Weekend show feedback: ROH, New Japan, Glory, Bellator



ROH Best In The World 2013 Feedback
 
Best Match: Michael Elgin vs Tomasso Ciampa
Worst Match: None
 
I watched this on delay but the technical glitches were still there and it would skip over large portions. Hopefully the full version is up soon. With that aside, I thought this was the best in-ring show from ROH in a long time. Elgin vs Ciampa was really good and a lot of other stuff was at least good. I liked that they let Taven actually wrestle instead of letting his match be overwhelmed by Martini. I thought Cole had one of his better ROH matches with Strong and the Briscoes felt like a big deal.

Dave Musgrave
Oshawa, Ontario

Best match: tomacco vs elgin
Worst match: tag team 3-way

Thumbs up

Was ringside for show. Heard issues with ippv feed but live show was excellent. Not sure how crowd sounded on stream but I thought it was really hot, especially for hardy vs steen. Elgin vs ciampa was a fantastic match, really liked ciampa after it was over. Probably my favorite roh match so far this year. Slightly better show than supercard was.

Joshue Reisig

MMA BELLATOR 96


Thumbs somewhat up. Sorta woulda been nice to have a little advance pub that the card was happening and what time the prelims started and and on what website.

Best fight: McNally-Artov

Worst fight: Jackson vs. One Handed Man

KO: Mo

Sub: McNally

Missed the first hour of prelims. Halsey dominates Yeager in an ex college wrestler matchup. BJM has a cop flashback on Yeager and takes a point for a very minor and very accidental low kick after Yeager gives him an argument about the warning. Jimmy and Sean are scairt to say it outright but say everything but. Cards 30-28 split? Halsey. Uhhh... how could Yeager get a 30 when he lost a point? Jimmy says THAT. 

The Ryan Martinez-Rich Hale HW tourney fight runs now on the prelims, not the main card as listed above. Martinez looks less obese than last year. Martinez gets a TD and KOs Hale with G&P in a quick upset. They've cut the tourneys to 4 guys instead of 8 for the summer season. Not really a 'tourney' with only two rounds, is it? I liked the format the way it was. It's like 3 out of 4 same guys every season this way.

Butler and O'Neal are both 260 but pro boxer Butler is listed 6'3 (looks taller) and wrestler O'Neal is 5'9 (or maybe he's shorter, is the deal). 11' reach advantage. To make it funnier Butler is this muscular black guy and O'Neil is a little fat pink blondy dude. Butler gets the TKO from unanswered G&P but O'Neil does get a TD first. Unbeaten Damon Jackson blows away opponent Keith Miner, who is missing his right hand, in a LW squash.

Opening the top card, 'War Machine' unfortunately makes a successful return, stopping clueless Blas Avena with G&P from crucifix.

In the other HW tourney fight, the far more skilled Vitaly Minikov finishes the wild swinging Ron Sparks in seconds with a right cross and followup G&P. Minikov vs. Martinez in the HW finals. Minikov looks like the smart bet there.

In the first LHW tourney fight, Babalu dominates early but Jacob Noe, who seems like there's something wrong with him, is just too big. Looks like HW vs. MW. Stopped in the 3rd but Noe was about to fall down if Babalu didn't. Babalu should hang it up if he can't beat this lox. And he does. Babalu retires during the commercial break. Gee. mighta been some pretty good TV to get more than 5 seconds of on camera. He took off his gloves in the middle of the ring and knelt and bowed and got a standing O including from Frank Shamrock who was commentating (more on that in a minute).

In the other LHW fight, King Mo Lawal comes back from the embarrassing flip backfist KO loss to Newton to blow away Seth Pertuzelli with a single drop punch after a TD and tossing his legs to the side. Seth follows Babalu into retirement a day or two later.

An early prelim gets air as McNally taps Artov in a BW fight. Excellent grappling from both. Verbal tap.

FIGHT MASTER

Bellator's version of TUF follows the fights. Different spin on the concept. 4 teams: Greg Jackson, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Joe Warren, the winners of the qualifying fights get to pick their team till 4 slots on each are filled. All 4 were separately present on commentary during the live card.

Sorta mismatch coachingwise. Jackson is the top guy in the sport, Couture and Shamrock have decent track records, and Warren has Scott Jorgensen who arguably has gotten worse since he went with him. 

It's really interesting. They watch the fights and you hear the running commentary. Then the winner comes out and asks questions and picks his team. Some of the fighters they want and some they don't and you hear how they spin their answers. BUT... I'm not real convinced how legit the process is. It smells funny. They all get fighters. You would think everybody would take Jackson if they really could. Shamrock wants Chris Lozano but tells him he should go with Jackson and explains in an insert that he's using reverse psych, and then Lozano  goes ahead and picks Shamrock? I dunno.

But it's entertaining.  Some good fighters like Lozano and AJ Mitchell already in. The other three apparently find Warren as obnoxious as most of the rest of us do. He's fronting off about some imaginary reason he's a better coach than the others and Shamrock gets off a 'What'd be helpful, Joe, is if you could actually coach,' zinger on him. I'll be watching next time in any case.

BOXING Bruner-Malignaggi

Thumbs in the middle, one great fight, one lousy fight, one medium fight

Best fight: Bika-Periban

Worst fight: Mitchell-Banks

GREAT first fight. Bika takes the 114-114, 116-112, 115-113 MD over Periban for the vacant We Be Collectin 168 title. 12 rounds of competitive action, both gunning for the finish up to the last second. The goddamn Showtime Spanish translator should be shot. He rewrites everything.

Mitchell avenges a previous loss to Banks via UD including an asinine 117-109 in a close fight and takes the Chicken Unlimited and Kraft Cheese Intercoastal HW (or something) title in a desultory 12. Banks as a trainer has inherited Emmanuel Steward's stable including Wladdy Klitschko, which is sort of weird as they're both active HWs.

Bruner coming up two divisions has to go the distance taking an absurd but more competitive than expected SD over Featherfists Malignaggi and taking whichever WW title. I had Bruner winning 8-3-1, 117-112. One judge has it almost the same, 117-111, the other two split 115-113. You have to KO Malignaggi in Brooklyn to get a UD. Cano beat him 10 rounds to 2 and lost a SD last time. Malignaggi whines about corrupt judging. What a joke. Bruner does not carry his power to 147 and is still several solar systems short of Mayweather.

GLORY 9 KICKBOXING

Thumbs up, except the officiating

Best fight: Spong-Duut

Worst fight: Vanderhoeven-Zimmerman

KO: 3 way tie, Vakhitov, Spong (vs, Duut), Ghita

(if full report does not appear below, look for a separate posting)

This excellent card was also last night in NYC, at the Hammerstein. The format was a one night 8 man LHW tournament and several 'superfights' (non tourney). I'm surprised the NYSAC approved the tournament format as the ACs usually limit the number of scheduled rounds you can fight in one night to the length of the longest fight (5R MMA, 12R boxing), which I guess is vague under kickboxing rules anyway because of the tiebreaker rounds, but I would also guess they haven't figured out kickboxing is a lot physically more demanding than boxing. Really good fights, some bizarre officiating but what else is new.

The card opens with two reserve fights for the tourney. Koichi from Japan drops from HW but to no avail as Randy Blake pastes him pretty much at will, taking a 29-28, 29-27, 30-27 UD. Some bizarre reffing from the Arab ref, stopping the action to wipe blood, may save Koichi from a 2nd round TKO. None of the fighters can understand any of his commands all night anyway. In the other, Artem Vakhitov absolutely destroys Luis Tavares, dropping him twice with a SBF and then a liver shot for the automatic TKO (he wasn't getting up anyway) inside a minute.

In the first superfight at HW, the Other Anderson Silva puts a 3 round paint job on 270 lb. Brit Daniel Sam taking a correct 30-27X3 UD. Sam hits like hell and is very quick for his size and showed better cardio than previously, but Silva just beat him to the punch all night.

In the first of four tourney quarterfinals, tireless Danyo Ilunga wears out Mourad Bouzidi in an incredibly paced fight. Bouzidi somehow wins a round on two cards.

Dustin Jacoby repeats a previous win over Brian Collette. Sloppy fight but Jacoby is little more accurate and hits harder. One judge inexplicably gives all 3 rounds to Collette. The ring announcer insists on anouncing all split decisions as 'majority decision'.

In an absolutely horrible decision, flabby looking Filip Verlinden is gifted with the 29-28 split, 30-27 SD over Aussie Steve McKinnon, who clearly wins the last two rounds. A down from a LK in the 3rd is not scored as a KD so the judges ignore it, but they seem to have ignored the last two rounds altogether. In kickboxing those are supposed to count, even if not as much as a KD.

The last quarter provides concentrated action and drama as Tyrone Spong with Rashad in the corner drops back down from HW only to get knocked on his ass in the opening moments by Michael Duut, but then proceeds to hit Duut so hard he knocks him out twice with one overhand right---Duut goes down, gets up, and then goes down again for the count, like Tyson-Berbick. Total time 31s.

Two more superfights follow. Joe Valtellini gradually asserts dominance over Francois Ambang, stopping him in the 3rd mostly from leg kicks. Daniel Ghita, coming off losses to Schilt and Saki, makes short work of the even taller Bryce Guidon, trapping him in a corner, hurting him with a body shot, and sending him to Mars with a left hook inside a minute.

In the semis, after a surprising 1st round from Jacoby, Ilunga breaks him down with low kicks and takes a correct 29-28 UD.

Spong batters Verlinden for three rounds. One judge somehow gives Verlinden a round.

In two more superfights, Wayne Barrett befuddles Mike Lemaire with footwork and positioning and stops him in the 2nd. Rico Vanderhoeven repeats a previous win in a lousy sloppy brawl over Errol Zimmerman via actual MD with one card scored even.

Bizarre reffing ruins the tourney final as Spong staggers Ilunga rubberlegged in the opening moments and the incompetent Arab ref tries to jump in and for whatever reason (you have the standing 8 in kickboxing) stop the fight. By the time he gets there Ilunga is recovered but he stops the fight anyway. Major letdown ending to a very good card.

Crimson Mask


Went to the show live.  Great crowd live, looked like the biggest crowd at the du burns yet... 
best match... American wolves tag match.
 
worst.... None.. Every match was good to great.
 
Mike Kulyk

I honestly thought the show was spectacular with a great crowd. Fav Match was Shibata vs Goto with Suzuki and Benjamin vs Nakamura and Ishii AND Okada(c) vs Makabe being amazing as well.

- Jason Rudy

Thumbs up

Best matches: Hiroki Goto vs Katsuyori Shibata, Kazuchika Okada vs Togi Makabe

Worst match: Rob Conway vs Manabu Nakanishi

Eight of the ten matches were great. The main event exceeded expectations by a long margin and if there's a Match of the Year contender coming out of June, it's Goto-Shibata. I can't wait for the next few shows. The booking was tremendous.

Jonny Clare

Dave,

Just got done attending Best in the World 2013 at Du Burns Arena. Thumbs way up for the show. I haven't ever bought any of the ippv's, a lot of that has to do with the technical problems you always report on, but I knew I had to attend live when it was announced. Great card from bottom to top. Really great crowd too, as is usual at the Baltimore TV tapings.

Best match: hard to pick since there were a lot of great ones: Elgin vs Ciampa, Briscoes, etc. but I am going American Wolves vs. High Adrenaline.

Worst match: Probably the opener, but there was nothing wrong with it.

Best show I have seen this year so far, although I did miss Payback, so can't speak for how good it was compared to that.

Matt Wright

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