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Tag: Spike TV

The (Reported) Death of TNA Impact, And How Its Cancellation Could Affect Pro Wrestling and MMA


(*single tear* [via @SoDuTw])

By Seth Falvo

The inevitable has finally occurred: TMZ is reporting that Spike TV has cancelled TNA Impact Wrestling after nine less than spectacular years. It is unclear when the final edition of Impact will air, but TMZ says that TNA’s deal with Spike runs through October. Neither Spike TV nor TNA have released official statements at this time.

So why are we covering the death of a minor-league professional wrestling outfit that did everything it possibly could to run itself out of business on CagePotato.com? Because this is the same promotion that partnered with Bellator to bring us King Mo’s (unintentionally hilarious) wrestling career and Tito Ortiz slugging Rampage Jackson with a hammer. It goes without saying that the Bellator/TNA partnership is about to dissolve, but what can we expect Spike TV to replace TNA Impact with? Will this bring more MMA to Spike TV, or will Spike just find another indie wrestling organization to fill in TNA’s shoes? Your guess is as good as anyone’s at this point, so let’s recklessly speculate for a while.

Isn’t it a little premature to write that TNA Impact Wrestling has been cancelled, considering that TNA could still renew with Spike TV/find a different network?

Sure, Spike TV could still renew TNA Impact, just like someone hypothetically could hold the UFC flyweight and heavyweight titles simultaneously. Not that it matters, but rumor has it that Spike TV executives cancelled Impact because they learned that TNA president Dixie Carter hired Vince Russo as a consultant, even though Spike specifically told her not to give him a job. If that’s true, that’s an oddly appropriate note for a company so hellbent on running itself into the ground to go out on.

As for another network picking up TNA Impact? Take it away, Razor…

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Monday Night Wars Alert: UFC and Bellator to Go Head-to-Head in September


(Photo via Getty)

The UFC will be heading to Connecticut on September 5th. The card will air on FS1. Normally we wouldn’t cover such a banal, uninteresting announcement, but something makes it very special: September 5th also marks the date of Bellator’s season 11 debut, and it’s also being held in Connecticut to boot—a mere 10 miles away.

To say this is a big deal is an understatement. Perhaps Bellator’s rumored 100k PPV buys for Bellator 120 turned the UFC’s head, and now they view the promotion as a threat? And what about ratings? Will Bellator and SpikeTV be able to out-draw the UFC and FOX Sports 1?

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Seven Last-Minute Changes to the Bellator PPV That Would Actually Make It Worth Paying For


(Trust us, Bjorn. When Tito pulls out of the Shlemenko fight in a few days, you’ll want to start thinking outside the box. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

By Seth Falvo

By now, you’ve all heard the news: The main event of Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view has been cancelled due to one of the headliners getting injured only one week out from the fight…again. Except this time around, Bellator isn’t simply moving the remaining card to Spike TV. Instead, Bellator is making Rampage vs. King Mo the new main event, having Michael Chandler fight Will Brooks for a completely meaningless interim lightweight title, moving Alexander Volkov vs. Blagoi Ivanov to the main card, and asking us to kindly fork over our money for this new line-up.

I hate to be pessimistic, but I really don’t think this strategy is going to end well for anyone involved.

The biggest problem with the “Alvarez vs. Chandler III-free” Bellator 120 is that there’s no hook. Every good pay-per-view has to be about something, and if “These two aging light-heavyweights used to really hate each other five years ago” is that something, it’s doubtful that too many fans are going to spend both their money and a Saturday night on it. The boom period for MMA on pay-per-view is long gone. If a new competitor is going to put on a successful pay-per-view event, it’s going to need a stronger product than UFC Lite — it’s going to need something to make it actually stand out.

So it’s in that spirit that I’ve decided to offer up a few last-minute suggestions to make Bellator 120 a more interesting card, to both the casual MMA fans and the grizzled diehards who Bellator is hoping to attract. All of these suggestions are at least a little crazy. Some are crazy enough to actually work. We’ll start off with what I feel is the most practical, then descend further into madness in no particular order…

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Are Events Like UFC Fight Night 32 Why the UFC’s Popularity is Suffering?


(It’s almost 2014. Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort are still main-eventing UFC cards. / photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Cards like UFC Fight Night 32 are contributing to the death of MMA’s popularity in the US.

In case you haven’t noticed, the UFC’s numbers have been atrocious lately. UFC 165, a card headlined by the light heavyweight champion of the world and future of the company Jon Jones, drew a paltry 325,000 buys. Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos III—the finale to the greatest trilogy in UFC heavyweight history—drew a slightly higher number at UFC 166.

The UFC has had woes on free television too. TUF is regularly breaking the wrong kinds of records. And the ratings on FOX Sports 1 have been inconsistent at best. They started strong with a tremendous 1.7 million (back to 2011 Spike TV levels) for UFC Fight Night 26, dropped 54% to 824,000 viewers for UFN 27, fell a further 35% to 539,000 for UFN 28, rose to 638,000 for 29, and stayed at that level for the next fight night card on FOX Sports 1, UFC Fight Night 31 (a.k.a. UFC Fight for the Troops 3).

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[EXCLUSIVE] Greg Jackson Discusses New Challenge of Coaching on Bellator ‘Fight Master’


(Greg poses with two of his bitter rivals, who he definitely did *not* split a basket of hot wings with later that evening. / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Bellator’s Spike TV reality fight competition show, Fight Master, debuts tonight (10 PM / 9 PM Central). On the show, fighters compete for $100,000 and a Bellator contract as a part of a team led by one of four coaches. Looking towards tonight’s premiere, we sat down with one of those coaches — Greg Jackson — to discuss the unique challenges the show posed to him as a coach and more.

CagePotato: Why did you decide to take part in Fight Master?

Greg Jackson: I think it’s because I do MMA all the time. It was just something different. There are different rules. Not so much the rules in the cage but in terms of the whole structure of the tournament and this amount of time to prepare fighters.  I look at it as a challenge — can I still do well with all these new parameters and this new structure? You give me a new challenge and I’m the type of guy who likes to figure it out, like a puzzle.

CP: There are four of you main coaches on Fight Master (Jackson, Joe Warren, Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock) but each of you brought assistants along. Who did you bring with you as assistant coaches for the show?

GJ: I brought two coaches — Joey  Villasenor and Damacio Page.  They are two guys with lots of experience. Not only are they excellent coaches but they come from Albuquerque like I do. They come from the same neighborhoods and they can help give it an Albuquerque feel.

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‘Fight Master: Bellator MMA’ Cast Announced With 32 Welterweights, Including Joe Riggs and ‘Lelo’ Aurelio


(I’ve got some bad news — Joe *is* the show’s token hot chick. / Photo by Esther Lin)

Spike TV has just released the full cast list for Fight Master: Bellator MMA, the upcoming reality show in which 32 fighters compete under the direction of four well-known coaches — Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson, and Joe Warren — for a spot in an upcoming Bellator tournament. The inaugural welterweight season will premiere on Wednesday, June 19th at 10:00 PM, and features a few notable names among the lesser-known prospects. For instance…

Joe Riggs: By far the most experienced fighter in the field, Riggs has competed extensively for the UFC, WEC, and Strikeforce. His sole Bellator appearance in May 2011 resulted in a knockout loss to Bryan Baker. Riggs is currently on a five-fight win streak.

Marcus “Lelo” Aurelio: The Capoeira expert’s flashy kicks have resulted in some must-see knockouts. Six of Aurelio’s career wins have come within the first minute of the fight. However, his Bellator debut last November resulted in a decision loss against Chris Franck.

Chris Lozano: The “Cleveland Assassin” has competed in three different Bellator welterweight tournament seasons since 2011, but has been unable to progress past the semi-finals. In a way, this is like a Comeback season for him.

Andy Uhrich: Good to see you again, buddy!

Several of the other cast-members have also competed previously in Bellator, including Josh Quayhagen (who’s already gone 3-1 for the promotion), Darryl Cobb, Frank Carrillo, and Jason Norwood. Check out the full cast-list after the jump, and click here to watch a teaser video for the show featuring the coaches and fighters.

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Master of Foresight Greg Jackson Shows Shocking Lack of Foresight in Joining Bellator/Randy Couture Reality Show


(“OK, Jon, let’s call it a day. I’ve got to go get some fans.”)

Greg Jackson, world-renowned mixed martial arts trainer and Dana White-described “fucking sport killer” is known by MMA fans near and far for his ability to predict the mindsets of opposing fighters and react accordingly. He has created intricate, masterly crafted gameplans that have in turn helped propel the likes of Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Jon Jones to the ultimate level of MMA glory. But as they say, “Those who can’t do, teach.” “They” were clearly referring to none other than Greg Jackson, who stated in an interview today that he didn’t “foresee any future problems” with the UFC despite the fact that he’s hopped on board Bellator’s upcoming TUF-ripoff reality show:

No, I don’t think so because like Randy (Couture) I’ve worked with Bellator before, and I don’t think it should be a problem. My fighters are my fighters, and I’m me and like Frank (Shamrock) said as well, I think it’s good for the sport.

Even Dana (White) would admit that it’s good for the sport to have other organizations around.  So I don’t foresee any problems.

Oh Greg, you ignorant slut. After all this time in the game, you think you would have a better understanding of The Baldfather’s view on friendly competition.

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Spike TV Reveals Details of Two New MMA Reality Shows Featuring Randy Couture


(Photo via MMAFighting.com)

Earlier today, Spike TV and Bellator executives and former two-division UFC world champion Randy Couture hosted a media conference call to give more details about the two television projects “The Natural” will be involved with as part of his multi-year agreement with the cable network and rising fight organization.

The first, titled Fight Master: Bellator MMA will be a reality television fight competition show, reminiscent of the one Spike famously created with the UFC back in 2005, which also featured Couture as a coach on its first season. This time around, Couture will serve as a coach along with Frank Shamrock, Greg Jackson and Bellator fighter Joe Warren. Thirty-two welterweight contestants will vie for a spot in the Fight Master house, and sixteen will make it in to compete for $100,000 and a slot in a future Bellator tournament.

Spike and Bellator say that Fight Master: Bellator MMA will tape in the fall of 2013 and that the show will feature more fighter choice and autonomy than in past shows of this type. The Emmy award-winning Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, who created The Amazing Race will serve as the show’s executive producers.

Spike and Bellator also announced a second reality show that Couture will be a part of. MMA Rescue will feature Couture using “his years of expertise in the business of mixed martial arts to help turn struggling gyms into thriving enterprises.” That’s actually new ground for MMA programming and sounds pretty cool, as far as we’re concerned. Fight fans who have, for years, been subjected to watching restaurants, bars, tattoo shops, and hair salons get turned around will now get their very own version of the business rescue reality-show format.

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You Knew This Was Coming: Dana White Blasts Randy Couture for Signing Deal With Spike/Bellator


(Go on. Ask him if he gives a f*ck.)

The odds of Randy Couture getting a cushy no-show desk job with the UFC have officially dropped to zero. In the wake of Couture accepting a position to be the new superstar face of Spike TV and Bellator, UFC president Dana White tore into the Natural, blasting his lack of loyalty and even questioning his character as a human being. Here’s what DW had to say about it yesterday:

I’ll say my peace on Randy Couture, and after today, I’ll never mention him again. The bottom-line is this: When that whole thing went down with Randy years ago, we weren’t on the best of terms. Now, before that happened, Randy Couture was on the Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell deal. He was getting a salary, he was in with the company, he was one of those guys. Then he tries to do all this stuff, pull all this bullshit with Affliction, loses and comes back. So, it took me a long time to warm up to him. His lawyer, who I can’t stand, calling our lawyer every day, saying, ‘We want to come back, we want that job again, we want to work for the UFC,’ and all this stuff. Finally, I just say, ‘yes,’ and give him the FOX [commentary] deal

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Randy Couture Signs Multi-Year Deal With Spike TV, Will Appear as a Coach on Bellator’s Reality Series


(Bellator’s new MMA competition show unveils its wrestling coach and “swag advisor.” / Photo via Getty)

UFC legend Randy Couture — who helped usher the UFC into the mainstream as a coach on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005 — will be returning to his Spike TV stomping grounds this year. Except this time, it’ll be in the service of a different MMA promotion looking to build their own brand on the guy-centric cable channel. No, this is not going to sit well with You Know Who. SI.com’s Loretta Hunt has the details:

SI.com has confirmed through multiple sources that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed into a multi-year deal with Spike TV, a property of Viacom, to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate’s family of networks.

As a part of the multi-faceted agreement, Couture’s first role will be as a coach in the forthcoming Bellator MMA reality series, which begins shooting in February and airs later this year.

Spike TV will unveil this industry-shifting announcement on Feb. 5 during a press conference in Los Angeles, where Couture and Spike TV president Kevin Kay will discuss details of the agreement and what the 49-year-old retired fighter’s role will be on the Bellator series and possibly other Spike-broadcasted projects. The series is expected to feature a number of current and up-and-coming Bellator fighters.

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