People don't realize it, but pro wrestling is still very popular. It just now has a different audience than it used to. In my opinion at least, there is a reason that the WWE has devolved to PG ratings, and that's because the audience that used to watch WWE during the "Attitude Era" has gravitated towards the UFC and MMA. Vinny Mac saw this coming and sought a new audience. It's no wonder Dana White has a lot of respect for Vince, he has a powerful business accumen and is extremely wise and savvy in the market.
Steve Austin is still very much a nationally known individual, arguably more than Lesnar. He's been in multiple movies such as the Expendables, and was the face of the WWE/F during it's peak. The UFC still has a selected audience, though it's growing by the day. If you ask the average person on the street, most people have no idea who Georges St. Pierre or Anderson Silva is, but just about everyone knows who Steve Austin is. Austin has had much more national exposure than Lesnar, so it's natural that he would be a larger draw.
Thanks for the article