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Old 08-13-2008, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Caution: Overuse of Professional Wrestling Tactics Can Lead to Damage

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"Caution: Overuse of Professional Wrestling Tactics Can Lead to Damage by Cannon J on Aug 13, 2008 4:27 PM EDT

Fronted by Luke Thomas.


Matthew Polly has written a thought provoking piece on the use of heels and other sensational tactics in MMA. From Fightlinker:

"All of the current mainstream acceptance along with its corollary money and fame can go away very quickly. It’s been ten years since Pro-Wrestling was huge enough that The Rock could cross over. It’s been about three since Texas Hold ‘Em was hot. The public is fickle, and MMA is not the first combat sport to try and break boxing’s stranglehold on the public’s imagination. (Remember the PKA? Not so much.)

The difference between celebrating the joys of victory and mocking the agony of your opponent’s defeat may seem like a fine line. But it certainly wasn’t to Tank Abbott’s crew in UFC 45 when Cabbage taunted their patron, creating the UFC’s first bench-clearing brawl and appalling even Joe Rogen. How many more times can someone like Scott Jansen’s brother head butt Phil Baroni after a fight without the casual CBS-type viewer assuming that MMA fighters are not the highly trained athletes that they are but actually "animals" (an accusation I’ve heard many times since I’ve started covering this sport)?"


This is a critical time for MMA. The sport is quite new, and doesn't have decades of history to define it. MMA can define itself as a serious sport, or it can take on the role of spectacle. Many "hardcore fans" exhibit an extreme dislike for professional wrestling. Others are fans, or are former fans of the sports entertainment genre. With this in mind, it's easy to understand why Brock Lesnar and his post-fight antics have been the focal point of much debate within the MMA community. While some showmanship is probably good for the sport, following the path of a scripted sports hybrid too closely could prove detrimental. Polly elaborates:

"Lesnar’s victory was sufficiently one-sided that Herring’s demoralized entourage held back. But I doubt this will be the case in the future, especially if he fights a Brazilian. (Think Coleman v Rua.) A skilled heel instinctively knows where that fine line is between provocation and parole. In his younger days Ali certainly did. We’ll see about Lesnar.

In the short term, the UFC would do well to keep a tight lasso on their current crazy horseback mountain rider. Gary Shaw’s EliteXC kept pushing for Tyson-bites-Holyfield moments and look where it got him and his network program.

Athletes pretending to be classy and care about disadvantaged children and the troops overseas when all they really want is more money and more groupies is as boringly hypocritical in MMA as it is in the NFL, the MBA, or the NBA. But it’s how the game is played in America. There is plenty of time to fly the true colors and keep it real when/if MMA secures a permanent rotation on Sports Center."


Did you like EliteXC's first, or second CBS show better? It may be more a question of what more people like - including casual fans. However, I tend to believe that keeping the hardcore base of MMA fans satisfied is extremely important for the sport in the long-term. If you are one who believes in the pro-wrestling model, remember that its popularity is not as steady as that of major sports in America. Is that scenario good for MMA?

A compromise must be met between theatrics and sport. Too much use of theatrics will likely turn off sports fans that prefer a more pure competitive experience. A fight sport completely devoid of all hype and showmanship could become too dull to satisfy casual fans. Casual fans are definitely needed for the sport to grow. What MMA doesn't need is the perception that it is a scripted affair like pro-wrestling. MMA is a sport. It's not just entertainment. MMA is also a competition that must maintain some sort of integrity. Unfortunately, perception is sometimes as important as reality, and the reality is that MMA doesn't want to look too similar to professional wrestling"
From:
http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2008/8/13...use-of-profess

Full article here:
http://www.fightlinker.com/?p=2926

I hope this thread doesn't dissolve into a cage match between MMA fans and the new wrestling fans supporting Brock on this site as I think the author of this article does bring up some valid points. Your thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cabbage taunted after a cut stoppage, which is ridiculous. Even if you don't like what Lesnar did, you can't really compare the two.

That said, this guys' got a point.

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Old 08-13-2008, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The second EliteXC show was probably 100 times better.

Taunting in the middle of a fight is just retarded. Even Heurta did it, even though he was clearly losing. Taunting at all is just pretty sad in my opinion. They take months to train for a fight just like you did, show some respect.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The only reason Huerta did that is because he felt stupid he got kicked straight in the face and didn't know how to react. lol
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's what made it even more stupid lol.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not really a fan of taunting. Frank Shamrock can taunt, only because he's so awesome.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SimplyNate View Post
That's what made it even more stupid lol.
Yeah and what made it even worse was Mike Goldbergs stupid self yelling out "theres the anger of Huerta" when he looked away like that. Dude kept trying to hard to put over Huertas "anger" from his childhood as if he was gonna get mad and turn green like the hulk or something, and just start whooping Kenny's ass. lol...Sometimes I wish I could just tell Goldie shut the hell up because he says so many dumb things that annoy me. I think it annoys Rogan to because there are so many times Joe just completely ignores something he says. lol.. That wasn't Huerta getting angry. He was just trying to play off getting kneed in the face, then got immediately taken down.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"that said" makes you sound like a ****in idiot.
Yikes!

That said, there's few things that look as silly as a guy who taunts and then gets KO'd seconds later.

Oops, did it again! What an idiot I am
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I'm certainly the a part of the casual audience you mentioned, and I'm getting really turned off by the antics of most winners these days.

Jumping on the fence and doing a little wave, pumping your fist doing laps around the ring was fine with me. I can totally understand being amped up doing a little celebration.

But the current antics of some of these fighters post match just reek of professional wrestling type showman ship. To me it just show a total lack of sportsman like conduct. There is a reason the NFL frowns on touchdown type flash.

I can not remember the name, but I remember one the fighters actually trying to chill the crowd out that was booing for his oppenent, that is class and lasts a lot longer than what is currently allowed to happen.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well shit, it works for some people. Nick Diaz always does that little hands in the air thing and it works pretty good. i think when he knocked out lawler it worked pretty well for him. Also Genki Sudo looks realllllly cool when he dances in the ring while Rashed on the other hand looks stupid. It's all about the fighter.
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