to take years to get out of. I just don’t have the time, or the willpower to do that right now. Fine, here is a quick summary because it bugs me. They didn’t develop enough young talent, so now they are forced to bring back guys like Goldberg, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar to carry the ratings for them. Long standing stars like Randy Orton continues to draw ratings, but the youth movement that they constantly start and stop seems to be faltering.
MLB doesn’t have the same luxury WWE has. They can’t just trot out some old timers to play in the games to increase interest. Although, I would love to see Trevor Hoffman come storming out to “Stone Cold’s” theme music in the middle of the 9th inning to get a save.
Bottom line, this feels like a publicity move between two struggling giants of entertainment. However, it hurts no one and is kind of a fun little PR move for both, so I say go for it.
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