I consider myself a casual MMA fan. I usually just watch the Brock Lesnar fights, the big Strike Force women fights, & the countdown specials. I usually try to watch bits & pieces of MMA to find aspects that I find lacking in wrestling. When my friend Mauro Ranallo [who should be a lead announcer for WWE] gave me an invitation to see Strike Force live, I grabbed the opportunity. Too bad Mauro didn’t come thru on getting me a six figure fight against Gina Carano or a confrontation with Christine Cyborg. At least I got to meet Holt McCallanny from “Lights Out” as a consolation
The last time I watched Strike Force was when Nick Diaz fought Evangelista Cyborg. I told a fellow old school wrestler to watch the fight for the wrestling psychology. You had a heel champion in Diaz that overlooked his underdog challenger. The underdog in Cyborg gave the champion a big beating only to lose cleanly by the champion. The end result was the baby face challenger raised his stock by coming very close to beating the champion. The heel champion got over by cleanly beating his opponent & flipped somebody off on camera to still gain the ire of the crowd.
I thought to myself, why can’t wrestling lay out a match with the heel champion gains a clean win to gain heat & builds up interest to eventually be beaten? Instead I watch WWE relegate The Miz in to a chicken shit champion that bumps for everybody & very rarely gains a clean win. The end result The Miz is not being elevated by ever beating anybody. This is similar to Jim Crockett Promotions floundering when Ric Flair would never beat his challengers decisively.
When I went to the Izod Center, it brought back memories that I had as a teenager when I used to attend wrestling shows for Georgia Championship Wrestling & Championship Wrestling From Florida. The fans pondered the tournament brackets all night long on potential match ups. Wins & losses from the past were vividly remembered by the crowd & used for people to formulate their predictions all night long. Think about this, I recall Alberto Del Rio losing cleanly to Edge on Smackdown a few months ago. Does it really matter that he’s getting a Wrestle Mania title shot, since losses in WWE never mean anything? Hell, I seen Dolph Ziggler lose at least a hundred times in challenging John Morrison for the Intercontinental title & to Edge for the World title. I wish wrestling would go back to the formula in which stars would become elevated by gaining clean pins. The closest thing to that type of booking would be from ROH.
The Fedor Emalienko VS. Antonio Silva fight told an amazing story from a wrestling stand point. Fedor was beyond over in the building based on his won-loss record & mystique. John Cena had nothing on Fedor in being a babyface last night in New Jersey Antonio Silva came across almost like Andre The Giant as a heel in the manor that the fight played out. You had the baby face go toe to toe with his larger foe. Silva had the baby face reeling at times. Fedor would deliver flurries that had the crowd on their feet.
The second round had Antonio Silva gain the advantage & came close to choking out Fedor on several occasions. People were literally on their feet & going nuts for Fedor barely escaping every submission attempt. The crowd went nuts when Fedor reversed a knee bar in to an ankle lock. The best description I could think of would be a Dusty Rhodes or Hulk Hogan comeback in their prime. Silva came across as such a monster heel by waving his finger that the ankle lock was not hurting him to a round of boos at the end of the second round.
People were hoping that Fedor would come out in the third round to finally make his comeback in beating Silva. When the doctors stopped the fight for Fedor’s swollen eye, the crowd was angry for a few seconds. When they saw the swollen eye & face of Fedor, they showed genuine empathy.
When looking at this fight thru a wrestling perspective. I saw the biggest baby face sell for his opponent, have flurries of comebacks, come close to defeat, & then lose by a referee stoppage. The end result was Silva gained the respect of the crowd for beating Fedor cleanly. Fedor became even more over with fans by hoping that his hint at retirement will not happen until he avenges his loss.
Everybody was leaving the building in a state of shock that Fedor lost two in a row. All they kept talking about was the possibility of Fedor coming back in to the tournament in a
alternate spot. I was amazed on why wrestling can’t create a baby face that was as over as Fedor. I also realized that nobody in wrestling can understand the concept in which a baby face can lose & still get over. Plus Strike Force elevated the stock of Antonio Silva as a possible drawing card in the future. The chase for a rematch can possibly bring in even more interest & money for the future. There is even money on the table for a Fedor comeback.
I’m a wrestling purist, but there were many lessons that people in creative could learn from MMA. Wins & losses do elevate stars. The chase for the title is a theme that never gets old in real sports, movies, & in wrestling. Personal issues will always draw money if it’s believable [unless you can gain child custody in a wrestling match].
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#1 Contender For Strike Force Womens Title
#2 Seed For Strike Force Women Grand Prix Tournament Champion