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Classic Crush: 31 Photos of Betty Brosmer, Legendary Pin-Up Girl

Tag: WWE

The Spirit Runs Forever: Farewell to the Ultimate Warrior, Professional Wrestling Superhero

By Seth Falvo

The man born as Jim Hellwig — famous for wrestling as The Ultimate Warrior in the WWE during the late eighties and early nineties — died last night in Arizona. His death comes just three days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and one day after his final appearance on “Monday Night Raw.”

Professional wrestling is an art over-saturated in hyperbole; it’s an art where every wrestler is “the biggest” and/or “the best,” every event is “the most important,” and the phrase “the most” is uttered so frequently it practically loses meaning. Yet it’s hard to overstate the popularity that The Ultimate Warrior achieved, and the influence that he has had on any wrestling fan who grew up during the late eighties and early nineties. I know it’s lazy to compare professional wrestlers to superheroes, but for millions of kids like myself, The Ultimate Warrior was as close to a real-life superhero as it got. The Ultimate Warrior’s look and in-ring style — from his heavily-muscled physique and facepaint to his energetic entrances and quick, devastating matches — were convincingly brutal, and his intense, chaotic interview style was extremely unique. His WWE feuds against “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts were nothing short of legendary.


(Highlights of The Ultimate Warrior’s best promos. Yes, clips from the Hulk Hogan “Crash the Plane” promo are at the very end.)

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ICYMI: Brock Lesnar Snaps The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Win Streak at Wrestlemania XXX


(Your reaction. Enjoy it before it gets taken down.)

By Seth Falvo

I know how some of you don’t like it when we bring up professional wrestling in these parts. Professional wrestling is scripted. Professional wrestlers are on steroids, and not the cool ones that MMA fighters take/the ones MMA fighters used to be allowed to openly take. Professional wrestling is built around silly, drama-based plots, instead of serious things like a former Olympian seeking revenge against a barista who once made him cry so meatheads will respect him. The WWE’s rankings are purely a popularity contest, while the UFC has super scientific rankings that award title shots to only the most deserving fighters. I know all of this.

But can we please talk about how Brock Lesnar snapped The Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak at Sunday night’s Wrestlemania XXX at 21 straight Wrestlemania victories? Because holy shit, Brock Lesnar snapped The Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak, and I’d really like to talk about it.

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Does the UFC Need to Pay for Athlete Rehab Like the WWE?


(Photo via Getty)

Chris Leben posted a tweet earlier today that jolted an MMA world still asleep in post-UFN 36 lull:

Any sentiment related to the UFC and how they take care of their fighters (whether it’s about pay, insurance, or what have you) is bound to be controversial. Leben’s tweet suggesting the UFC discards their fighters once they’ve outlived their usefulness and leaves them as empty, “broken” husks was no exception. A firestorm erupted on twitter and other Internet locales, with many fans insulting Leben and bashing the TUF Season 1 veteran. Their argument: Leben made more money than me, so fuck him. His drug issues are not my problem. Harsh words for a man who risked his mind and body to entertain so many.

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Why Does MMA Care About CM Punk?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Did you hear? CM Punk might be headed to MMA.

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard until just now, it’s not as if MMA news outlets have been talking about it at all recently.

So, in case you missed it, here’s what happened:

In an interview with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, famed straight edge pro wrestler and former WWE champ CM Punk expressed an interest in taking an MMA fight, as well as thoughts about his doubtful future with the WWE. Punk left the WWE not long after this interview.

To MMA fans and pundits, the urge to connect the dots was too great. Punk departed the WWE shortly after he mentioned MMA. Therefore, he MUST have left the WWE to start fighting.

Cue the insanity.

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Ten Different Ways to Look at UFC Fight Pass


(Saffiedine! Lim! Eleven fighters we’re so confident you won’t know that we aren’t even going to bother showing you their faces! Props to Michael Sempervive for the image.)

By Seth Falvo

With all of the coverage that UFC Fight Pass has been receiving, it’s hard to believe that it has only been two weeks since the launch of the network. So far, opinions have ranged from “pathetic cash grab” to “everything a fight fan could possibly want.” In an effort to evaluate Fight Pass up to this point, here are ten ways of looking at the network, arranged in no particular order.

1.) Should You Buy Fight Pass? Well, Should You Buy Netflix?

“Netflix for Fight Fans” is how Lorenzo Fertitta summed up the service, and honestly, that sounds about right. Fight Pass offers exclusive content in the form of international events and preliminary fights – just like how Netflix offers Orange is the New Black – but its selling point is its archives. If you already own all of your favorite fight cards on DVD and are only interested in watching the UFC’s pay-per-views, then Fight Pass has nothing to offer you. For the rest of us, it’s a matter of whether archives and international cards are worth $9.99 per month.

2.) It Isn’t Nearly the Bargain that Supporters Claim It Is.

The Netflix analogy doesn’t quite hold up though. I use my Netflix account every day, and regardless of who I’m watching it with, I can find something on there that everyone will enjoy. I’m not about to sit down and watch old fights on a daily basis, and unless the original documentaries that the UFC is promising us are downright spectacular, I doubt that my non-fight fan friends are going to want to watch Fight Pass with me. This doesn’t mean that Fight Pass is a waste of money, but let’s not pretend that paying $119.88 per year to watch old fights and Facebook preliminaries is the best thing to ever happen to MMA fans, either.

3.) It Isn’t Nearly the Insult That Detractors Claim It Is.

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Five Obvious but Overlooked Things Fans Need to Remember About the UFC


(Just keep repeating to yourself, “Nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…”)

By Matt Saccaro

The UFC has come under fire lately for several reasons: Declining numbers, oversaturation, the fading of their stars, launching a digital network with a questionable premise, not hiring Ben Askren and so on. When we fling insults at the UFC, we need to remember a few things about the company in order to put these negative occurrences and circumstances into perspective. Let’s start with the most obvious but frequently-ignored point:

1. The UFC is a business.

The purpose of the UFC is to make its owners money. The UFC does not exist to feed fighters’ families. There’s not much else to say on this front. Companies have to make money to be viable. Yeah, it sucks that some guys get paid an absurdly small amount of money for what they do, and it sucks that the UFC is upping the PPV price.

That’s just something we have to deal with though. If you don’t like it, vote with your dollar. If enough people tune out, Zuffa’s wallet will know and they’ll either change their tune accordingly or lose money.

2. The UFC is an international company.

There’s been talk about the UFC hiring unfit-for-television jobbers lately. It’s true but necessary. The UFC is headed to distant lands where MMA is in its most nascent stages. The talent pool in these places is more like a mud puddle. The UFC has to work with what it’s given in China and Singapore. Deepening foreign talent pools can only happen by growing the sport overseas, and growing the sport overseas can only happen when they have foreign (foreign to us, home grown to them) fighters on the card. And since there aren’t many great foreign fighters, the UFC has to scrape the bottom of a very empty barrel. This results in fighters getting a place in the “Super Bowl of MMA” who shouldn’t even be in the bleachers, let alone on the field.

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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 Fighters Transitioning to Pro-Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Let me guess, it’ll sound something like “Tito Ortiz, The Huntington Bad Beach Boy: Future NTA world TNA heavyweight champion of the world.” Capture via ProWresBlog.Blogspot.Com.)

For some MMA fighters, professional wrestling was just a one-time cash grab. For others, it became a second career. Inspired by yet another week of TNA Impact Wrestling’s efforts to get anyone to care about the professional wrestling experiments of two broken-down MMA legends, we’ll be examining fighters who took up professional wrestling after they made their names in MMA in our newest installment of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Bear in mind that this article is focusing on mixed martial artists who transitioned to professional wrestling careers, and not fighters who started off as professional wrestlers. So that means fighters like Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp, Dos Caras Jr. (aka Alberto Del Rio), Dan Severn (Google it) and Sakuraba will not be covered here — although a few of these men will make appearances in this article. Let’s start off on a positive note…

The Good

The Professional Wrestling Career of Josh Barnett.

When you’re thinking of good instances of an MMA fighter turning to professional wrestling as a second career choice, Josh Barnett should immediately come to mind. There have been other fighters who dabbled in professional wrestling, but Barnett is one of the only ones to be just as popular and successful in it as he was in MMA.

Before his transition, Barnett became the youngest heavyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36. After being stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Barnett set his sights on the Japanese professional wrestling scene, where the fans value legitimacy and toughness from their wrestlers more than mic skills and charisma (although Barnett has both in spades). He immediately challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and although he came up short, he went on to enjoy the most relevant crossover career of any fighter on this list before his return to the UFC earlier this year put a halt to the wrasslin’ for the time being.

It’d be easy to call his work with the incredibly underrated Perry Saturn or the technical wrestling clinic that he put on against Hideki Suzuki his most impressive stuff, but it’s probably not. Honest to God, Barnett’s biggest accomplishment may be the fact that he managed to pull Bob Sapp — who has the same cardio and technique in wrestling as he does in MMA — through a watchable match. How many people can claim that?

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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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