On Saturday night, I went to the NASCAR Sports Grille to watch UFC 121. The event was headlined by heavyweight champion (and former WWE Champion, which will become important in just a second) Brock Lesnar defending his belt against Cain Velasquez. Without going into all the bloody details, never mind the fact that the fight didn't last long enough to even HAVE details, Lesnar got beat, badly. Badly to the point that the fight was stopped midway through the first round, with Lesnar busted open and bleeding from several large cuts to the face. What does this have to do with pop culture, you ask? Here's where it gets poppy...
Among the many celebrities in attendance (the fight was in LA) was WWE superstar and avid UFC/MMA fan The Undertaker. As Lesnar was heading to the back after the fight, The Undertaker was giving an interview. All seemed fine until Lesnar walked past 'Taker. They had a brief staredown with Undertaker asking Lesnar "You wanna do it?". Mind you, he wasn't in 'deadman' character. When pressed about what he meant, The 'Taker seemed to back off a bit, replying that it was 'personal'.
Why is this important for pop? It's the ultimate geek out. For a wrestling fan, it's on par with a WWE guy showing up in rival company WCW years ago, or vice versa. It's akin to the Marvel/DC comics crossover from years ago. It's GI Joe/Transformers all over again. Remember a couple years ago when Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth, the two former singers from Van Halen, toured together? Well, it may not be that big, but still....It represents a possible crossover of two different worlds. UFC is, for lack of a term, real, while WWE has been very open about being 'sports entertainment' for years now. Undertaker breaking character could mean a number of things. Does he have legit 'heat' with Lesnar, is he trying to lure Lesnar back to the WWE for one more big payday, or are geeks like me reading way too much into all of this? All I know is that wrestling is entertainment, UFC is real, and on Saturday it made me go 'pop'.
(video from youtube.com)