More feedback from last night's shows



Have you ever seen Great White Hype with Samuel L Jackson?  The buildup to Bonnar/Silva
was almost identical.
 
Still have no idea who thinks Jon Fitch is an attraction.  A Fitch/Kos fight just might
bring about the zombie apocalypse.
 
$45 well not spent here.

Mike DeGeorge

Glory by Honor XI
 
Crowd was around 1,000 and as usual the Toronto fans were hot and into everything.
 
A definite Thumbs up all the way
Best Match: Steen vs Elgin
Worst Match:Rhino vs Tadarius Thomas
Craziest Bump-Truth Martini guard rail bump over the top from Rhino after the gorilla slam. This happened right in front of us and it was SICK
 
Psycho Mike &  Mathieu St Jacques vs Chaz Montana & Rip Impact-Psycho Mike has a good following in Ontario indy's and has a good look. St Jacques and Impact are also really solid performers. Decent match. Chaz Montana gimmick sucks though.
 
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs The Bravado Brothers-This was a decent opener, crowd got into it as the match progressed. Some really good spots. The Bravados continue to improve but it will be hard for them to ever really advance their position as no one will take them seriously as near the top of the card guys.
 
Mike Mondo vs Mike Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis-crowd seemed to be very anti-Bennett which surprised me. A lot of brawling all over that was hard to see live. Will probably look a lot better on TV.  Crowd really picked up after Mondo did the dive off of the entrance tower, then fans were into both guys.
 
Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer-another solid match. Not sure of Haas's spitting gimmick, happens too often and it will end up meaning nothing. Last week's TV it seemed like everyone was doing it in every match, it is pointless and should only be used sparingly. I used to be a fan of Whitmer in the early days of ROH. He is solid in the ring but his return and look does nothing for me now.
 
Jay Lethal vs "The American Wolf" Davey Richards-This was a great match live. It would be hard to get a bad Davey Richards match. A bit of a surprise of Richards passing out to the submission. I was expecting Lethal to show more of his mean streak, and he really didn't show it at any point during the match,  and attack a passed out Richards. This could have led to the Eddie Edwards run in and save to potentially reunite the Wolves.
 
Rhino w/ Truth Martini vs Tadarius Thomas-this match didn't click at all, especially after all the hard hitting and stiffness in the earlier matches. Thomas seemed to miss Rhino a lot with his capoeira and Rhino still sold. Finish was flat as well as no one bought Thomas beating Rhino. Hilight of the match though was that insane Truth Martini bump, that was crazy.
 
Adam Cole vs Eddie Edwards-Excellent match and 2nd best match on the show IMO. The semi-springboard DDT on the apron spot looked really good as well. Cole continues to deserve his spot and push.
 
Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino vs The Briscoes- a fun brawl and again hard to follow at times but great action as always with the Briscoes and Corino really looked great and motivated.
 
Kevin Steen vs Michael Elgin-Crowd really into both guys and they both delivered in the ring. A great match with a lot of really good power spots and good match layout. Lots of great near falls. The package piledriver off the 2nd rope was another crazy spot considering Elgin's weight that Steen had to protect. Elgin solidifies his spot as a main event player and Steen delivered as usual as well. Roddy running in to attack Elgin after the match finally sets up their program. We all thought the beer bottle would come in play as fans had to have their beverages in plastic cups. A small chant of "plastic cup" started at Roddy when fans saw the bottle. Ending of match with the mysterious box was a great angle and will lead to a highly anticipated rematch of Steen & Generico. They couldn't have executed this better and Steen freaking out at the end on the sound guy and slamming the belt around was perfect. Even the subtleties of Nigel running to the back after delivering the box to avoid Steen's wrath. This was a major league storyline transition ending that will surely be copied by another promotion although will be hard to duplicate with the history between the two and both having left the promotion at different times. This is an old school territorial type of impact of someone returning to a promotion after an absence. Seriously, with almost 40 years of watching pro wrestling, this ending angle ranks right near the top. Whoever came up with it deserves a bonus.
 
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UFC 153

Thumbs up from what I saw and the 3 I missed sounding like good action as well.
 
Best Fight: Sam Sicilia vs. Rony Jason
Worst Fight: Renee Forte vs. Sergio Moraes
Best KO: Anderson Silva
Best Sub: Phil Davis
 
Hit the Hooters on the airport strip to watch the rest of the PPV after ROH. Every seat was taken but it wasn't crazy busy. Looked like some teams of young kids from the hotel there who left shortly after we got there so were clearly there for food/sightseeing and not the fights. Another table was playing cards and not even watching.
 
Cant really score the whole PPV as didn't see whole thing missing the first 3 fights. Watched the prelims when I got home.
 
Renee Forte vs. Sergio Moraes - an OK opener but nothing spectacular. 2 rounds of feeling out and a good finish in the 3rd.
 
Diego Brandao vs. Joey Gambino - Gambino has an amazing chin as he took solid shots in each of the 1st 2 rounds. Some good action here and Brandao showed good cardio. Ref stood them up too quickly multiple times. Didn't like Brandao at the end of the fight continually motioning a throat slitting with his thumb while he kept backing away for the last 20 seconds or so.
 
Gleison Tibau vs. Francisco Trinaldo - Tibau looked ripped. Tibau showed a lot of skill to survive the 2nd round and avoid the 2 different chokes after being rocked. Tibau deserved the decision.
 
Sam Sicilia vs. Rony Jason - This was a great fight. Both guys really going for it and not letting up a great pace.
 
Due to being at ROH, missed the next 3 fights
Demian Maia vs. Rick Story
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva
 
Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado - Teixeira didn't decimate Maldonado for an early stoppage like I thought he would do, but credit to Maldonado for taking a horrific beating the first round and still being game to still stand and striking. The cage was holding him up in the first round and this fight almost should have been stopped. Not Joe Warren in Bellator bad but getting close.
 
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman - Decent Fight and good for Nogueira to get the submission at home in his comeback from a broken arm. Herman could be in danger of getting a pink slip here.
 
Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar - Silva is amazing. The way he stood against the cage, not even moving his feet and just bobbing and weaving to avoid Bonnar's punches. Surprised he just stayed there, but just so confident in his abilities to avoid or absorb punches. Nothing like a fight ending with a crushing body blow either.
 
Have a great night.
Grant Zwarych
Wrestling Observer Index

Hey Dave,

I bought Glory By Honor XI on a whim tonight, having lost almost all interest in ROH in recent months, and am pleased to say that this show did a lot towards rebuilding my interest in the product.  The stream worked perfectly for me the entire three hours and there wasn't a really bad match on the show, save for Rhino vs. Tadarius Thomas, which was more of an angle to break up the House of Truth than an actual match.  A handful of the matches were really great, particularly Richards vs. Lethal, Edwards vs. Cole, and by far the match of the night (and maybe the best ROH match of the year) with Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin.  This match was tremendous, every bit as good and maybe even a little bit better than Davey Richards vs. Elgin earlier this year, and was worth the price of admission on its own.  Elgin is really the breakout star of 2012.  The end of the show was also a fantastic twist to lead into Final Battle.  ROH has a lot of rebuilding to do, but the first show under Delirious as booker was a great one.  Thumbs way up.

Wes Martinez

Great weekend of fights especially if you like clean finishes (and who don't?).
BELLATOR 76
Thumbs up.
Best fight: Alvarez vs. Patricky Pitbull
Worst fight: Martinez vs. Malegarie and it wasn't anywhere near bad
KO: 3 way tie---Khasbulaev, Richman, Alvarez
Sub: Fabiano
Special props: best ring announcer in the business Michael Williams, who handles Russian names better than Buffer does American ones
In the first FW tourney fight, Shambalaev takes Bollinger down off a caught kick, staves off several sub attempts, and pounds on him till Lavigne (sigh) finally stops the fight. This kid hits HEAVY from any position. His punches echo and shake the cage like Shane Carwin's and he's a FEATHERWEIGHT.
In the alternate fight, Khasbulaev KOs Hezam with a counter right in 24 seconds. Russians ripping it up in Bellator.
In the next three tourney fights: Richman, not to be outdone, KOs Spoon in twenty-THREE seconds with a high kick.
Wagnney Fabiano, showing no rust from 3 years off, wades through Stepanyan's striking, takes him down, and finishes with a textbook arm bar. Stepanyan holds out way too long before tapping.
Martinez takes a 30-27 UD over Malegarie in a gritty but not very skilled almost all kickboxing match between a wrerstler and a grappler. 
In the main, Alvarez, perhaps UFC bound, quickly drops Pitbull, who bounces up and immediately proceeds to hit Alvarez so hard he's forced to clinch for about a minute. Eddie then knocks him cold with a high kick with 6 seconds left in the 1st. I was wondering if it's too late for Eddie in UFC, as his peak was arguably several years ago, but he seems to have a new lease since coming down to the Blackzilians.
UFC 153
Thumbs up. Most entertaining UFC PPV in recent memory, and for a change the top card was better than the undercard, too. The one minus---ASININE quick standups, especially by Yamazaki Two.
Best fight: I'm gonna split it between Fitch-Silva and Texeira-Maldonado
Worst fight: none
KO: duh
Sub: Multiplace tie---Sergio, Maia, Davis & Nog (that alone shows you how good the card was)
Marcello opens with a for some reason controversial SD over Madadi. I thought Marcello won all three rounds, like the one judge everybody seems unhappy with.
Luiz Cane drops to MW to no avail, as he takes until the 3rd to get untracked and drops a 29-28 UD to the busier and more accurate Chris Camozzi.
BJJ champion Sergio, appearing to be missing one head off his left tricep, saves a desultory performance by both when he snags back mount off a flash TD in the 3rd and finishes fellow TUF Brazil alumni Renee Forte with the RNC.
Brandao takes a tougher than expected UD over Joey Gambino, reminding us that he's an asshole with some last minute taunting.
Gleison Tibau too experienced for Massaranduba, and survives some rocky moments to take the UD. Massa has dropped 30 pounds of muscle since TUF Brazil with no apparent ill effects, at age 35. Hmm.
Rony Jason, who looks like the star out of the whole TUF Brazil crew, batters heavy handed Sam Sicilia for most of the 1st, then seems to go to sleep in the second but suddenly awakens late in the round and finishes the fight with a HK and G&P. Not a bad undercard at all.
Damien Maia opens the top card with an emphatic return to his Jiu Jitsu, quickly taking down Boring Welterweight Grinder #237-B Rick Story, wrapping him up like a ribbon around a package, and finishing with a palm to palm neck crank from back mount that sent blood gushing from Story's nose. Hopefully Damien's delusion that his JJ is not exciting to watch is over, and we can get some interest going again in the WW division, with slugs like Story and Brenneman being exposed. 
Phil Davis shows that Wagner Prado never belonged in the ring with him in the first place, driving him into the mat at will and finishing with an Anaconda choke in the 2nd that drew grudging applause from the Brazilian audience.
You know, Jon Fitch really ISN'T a boring fighter---he just can't punch, and you can't teach that. He takes cocky young phenom Erick Silva down a peg, winning an all action decision. Silva had his moments but Fitch's energy and work ethic were just on another level. The quick KO loss to Hendricks was a fluke. Fitch is still the policeman in the division. This might be just what Silva needed. The talent is there.
Glover Texeira immediately beats Fabio Maldonado at his own game, boxing, knocking him down in the opening seconds and then battering him from mount for most of the round and threatening with an arm tri, but Fabio not only survives but escapes and rocks Glover with a left hook late in the round, saving a 10-8 from a 10-7 IMO. Glover wants no more boxing and takes Fabio down immediately in the 2nd, but Fabio right up and sharpshooting. Glover takes him down again and pounds a lot more carefully from dominant positions. The doctor is called in after a ridiculous standup but the fight continues. Glover rocks Fabio several times and the fight is stopped between rounds, but my God, is Fabio a tough guy, and skilled. He's just too small for LHW and would be better off at 85.
Nog looks in horrible condition but looks prove to be deceiving as, after a close 1st, he knocks Dave Herman on his ass with a left hook, and after a later trip TD works his way to an arm bar for the tap. Herman had been playing American Wrestler Asshole and bragging how 'Jiu Jitsu doesn't work on me.'
Anderson, who I think from the weigh in was suffering from a cold, just goes Matrix again, easily holds his own with the 'much bigger, stronger' Bonnar in clinch, plays some energy saving Cage A Dope, then takes the 'much bigger, stronger' man down, catches him coming up and finishes the 'takes a great shot' opponent with a knee to the solar plexus that curls him up into a ball (who else did he do that to lately). Everybody who expected this to go past one should go sit in a corner with a funny hat on. Everybody who picked Bonnar to win should go pee on a fire hydrant. I know it's MMAth and all, but a common opponent comparison with Anderson and Jones doesn't make Jones look that good. Anderson somehow against all logic and nature seems to still be improving. Any case, terrific card.
Crimson Mask

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