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Tag: WWE

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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The 15 Worst Pro Wrestling Gimmick Costumes


(Nothing says “tough guy” like fake muscles and a landing strip.)

By Shep Ramsey

Ah, professional wrestling. You blaze into our lives when MMA fails us, reminding everyone that sometimes, it’s totally okay to put on ridiculous matches with absurd stipulations and objectify women.

On second thought, we can’t even tell the difference between you both.

At least wrestling allows us to tune in and out, without the pressure of having to watch every single event. The reason we love pro wrestling so much is because, like David Wooderson says about high school girls in Dazed & Confused, we get older and they stay the same age.

If anything, pro wrestling has become more mature than its fanbase, despite the WWE’s PG-rating. One thing we have to deal with less are the bad costumes — painted-on gimmicks that were never going to work, no matter how hard they were forced down our throats.

Here are 15 of the most senseless and detestable costumes inflicted upon some good wrestlers, and some really bad ones.

15. The Goon

Guys like Tie Domi and Bob Probert were NHL sluggers in the mid-1990s, so maybe that explains The Goon’s odd inclusion into the world of pro wrestling. It would have been cool if this guy came to the ring in actual skates, instead of those platform boots that are mostly favored by goth teenagers and drag queens these days.

14. Rocky Maivia

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Ratings Tell the Tale: Pro Wrestling Is More Popular Than Ever — And MMA Promoters Need to Pay Attention


(Photo via UCWZERO)

By Citizen Kane Dewey

It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, fans were predicting that MMA was going to kill off professional wrestling. The WWE’s ratings were slipping, and with the rise in popularity of MMA as professional wrestling’s unscripted counterpart, many fans did not feel that professional wrestling was long for this world.

To write that professional wrestling hasn’t exactly gone extinct would be a gigantic understatement. The WWE is not only attracting more viewers to its cable shows than the UFC is, but the company is also coming off of a wildly successful Wrestlemania XXX, an event in which over one million households paid to watch. Although pay-per-view buys were estimated at a healthy 400,000 for the April 6th event, much of the credit for that strong figure can be attributed to the WWE Network — the all-digital online streaming service that had 667,000 subscribers by the time Wrestlemania XXX aired.

“The Wrestlemania numbers just go to show how popular our sport is, even in the Internet era,” says Matthew Roblez, a veteran wrestling announcer and commentator who was appointed as commissioner of the Ultra Championship Wrestling Zero league last year. “People can’t wait to consume wrestling through new methods.”

Of course, it isn’t just the WWE that has been benefiting from the rejuvenated popularity of professional wrestling. Independent wrestling promotions such as Ring of Honor, Chikara, and Wildkat Sports have enjoyed packed auditoriums and sold-out events, as well as healthy Internet followings devoted to keeping up with their favorite promotions. In fact, the aforementioned UCW Zero has recently been awarded Utah’s Best of State for professional and semi-pro sports, beating out the Utah Jazz, Utah Grizzlies, and Real Salt Lake as the state’s best sports organization.

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Why More Fighters Need to Talk Sh*t (Hint: It Works)


(What are you gonna do against the largest arms in the world, brother? / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

MMA is the ultimate “nice guys finish last” sport. It’s called prize fighting for a reason, and “I respect him; he’s a great opponent” doesn’t sell.

This is no secret. Just look at how Chael Sonnen—a perennial mid-carder who nobody knew or cared about—resurrected his career with carefully executed, bombastic trash talk.

Why am I telling you this if it’s common sense? Because it’s only common sense to people who appreciate MMA for what it is—real-life pro wrestling. Unfortunately, most hardcore MMA fans (and some media members) refuse to see it this way. They either believe in a non-existent code of honor, or an even less corporeal competitive architecture. “It’s a sport,” they maintain. “It should be only about competition. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see the best fighters go at it, even if they have less charisma than a light bulb?” The answer to that question: Most of the country.

There’s a sport with no flash, no glitz, and none of the other maligned “entertainment” trappings of the UFC and the WWE. It’s called amateur wrestling, and nobody watches it. MMA turning into amateur wrestling hurts the fighters. If there’s no viewers, there’s no money. It’s crazy that people still need to be reminded of this, but selling the fight is equally as important as fighting the fight. To quote The Simpsons, “Every good scientist is half B.F. Skinner and half P.T. Barnum.”

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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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