As a general rule I try to ignore all stories mixing MMA and pro wrestling, but I’ve ignored this story for as long as I can. You guys know my thoughts on pro wrestling. You also know my opinion on pro wrestlers in MMA. And finally you know that the IFL can’t implement a good idea well, let alone a bad one.
The bad idea in this case: Kurt Angle fighting for the IFL.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Kurt would pop the ratings for the IFL and draw in hokey pro wrestling fans who are already hooked to a sub-par product. But the devil is in the detail, and that’s where you start to realize that this deal would suck for the IFL. The amount of cheddar they would have to pony up for one fight from Angle would be vast indeed, and I doubt you’re going to be getting more than two fights a year out of the guy. That’s assuming the IFL is even around for another year.
Despite all his yapping about MMA domination, I doubt Kurt Angle is deluded enough to step into the ring with a real name in the MMA world. So you are basically going to have Kurt Angle vs some random guy (which is lame). Add in the fact that the IFL has never been good at marketing it’s existing talents, and there’s no way Kurt Angle is the answer to the IFL’s problems. Although he would be an interesting distraction to watch as the IFL sinks into bankruptcy.
In what has to be the most shocking and surprising news I’ve ever heard in my life, the stuffy old blowhard morons at HBO have announced that talks with the UFC are dead in the water and not to expect a deal any time soon.
You may remember Dana White saying about a million times that the deal was as close to being done as possible … the UFC even started to roll out their UK shows with the plan to air them on HBO. So all in all I have to say this makes the UFC look pretty dumb. No, not regarding getting the deal done – personally I couldn’t give a fuck if the UFC is on HBO or not. I’m talking about how dumb Dana White sounded saying over and over that the deal would be done any minute, when anyone with half a brain knew the deal was toast the second former HBO CEO Chris Albrecht decided to get slap happy with his girlfriend.
The primary reason behind the dead deal has been known for a while … HBO wanted the hot product, but they wanted to show it their way. Basically they wanted the UFC to throw the show and leave the filming, production, commentary, etc to them. Dana White is such a control freak he shut the company down for a month when he went on vacation. Do you think he’s going to let the fogeys at HBO control the public face of his events? No fucking way.
And thank God for that … I watched Pavlick vs Taylor last night (thanks for pointing me to it, guys), and while the fight was great the production values felt dated for the most part and the announcers made Frank Trigg seem like Al Michaels. On the other hand I’d give both my testicles to see some UFC highlights with that crazy 120 frames per second camera HBO uses. But how much can one of those cameras really cost? I’d rather the UFC keep it’s independence, rent the camera, and we all keep our testicles (me in my pants and the UFC in their commenting booth).
The last time Tony DeSouza showed his cro-magnon face in the Octagon, he got beaten back to the stone age by the lean mean diuretic machine known as Thiago Alves. That was a hella long time ago, and I was starting to worry that we’d seen the last of our bearded compadre. Fortunately it seems he was just waiting for the UFC to match him against someone with less brutal striking. Now Tony will be fighting against Roan Carneiro, who we like to call Mr Choke.
Mr Choke was Jon Fitch’s victim number 13 as part of the awesome UFN10 card … he put up a good game until Jon Fitch’s corner noticed a weakness for defending combos and sent Fitch in for the kill. That was probably the best example of effective cornering I’ve ever seen, but we’ll talk about that some other day. For now all I’ll say is Roan is a game competitor and a fight between him and DeSouza is gonna be an awesome ground clinic.
Once again, the IFL has managed to take a good idea and fuck it up. Last week they announced they would air the IFL Grand Prix live on MyNetworkTV. That’s a good idea. But then everyone realized they’re only showing an hour of it live … 3 fights if we’re lucky.
Regardless, the idea of a Grand Prix is still pretty sweet … take the best fighters in the league and make them fight eachother. What a novel idea huh? Hell, it kinda sounds like what every successful MMA organization does for ALL their shows (excluding UFC 78)! But now the IFL is fucking that up by dropping two of their best fighters from the Grand Prix because they don’t want a champion who’ll fuck off next year to another group.
This is a perfect case of what works for the goose not always working for the gander. Whatever the fuck that means. But yeah … what works for the UFC – keeping guys from fighting for a belt without being locked into long term contracts – isn’t really viable for the IFL. Why? Because the IFL is second-tier. I’m not gonna go so far as to call them minor league, but they’re definitely nowhere close to the UFC, ProElite, HERO’s … ya know, the big boys.
So acting like they’re top tier is just another example of the IFL living in a state of delusion, and really makes me doubt their business plans even more than before. The best the IFL should be hoping for now is that their Grand Prix finalists will all move up to fight in the UFC. That would at least give the company some sort of validity as a legitimate feeder organization for the fighters who are in it. You can’t expect the best fighters in your company to stick around when your company isn’t #1. That’s like expecting a top prospect to keep playing for their college football team when an NFL team is calling with a multi-million dollar offer.
This is just the first of many tough-guy moves by the IFL that we’ll be seeing in the next few months. They’re probably reasoning that they’re being too nice and that’s why they’re losing money. The truth of the matter though is they’re losing money because they over-extended themselves before bothering to make the company profitable. They can’t downsize because they’re stuck having to create two hours of TV content a week. And the irony is these TV deals aren’t even covering the costs of making that content!
Anyways, all in all the IFL is fucked. Or maybe not. Remind me later this week to make a post on how to change the IFL so it would stop losing money. Not like they’re gonna do it. Stupid bastards.
Pro Wrestling is uber-lame nowadays. Sure we all watched it when we were stupid kids, and it was even somewhat okay to pay attention back during that whole Degeneration X era a few years back. But now it’s just embarrassing, and self-respecting adults should leave that habit behind with other childish habits like masturbating in socks (pity your mom for having to do your cum stained laundry) and doing whippits behind the gas station on Sunday afternoons.
That being said, I have no idea why talented guys like Dave Meltzer and Zach Arnold continue to cover that abortion of a ‘sport’. The day mixed martial arts slides into the same state pro wrestling is in is the day I hop onto the next hot bandwagon sport and blog about that instead. And while I don’t look forward to writing about competitive eating 4 to 7 times a day, it’s a small price to pay to be able to look at myself in the little mirror every morning while doing lines of meth and blow.
Fuck, this is a rambling post, isn’t it? The point of this whole rant is that Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer is jumping ship from Fox Sports and has joined Team Cock Suck over at Yahoo Sports. I’ve never had a problem with Dave’s writing mainly because most of it is tucked away in a for-pay pro wrestling newsletter I don’t read, and I hear he tends to be factually correct most of the time. If he has a bias one way or another, it doesn’t come through when half the MMA websites out there rip off his shit and repost it on their site. So here’s hoping this is a step up for Yahoo and maybe they’ll boot Kevin Iole back to boxing where he belongs and let Meltzer run the MMA show.