Weekend mailbag: UFC, Pro Elite, WWE stealing from movies, Weight cutting
UFC on FX 1
Thumbs in the middle, and not because of the fights.
Best fight: I liked Neer vs. Bang, even as short as it was. Odd but several fights with similar action---dramatic, come from behind, decisive, mostly one round wins. Easton-Papazian was good too.
Worst fight: Jay Glazer vs. competent commentary. Brenneman-Roberts wasn't that great either, or the Russian kid vs. Sheiky Jr., who seemed to be lost on Mars.
First of all, the fights were fine. The problem is the format on Fuel. What the fuck do you need TWO sets of commentators for a sport contested by TWO athletes for? The problem became evident on the weigh ins. Hey, not rocket science, point a camera at the stage like UFC has been doing all these years. We missed most of the actual weigh ins including Camoes coming in over the first time. Problem became more evident when Glazer referred to 'the great Pat Barry'. Over the night, we are told by him that everything was great. Between the weigh in, the prelims and the postfight He must have used the word 500 times and I'm not kidding. He's an annoying blowhard with phony delivery and the annoying habit. Of inserting random punctuation. In. Every. Sentence. I had people text me saying they were turning it off because they couldn't take any more of it. Bonnar was fine. Ariel as roving reporter, I guess, if you have to have one, which UFC seems to have managed just fine without one all these years, was fine. But they're all unnecessary.
Plus the format is redundant and boring. Glazer and Bonnar analyze the fight. Then Anik and Kenny analyze the fight. Then Anik and Kenny call the fight. Then Anik interviews the winner in the ring. Then Anik and Kenny recap the fight. Then Glazer and Bonnar recap the fight. Then Ariel interviews the winner backstage. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Glazer also tells us how great all this is.
The show was way too slow. Don't need three hours for 5 fights. Even if they all go the distance. First hour had exactly two minutes of fighting.
Anik I think will do fine. He's no Rogan in terms of personality or knowledge but he's sharp, quick, speaks coherently and seems to be on top of things. Needs to resist a slight urge to the Cutsie Poo ('How about some Bruce Buffer?') Kenny was okay. Seemed kind of dulled for some reason. Was me I'd cut back to the PROVEN, NOT BROKE two man team and make it Anik and Bonnar.
The fights like I said were fine. Denis' collar tie and hooking elbows KO of Sandoval (whose name has yet to be correctly pronounced once, by anybody, it's san-do-VAL) was highlight reel. Pineda's guy, 'Thrilling Schilling', was herky jerky and not UFC level and Pineda, who has been impressive in the minors on HDnet, dispatched him quick and clean.
Camoes made weight and had the first dramatic fight of the night as Hayden opened fast and effective but the veteran only needed one mistake to take control of the situation and find the finish. Thought Hayden was trying to tap several times before it was called.
Brenneman is another very effective but very boring grinder. The fight was only watchable because Roberts caught subs in the last two rounds and Brenneman may have been saved by the bell in both, and you relly wanted to try to give Roberts the rounds but you couldn't because he was being laid on for about 4 3/4 minutes out of 5. One judge couldn't resist giving him one round, you sympathize but that's bad judging. For some reason the crowd likes it and it's not even Brenneman's hometown. Anyplace else they'd have booed him out of the building.
Sheiky Junior seems to get old in the ring and the Russian kid, despite looking scared at first and having punches that look like overcooked pasta, just does whatever he wants with him. He seems disoriented and Hardonk in the corner has to tell him what round it is repeatedly. Something wasn't right. Sheiky's wrestling isn't even any good, and he gives up his neck in the 3rd like a late Christmas present. Glazer tells us how great these last two fights were, too.
Jorge Rivera announces earlier in the day that this is his last fight, and he goes out a winner after another come from behinder. The much bigger Eric Schafer ties him in knots through the first, but Jorge pulls out of an ankle pic in the 2nd, pounces on Schafer and does not let him off the hook for the TKO to cap the undercard.
Fortunately the top card show on FX is just Anik and Kenny. In another come from behind win Pat Barry shows some newfound ground defense in escaping from several knots the somewhat slimmed down Morecraft was tying him in, and finds his head for the KO to open the show. Lotta fun while it lasted.
Easton and Papazian stage a fast paced back and forth three round brawl at bantamweight, which was close enough to be a draw. I had the first two rounds even and Easton edging the third. The crowd did not like the MD for Easton. Good fight, but the problem for Easton is, Papazian came in with a .667 record from the minors, and a potential contender like Easton is being pushed as should have been able to handle a guy like that a lot easier.
In another short, dramatic fight, Duane Bang Ludwig battered Josh Neer all over the ring for a couple of minutes, got taken down but kicked Neer right off, but made one mistake in leaning in with his head out to get up, and Neer cinched the Guillotine and put him to sleep. Great short fight with a great finish (see, Glazer, this is what 'great' actually means).
The main followed the pattern as Guillard exploded on Jim Miller and had the iron-jawed sub expert in some trouble, but seemed to be more concerned with a spectacular KO than a KO and let him off the hook, then seemed to short circuit, having no defense when Miller took his back and sunk the choke. Guillard may not have made the right move leaving Jackson for the Blackzilians, as Jackson seemed to be able to level him out mentally---it's not like the Blackzilians don' have anybody to give you work on sub defense.
I attempted to watch the postfight but gave up after Glazer used 'great' 5 times in one pseudosentence.
PRO ELITE SPYDER VS. MINOWA
Thumbs up. More entertaining than not. Extra points for having Screeching Woman doing the walk in intros.
Best fight: Odoms vs. Heun
Worst fight: Martinez vs. Griffin
Schermerhorn opens the card with a quick KO. Knocks the other guy down with a left hook and then knocks him out with another one. The guy went down poleaxed, like Terry Etim last week in UFC.
Wrestling standout and coach Pat Cummins just wipes the mat with his guy before tapping him late in the 1st with arm tri.
In the HW tourney semis, the obese but somewhat skilled Martinez does a three round paint job on the even more obese Griffin in a snoozer. Both guys are in better shape than they look, but it's still a snoozer. Martinez supposedly thinks he's on his way to UFC. I doubt it.
In the other semi, Odoms survives some heads up wrestling including a huge opening moments slam from the much smaller but quicker Heun to take his back and finish him in the 2nd with what was really a Gable Grip Rear Chinlock. Very good, back and forth fight while it lasted. Heun could make 205 easy and might want to.
Olympic wrestling silver medalist Sara McMann appeared two full weight divisions bigger than Akano, who was a big step up in comp for her, and took her to school on some grappling subtleties, but Sara was just way too big and strong and her wrestling was way too good. Exactly the right kind of fight for a prospect, you beat somebody ranked ahead of you, learn something at the same time. Akano skilled enough to keep it interesting all the way through.
In the main, Grove pretty much did what he wanted with Minowa, who at least appeared to be legitimately trying to win (not always a 'given' with him).
Show was flat from a production standpoint (which will kill me when I apply for a job at UFC, seriously, but I gotta call it likes I sees it.) I think the biggest issue was the internet buzz about referee Mario Yamasaki OFFICIALLY turning heel. The marks vs. smarks vs. dude-i'm-into-MMA-I don't know what the f**k yer talking about-crowd just confused us all.
Probably the right card for a first-time on FX show but I may have underestimated the strength of Spike's original programming work.
Last, where is Langerman's daily trivia TODAY?!?
On this day, birthday boy George Maranville remembers he told Les J***s and Jim F****n to tell Ian Rotten that he doesn't let people borrow $3,000 cameras in exchange for free admission to IWA shows.
Oxygen Bar Out!
Big thumbs up for last night show. My modest expectations were far exceeded.
Both the Fuel prelims and FX card were action filled and loaded with finishes.
Pat Barry left the biggest impression, I thought he was DOOMED on both those submissions he worked out of. Quite impressive.
WWE WRITING TEAMJust caught last week's Raw and SmackDown from last nite. It is so obvious how some of the writing team tries to recycle old lines from movies and TV shows. It was bad enough when John Cena used Bill Murray's underwear line from Stripes, but tonight watching Vickie Guerrero use an obvious rip-off of the character Elaine Benis from the Little Kicks episode of Seinfeld....it's like the writers don't have any original ideas, so let's just copy what's already been done and hope no one recognizes it. Or maybe they just don't care. Either way, I blame myself for continued to watch this crap...
TITLE CHANGE AT HOUSE SHOW
Bryan & Dave:
I was fast-forwarding thru Raw from Monday & I saw something that I kind of liked that made me stop & watch for a awhile.
They showed a clip from an Oakland house show that involved a title change for the Tag Belts.
At first I didn’t even know why this caught my attention, then I thought about it for awhile. As a kid in the early to mid 70’s watching wrestling when there was a title change that took place on a house show (especially a major title change) they would make a really big deal of the video footage for the actual change.
In the case of a World title change they would announce it on TV, but let you know that the video footage would not be shown in some cases for a couple of weeks & this was always a really big deal to us as kids ( we would eagerly look forward to what would usually amount to a few moments of video footage)
I got kind of a similar feel when I watched those few moments of video from the house show which for me was kind of enhanced by dark production value (gave it a sort of distinction from what you see on TV every week)
I have no evidence that this will increase or promote house show business, or in any way enhance the Tag-Belts, but it did actually make me watch, which was kind of Cool.
The weight class issue is mind-boggling to me as well, but here's something to think about:
Drug testing is done most of the time to almost all of the fighters either right before the fight or right after the fight, correct? Message being: They don't want you on PED's during the fight because it affects the outcome. I believe they do it when a fighter is outside of competition as well, as with Overeem, correct?
Okay, once again the message is they don't want you on drugs because it affects the outcome of the fight. But it seems they are more vigilant as competition approaches, correct?
So why doesn't weight MATTER? I mean, it clearly affects the outcome of the fight, right? If it doesn't, then let's not have weight classes. So why does it matter the day BEFORE the fight, but not the day OF the fight? That's kind of like passing all your drug testing prior to the day of, then taking PCP so you're Superman DURING the fight. Obviously, that would detected, because they drug test.
So I don't understand why the weight going into the fight doesn't matter at all? And if doesn't matter on fight day, why does it matter the day BEFORE the fight? That's equally retarded (to borrow a phrase from Joe Rogan).
Basically, the whole weight class thing is a joke. It allows guys 20 lbs heavier than the actual weight class to fight in that particular weight class. A guy who actually weighs 185 lbs after regular training has no chance against a guy who actually weighs 200 lbs after regular training, but cuts weight to get to 185. I mean, if their abilities are the same, or near the same, the 200 lb guy walking into the cage on Sat. night has the advantage.
Why is this not a rule? Why isn't a rule that you can't weigh 5 lbs more than your weight after weigh-in? (With the exception being heavyweight limit of 265, no matter what. You can't weigh more than 265 on Friday or Sat.) I know, I know, if the guy doesn't make the weigh, and it's the Main Event, than there's a lot of money that doesn't get made. But that's no excuse. We don't let them fight if they fail the drug test ahead of time.
I just don't get, other than money, what's the reason? Weight classes are pointless.
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