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Tag: Vince McMahon

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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Who’s the Real “Father of MMA”? — 10 Fighters More Deserving of the Title Than Bruce Lee


(Dat. Pizza. Dough.)

By Seth Falvo

Though current bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will not be a playable character in EA Sports UFC when it hits the shelves two weeks from now, Bruce Lee will be. Perhaps equally ridiculous is that Bruce Lee isn’t being treated as a novelty addition to the roster, but rather as “the father of Mixed Martial Arts,” something Dana White has also called him. Giving credit to only one person for the creation of MMA is absurd enough, but painting Bruce Lee as that person is just preposterous.

Then again, it really isn’t hard to understand why Zuffa would want to make someone like Bruce Lee an ambassador for our sport. Lee was — and still is — an instantly recognizable celebrity. His body was ripped and athletic. He knew how to wrestle, sure, but also understood that most people would rather watch him throw flashy kicks. His affirmations were deep enough to look good on playing cards and posters, but not too profound for the bros curling in the squat rack to comprehend. In other words, he appeals to a much larger audience than Edward William Barton-Wright and Tommy Tanaka do.

Even with all that in mind, there are figures in combat sports history who not only did more to mold modern MMA than Bruce Lee, but can also be worked into the charmingly revisionist Zuffa account of history just as well. The following list will focus on the accomplishments of these individuals, as well as the arguments for why they should be repackaged as the fathers of MMA. Let’s start with the oldest candidate, and work our way towards the modern era…

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Six Things the UFC Can Learn from the WWE Going Into 2014


(On second thought, make that seven things. Photo via With Leather.)

By Seth Falvo

On paper, my timing couldn’t possibly be worse. Aside from the fact that there are dozens of “What the UFC can learn from the WWE” articles on the Internet, last week’s edition of Monday Night Raw – the company’s flagship television program – brought some of its worst viewership numbers of the past fifteen years. With this week’s edition competing against a Monday Night Football game between two teams still in playoff contention for the casual fans, it’s doubtful that those numbers improved by much.

So then why am I writing yet another article about what a company that sells choreographed “fights” experiencing some of its lowest viewership numbers can teach the UFC? Because the WWE’s idea of “terrible numbers” involves only averaging 3.53 million viewers. To put that into perspective, the TUF 18 Finale main card drew 1.129 million viewers. That’s right, the WWE is in panic mode because their weekly Monday night show only attracted three times as many viewers as a UFC event.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest that the UFC resort to ridiculous storylines, assigning character gimmicks to fighters, forcing celebrity guests into shows, forming an ill-advised partnership with a dying pro-wrestling promotion, or any of the other things that would make most MMA fans roll their eyes. Nor am I going to ignorantly blame the UFC for less than spectacular fights, controversial finishes, and other things that a legitimate sports league cannot possibly be expected to control. On the contrary, my first suggestion is something that the UFC actually used to do better than the WWE…

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MMA Alternate History: What if the WWE Purchased the UFC in 2001 Instead of Zuffa?


(McMahon poses with legendary WWE manager Paul Bearer (RIP). / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

MMA history contains many compelling “what ifs” that could’ve changed the fate of the sport. If one path is taken, disaster. If another path is taken, absolution.

Some “what ifs” are more compelling than others. Not much changes if Floyd Sword or Rudyard Moncayo decides to never step into the cage. The timeline remains intact if Anderson Silva doesn’t get a DQ loss against Yushin Okami at Rumble on the Rock. But there are scenarios where the entire sport can change — where the timeline can split like in Back to the Future Part II.

This is the start of a series at CagePotato where we examine such scenarios, using historical fact to help create realistic historical fiction. Here is our first historical conundrum:

What if Vince McMahon Purchased the UFC in 2001?

In 2001, Vince McMahon’s WWE (then WWF) purchased the decaying WCW and the fledgling, bankrupt ECW. That year, McMahon’s XFL hosted its first (and only) season. It was quite a year for Vinny Mac. He destroyed his two rivals and expanded into a new sport.

2001 was also the year that Zuffa purchased the UFC from the company’s original owners, SEG. SEG was cash-strapped and could no longer carry the burden of running an MMA promotion in a country that was, at the time, hostile to MMA. The Fertitta Brothers bailed out Bob Meyrowitz and SEG, and the rest is history.

But what if, for one reason or another, The Fertitta brothers didn’t buy the UFC and give it to Dana White like they were tossing their kid the keys to the Ferrari? What if Vince McMahon decided to add another three letters to his shopping list…U, F, and C?

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What, You Don’t Want to Read About the Time Vince McMahon Challenged Dana White to a Fight?


(I have nothing funny to say, so instead I’ll remind everyone that this guy was an ECW champion, and that makes me feel empty inside.)

For a guy who doesn’t believe that MMA is a threat to his business, WWE owner Vince McMahon is certainly very conscious of its existence. In fact, I’m willing to bet that McMahon is secretly a pretty big MMA fan. In the past, he has basically taken credit for the MMA success of Brock Lesnar, financed a movie about a mentally-challenged MMA fighter (I’m being dead serious), paid tribute to Sonnen vs. Silva II during one of his company’s matches, and once tried to pay Mike Goldberg to no-show his UFC announcing duties. What hardcore MMA fan hasn’t thought about doing that last one?

So I guess it should come as no surprise then that according to Dana White, Vince McMahon once challenged him to a fight. As he told the media leading up to tonight’s UFC 158:

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Brock Lesnar Re-Signs With the WWE, Immediately F-5′s Vince McMahon [BECAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO]


(“Brock, I want to trust you, I really do. But I’ve seen The Jeffersons before and I’m pretty sure this isn’t how you fix my bad back.”)

I might not follow professional wrestling anymore, but I’ve started to notice a pattern of sorts in regards to Brock Lesnar’s relationship with the WWE, which has to be the easiest job that anyone could ever ask for. Seriously, Lesnar shows up once every year or so, says less than a sentence, F-5′s whoever the hell is standing across the ring from him, and then stands menacingly over the victim’s body until they cut to commercial. He’s like the Mongo of the WWE, only instead of punching horses, Lesnar takes out his frustrations on genetically-enhanced geriatrics like Vince McMahon, who the announcers hilariously reminded us was in fact a grandfather while Lesnar was tossing him through the air like a bag of garbage during last night’s Monday Night Raw as the dude from Hardcore Pawn stared on in horror. Pretty sweet gig if you ask me.

We probably should’ve seen something like this coming when it was reported that Lesnar had signed a two year extension with the wrestling promotion, but the exact same routine, down to the sleeveless black tee and breakaway pants? Methinks the WWE is running out of ideas. I mean, they could’ve at least gone the Shooter route and had Lesnar show up sporting some camo pants and an unkempt beard before declaring that McMahon had double-crossed/left him for dead at last year’s SummerSlam. Seriously, Vince, if you’re looking for a writer with a penchant for abortion jokes and hyperbole, I’m your guy.

Video after the jump.

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It’s Time to Play the Game: Examining Triple H’s Smack Talk About the UFC

I did it at least nine times. How else would I inherit his empire?

By Jason Moles

Last week MMA Fighting reported that Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H, real life son-in-law of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, said he thought the UFC should evolve like the pro wrestling juggernaut has, “because quite frankly sometimes the fights are long and boring, guys lying around and sometimes the fights are fast and over in five seconds.”

Is “The Game” right? Does it matter? Before we pass judgment on his comments, let’s take a quick look at a few specific examples he gave for his opinion, then weigh the pros and cons of leaning too far towards Entertainment or Winning.

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Exclusive Interview: Brock Lesnar Discusses ‘Death Clutch’, Part 2

Brock Lesnar Death Clutch book cover UFC WWE

For part one of our conversation with Brock Lesnar, click here.

BRIAN D’SOUZA: There’s your stage persona, and there’s your own job and family. I understand you didn’t want the media to cut into time when you’re having dinner with your family.
BROCK LESNAR: I really don’t know anybody that does. My time with family is very important to me and in today’s age with the cell phone and the internet, there’s not a lot of privacy left in this world and everybody knows what everyone is doing at any given time and I don’t really care if anyone knows what I’m doing at any given time.

Moving on to your wrestling career, you talk about not having watched — what is it — five minutes of wrestling before you came to professional wrestling. Is that true?
That is true.

So what sports were you drawn to view, to watch, growing up?
Well growing up, we had 2 ½ TV channels that sometimes worked, and sometimes didn’t. And in the summertime, I very rarely watched any television because we were working. I was outside. To me, if I’m inside, I don’t feel natural. My sons are the same way — they’d rather be outside doing something and I think that that’s a big problem in today’s society where kids are in front of the computer, the television and the [video] game boxes; they don’t get to go outside and experience communication, and nature, and get out and be creative and entertain yourself, and not having to be entertained by technology.

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Buying the Competition: What Dana and the UFC can learn from Vince and the WWE

By Cage Potato contributor Jason Moles
(“Read my lips: ‘TNA WRESTLING F*CKING SUCKS!’”)

Recently the MMA community witnessed another watershed moment as Dana White announced that Zuffa, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, had once again purchased the competition. This time the victim was San Jose based Strikeforce. Whether or not we look back upon favorably in the future depends on how the suits handle the situation. If history is any indicator, and it is, and I can compare a legitimate sport in MMA to a male soap opera in professional wrestling, and I can, then there is nothing to fear. Yo Dana, I know you’re reading so sit down and take some notes, class is about to begin.

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Photos: Weekly MMA ‘What Ifs’

(Would James Toney have bothered to try MMA and would Dana have signed the aging boxer if this happened?)

In an effort to mix things up around here and to give you something more to do on Fridays than hide from your boss and play solitaire, we’re going to start running a weekly “What if…” Photoshop feature series to make you contemplate a bit.  The theme is simple: What could the results have been if facets of the history of the sport happened differently than they did.

If you have an idea or a ‘shop you want to submit to be featured on Friday, send it to contest@cagepotato.com.

Check out more ‘What Ifs” after the jump.

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