What WWE can learn from the promotion behind Mayweather vs. McGregor:
"I think from a promotional standpoint they did a lot of things right. They found two personalities and that's really what this is all about. Floyd will be the first guy to tell you that it's personalities that sells fights, it's what he does, he changed himself from 'Pretty Boy Floyd' to 'Money Mayweather' and that was based around WWE and the culture of changing Hulk Hogan to 'Hollywood Hulk Hogan,' and reinventing yourself. He invented that persona. McGregor created a persona, a lot of it having to do around what, kind of, WWE does and also what Mayweather does.
"When you have personalities like that and you put them in a ring with that type of conflict - it's what we do no a daily basis. But they did it very well. It was a moment in time that I don't think you can replicate. The great things is, I think what people where afraid of was that it wouldn't deliver. I think it did deliver. I think people got an entertaining 10 round fight, it ended up where the educated person would imagine that it'd end up, but I think it was entertaining and it delivered on a lot of levels."
Who he thinks would have the biggest potential for WWE Superstardom: LaVar Ball or Rob Gronkowski:
"LaVar Ball certainly has a pension for winding people up and wanting to see people beat him. I think that's an important factor, but you never know what's going to connect to people. Those personalities - when you look at McGregor, you look at Ronda Rousey, you look at Gronk, you look at LaVar Ball - all those people, what connects them is personalities. Whether you love them or hate them, those personalities drive people. They create a connection and that's really what people pay to see. They're a very few pure boxing fans in the world, there are very few pure MMA aficionados in the world, there are very few pure WWE or NBA or NFL that really admire the intricacies of all that stuff. The personalities drive them, whether that be the team or the individuals."
What are the chances Ronda Rousey could end up in WWE and what could she bring to the table:
"Ronda has been a huge fan of WWE her whole life, she has been very adamant about that. She has done plenty of stuff with us before, I think you're watching a clip of her throwing me that I don't know why you're showing, but yeah she tends to throw me around when I see her - but she's a huge fan. I think she's a huge fan and I think it's something she's definitely interested - I'll throw it out right now, if she's interested I'll give her the opportunity. But we're all about personalities and that's what she brings to the table. I think she has shown it, and you have seen, she has shown it in Hollywood, she has shown it everywhere. Her personality would drive fan interest."
Can you manufacture a personality and be successful, or does it have to be authentic:
"I think you can do both. I think there are some people that just have it, they walk in a room and they have that 'x' factor. We look for that a lot. But I'm also looking, when I'm recruiting talent I'm looking for, even somebody that is a dormant characteristic or a trait in them that makes them that - they have that 'x' factor they don't know they have it. Or its been held back in them, their whole life they've been taught 'don't put that out there,' don't brag, don't be this, don't be that, bring that back in.
"I think there are a million guys in the NFL or are attempting to get in the NFL that look at what we do and they live vicariously through us because they're told 'Don't do that. Don't celebrate, don't be unique, don't be those things.' We want you to be all that and more. We want you to be unique, we want you to bring something we've never seen to the table, and that's what we're trying to get out of people. Whether they have that in them and they don't know it, and we coach that out of them and we teach them how to do that, or whether they already have it and it's already there, it doesn't matter. As long as when the red light goes on in front of them, they can put that out to the world, then they can bring in whatever you want. They can make people come to arenas, they can make people follow them whether they love them or hate them. It's all about charisma."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ESPN's First Take with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: ESPN's First Take