As we reported in January, WWE was not the only company actively trying to get Brock Lesnar under contract as soon as he was no longer under contract with UFC. Viacom, Spike TV‘s parent company, was interested in Lesnar due to the potential boost he could give Bellator Fighting Championships, as well as Impact Wrestling. UFC President Dana White was hesitant to release Lesnar from his contract back in January because he did not want him to be part of a rival MMA organization.
Lesnar ended up buying his way out of his contract so he could return to WWE. However, Viacom remained interested in acquiring a “crossover star” that could be used in both Bellator and TNA. Our source has indicated that this is the reason why TNA heavily pursued Muhammed Lawal (a/k/a King Mo). While King Mo does not have the name value that Lesnar has, Spike was desperate for a crossover star, and Mo turned out to be their best available option.
Many in TNA are highly skeptical of Mo’s ability to raise the profile of TNA, as well as his ability to handle being pushed so quickly as a top star in the company. Spike, however, is more optimistic. With the amount of money being spent on Mo, Spike expects big things from him, in terms of crossover appeal and as a star in TNA. It is expected that Mo will remain highly protected, so that his value with Bellator is not in jeopardy.
Some in the industry have joked about the signing of King Mo, as it is seen as Spike making a mistake that it makes over and over again: making questionable business decisions out of spite, after missing out on a big opportunity. For example, Spike poured millions of dollars into TNA as a middle finger to Vince McMahon, after WWE Raw left Spike to go back to USA. In addition, Spike bought Bellator in response to UFC’s departure to Fox. The large financial investment in King Mo after losing out on Brock Lesnar is seen as just another huge business mistake for Spike.