Bobby Lashley vs Ken Shamrock
For a mummy, Ken Shamrock sure is active. Coming off a pathetic bout against Ross Clifton, Shamrock will next face former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley on March 21st at Roy Jones Jr.'s hybrid Boxing/MMA event "March Badness". Awesome name by the way.
Other than the name, the event sounds awful. Roy Jones Jr. vs Omar Sheika? Even in 2001, that's a tough main event to sell. The promoters probably think Lashley will add some WWE carryover, but I'd bet my life they are wrong.
Lashley was never as big of a pro wrestling star as Brock Lesnar, so interest in his MMA career isn't as high. The other reason it will not drum up PPV buys is because pro wrestling fans do not care at all about Jones/Sheika. You have to give them a little something of interest before they'll pay $29.99 to see Lashley break Shamrock in half.
I think hybrid events can work in rare situations. You need a big fight from each sport. This way you draw independently from both fan bases, as well as from the mainstream crowd who wants to see an "event."
I still don't believe MMA fans are gonna buy a PPV to see a major boxing match and lesser MMA fights. The event needs a legitimate main event they would want to see on its own. De La Hoya vs Mayweather and Fedor vs Barnett would be a perfect example of a hybrid event that would work.
The problem is you would need the event to draw enough money to be split between multiple partners. Does placing those two fights on the same card make the PPV twice as popular? That's the question it comes down to. In my humble opinion, this scenario would work, but most others never will.
Hopefully a horrible event like "March Badness" will open up some eyes and soften the hard-on boxing promoters have for hybrid cards.
(By the way...Wouldn't it be awesome if just as the fight was about to start a giant cage was lowered from the rafters and you heard Jim Ross on the PA system say, "Good God Almighty! It's Hell in a Cell!"? I'd much rather see that.)
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