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Tag: TNA Wrestling

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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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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Rampage Jackson Already Made His TNA Impact Debut, And Here’s The Video

If watching two dudes stare ominously at each other from inches away whilst using a microphone to communicate is your thing, then BOY DO WE HAVE A VIDEO FOR YOU.

After signing a dual contract with Bellator and TNA wrestling ala Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal earlier this week, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made his big debut with the latter last night. And if he was hoping that being a professional MMA fighter would earn him some of that “respect” he’s always talking about in the world of wrasslin’, he was…right, we guess? Rampage could barely get out one of his signature howls before being challenged by Kurt Angle (a.k.a “Koba“) — a close-talker if there ever was one — who vehemently declared that Page “get off his plane” or some such nonsense. This lead to a heated staredown which ended with Page laying the smackdown on Kurt’s candy ass shaking Angle’s hand like a gentleman??!

Jesus, if we ever needed any evidence that Rampage has truly lost the fire, this is it. The Rampage of old would have at least promised us some “black on white” crime before commenting on Angle’s stank bref. Pour one out for a fallen friend, Potato Nation…

-J. Jones

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Irony of All Ironies: Rampage Jackson Reportedly Signs With Bellator/TNA, Debut Tentatively Set for Fall


(Shoe of the future or electric razor of the future? You decide.  Photo via Fighterxfashion.com)

Rampage Jackson. Rampage. Jaaacksson.

I keep repeating the name out loud, hoping to dredge up some semblance of the physical being who once inhabited that moniker, of the powerbombing, ref-pranking, good time-having brawler who was feared the world over, but all I’m left with are the memories of a bitter, perpetually lamenting transexual rapist and peddler of millipede-shaped death shoes. Tis a cruel mistress, this thing we call time.

Although we’ve had our fun mocking Page’s downward spiral from the sidelines over the years, we truly (and somewhat secretly) have been holding onto the hope that we would one day see the Rampage of old — the aforementioned jive-talking world-beater — back in action whenever he finally found a promotion that “appreciates him.”

Well good news, Potato Nation, as it appears that Rampage has finally found said promotion…in Bellator.

Ariel Helwani has the details:

According to those same sources, Jackson’s new deal will be similar to the one Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal signed with the promotion last year, which gave him the opportunity to appear on TNA Impact Wrestling programming on Spike TV. Jackson has flirted with the idea of pursuing a pro wrestling career in the past, and it seems as though he will soon get a chance to showcase himself as a sports entertainer.

Jackson’s Bellator debut has yet to be finalized, but a fall date appears to be a possibility. Bellator would not confirm the new contract when contacted by MMAFighting.com.

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TNA Wrestler King Mo Crosses Over to the Dark Side, Calls MMA a ‘Joke’


(“I don’t give a damn about some Bellator fighter that goes by the name of King Mo.” Well, that makes two of you. Video via TNAWrestling)

When Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal signed a dual-contract with Bellator and TNA Wrestling earlier this year, fans wondered how he’d be able to straddle the often-opposing worlds of real fighting and show fighting — a rare trick to pull off outside of Japan. But Lawal’s one-year suspension for steroids has allowed him to focus the majority of his energies on learning the pro wrestling game, and we’re starting to get the feeling that we might lose him altogether. Call it hunch, based on the fact that Mo thinks MMA is a fad, and can’t stand you people. Here’s what he told BleacherReport in an interview published yesterday:

It starts with the way the fans don’t think for themselves,” Lawal stated. “They have to look to certain people for approval on how they think. They bash the fighters and think fighting is easier than it really is. A lot of people didn’t grow up fighting. They grew up playing football and basketball. So they can relate to missing a pass, a layup, free throws and dropping a pass, an interception or kicking a field goal.

MMA fans never grew up fighting. They just put on their Affliction or Tapout shirts and say, ‘Hey I’m a fighter or hey I’m going to a fight.’ To me, its a joke. It is a certain demographic that’s involved and I’m not with that.

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[Exclusive] Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal Discusses Controversies, Bellator & Pro Wrestling


(Mo wrote down all of his answers for this interview to prove, once more, to the Nevada State Athletic Commission that he can read and write in English.)

By Elias Cepeda

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Muhammed Lawal is truly as carefree as he sounds or if “King Mo” just doesn’t want us to see him sweat. The former All-American wrestler and current MMA light heavyweight has been embattled recently.

After exploding onto the international fight scene in 2008 Lawal suffered a violent loss, his first, to Rafael Cavalcante in 2010. In 2011 and early 2012 he got back on the winning track, stringing together two-straight but then Lawal had his win over Lorenz Larkin overturned after he failed a post-fight drug test.

A subsequent hearing, suspension, twitter outburst where he called a Nevada State Athletic Commissioner a “bitch,” and firing from Strikeforce followed. Oh yeah, Lawal also nearly died after a staph infection.

When we ask Lawal how he’s managed to stay focused and sane throughout it all he says, “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Really?

“All I care about is providing for my family,” he tells CagePotato. “And MMA is a small part of what I do to make a living.”

It certainly is about to become just one of two professional athletic careers that Lawal uses to make ends meet. Since being released by Strikeforce, Lawal has signed with Bellator and Total Nonstop Action wrestling. The idea is for him to simultaneously and regularly take part in professional wrestling and pro MMA.

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Exclusive: Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Talks Women’s MMA, Fighter Insurance, Impact Wrestling and More

I managed to catch up with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney after Bellator 69 at the L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Friday night. Bjorn touched on issues such as fighters who stuck out on the undercard, why the Asplund vs. Sparks fight didn’t happen, MMA in New York and much more. Come inside after the jump for the full interview, as well as fight videos from the fighters that Bjorn Rebney mentions.

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Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal Signs With Bellator and TNA Wrestling


(Like this, Stone Cold?)

MMA Weekly is reporting that former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has signed with MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championships and professional wrestling organization Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Lawal was fired from Strikeforce after testing positive for a banned steroid and is currently serving out a nine-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Because of that suspension, Lawal will have to wait to be able to compete under the Bellator banner — but since he’s also signed with TNA, he can conceivably begin making some money much sooner since professional wrestling is not regulated as a competitive sport by athletic commissions. Lawal signing with both organizations fuels rumors that Bellator and TNA  — both of which air on Viacom-owned television channels and, starting in 2013, will appear on Spike TV — will somehow collaborate or cross-promote.

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Frank Trigg: The World’s Toughest Salesman

Frank Trigg MMA Triggonomics
(Photo courtesy of MySpace.com/triggonomics.)

Frank Trigg is a one-man industry. How many other fighters can claim to train in a gym they own, show up to fight in a shirt they designed, then talk about it the next day on their own radio show? In this exclusive interview, the man behind Triggonomics, TAGG Radio, the R1 Training Center, a handful of truly bizarre TV appearances — as well as some legendary beatdowns in the UFC, PRIDE and Icon Sport — gives us the “Twinkle Toes” perspective on fighter branding, reality television, and why he would kick Robbie Lawler’s ass in a rematch.

***

CAGEPOTATO.COM: Let’s get this out of the way first: Who, where, and when are you fighting next?
FRANK TRIGG: I don’t know yet. I thought I was going to have something set up and ready to announce this week, but we don’t have anything finalized.

But you are still actively pursuing your fight career, right? It’s not like your five other jobs are getting in the way…
Absolutely, I’m trying to get as many fights as I can. I was trying to be in the DREAM middleweight tournament, but it didn’t work out.

You told MMAJunkie that doing that tournament wouldn’t benefit your brand. What exactly did you mean by that?
That’s really what all of us are trying to do — Chuck Liddell, Roger Huerta, Georges St. Pierre — all of us are trying to brand ourselves to a big enough name that we can make money outside of the fight world, and I have to make choices on what’s going to help me accomplish that. Doing commentating for TNA Wrestling helps me as a brand — it pushes me forward, it gets me in front of a different demographic and increases the size of my network. And when you’re with an organization that’s not going to do that for you, whatever level you’re at, it doesn’t help.

DREAM was waiting and screwing around, and I was trying to figure out whether or not the tournament was going to be shown in America on HDNet. They finally agreed to a deal like three days before the event, and I thought “that’s just stupid, they should have had this stuff done a long time ago.” The way that they’re running the organization, it just wasn’t going to be any good for me in trying to get my brand out there.

Do you think you’ll still try to deal with DREAM? Their fight-booking process seems disorganized at times, to say the least.
I would have gone back to them, but somebody sent me a link to a story in the Japanese press where they said I was a liar and that I agreed to do the tournament but backed out. I’m not going to work with someone who’s going to call me a liar. It’s not gonna happen.

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