Saturday, October 30, 2010

MMA Halloween Ideas

So I know. You’re reading this on Halloween ideas because you don’t have any ideas left. Never fear, the world of MMA is here.
Here are some MMA Halloween ideas:
Dana White- This is probably one of the easiest to do. Shave your head or wear a skullcap. Then wear a tight t-shirt or a jacket and a button-down shirt and you’ve got the Dana White look. F-bombs are optional.
Josh Koscheck- This is pretty fun to do. You got to a wig store and get the blond curly afro wig. If you want to, you can park your car really close to everybody else’s. And of course, you can walk around and pretend to poke your eye. If you can find the wig (and of course, that color does not exist in nature), it’s a good look.
Kimbo Slice-How is Kimbo Slice not a costume in the making? You need the grill. And then the beard. And then the bald head. And this would definitely be recognizable.
Tito Ortiz-This would be a nice one. You run your mouth for most of the night, burr your hair and dye it a blond color that doesn’t exist in nature. Before the costume contest, you all of a sudden experience a neck injury and have to withdraw. If you have a +1, the person can dress like a porn star, get a black eye and call herself Jenna Jameson.
GSP-This would be another fun one to do. Shaved/burred head or skull cap and then an Under Armour body suit. Maybe try speaking in a French Canadian accent.
Brock Lesnar-This will be another fun easy one. Show up with a little boy’s flaptop. Get one of those muscle t-shirts and draw Brock’s tattoos on it. Or you can wear a Unabomber hoodie. Or a Vikings jersey. And for the win, carry around a Corona & burrito.
Rampage Jackson-This would probably be one of the most fun. Wear an Affliction or TapOut t-shirt. You must do the chain. Then make sure you do LOTS of poses and charismatic face shots. And then you must touch all man-boobs you see. If you want to do another angle, try B.A. Baracus from the A-Team. Camo and mohawk and you’re good.
Dan Hardy-This would be fun. Do a mohawk, dye it another weird color that does not exist in nature and then look like you belong in a Mad Max film. If you can find the shark teeth mouth-guard, that would complete the outfit.
Clay Guida-If you read my blog often, you know I love Efrain Escudero and Clay Guida. Guida is quite possibly the easiest to do. You get a dark, curly wig and wear a t-shirt. For more of an effect, you can always do a bloody face. If you’re doing more than one party, slip on a robe and you’ve got Jesus the next night.
Roy Nelson-I know what you’re thinking. “These are all great, but I don’t have the body to pull off the GSP or the Clay Guida.” Be at peace; this is the costume for you. “My belly enters the room three days before I do.” Relax, so does Roy Nelson’s belly. “But I can’t walk around without a shirt.” Big Country does. To complete the outfit, find a reddish mullet.
Court McGee-This is pretty simple. Kimbo Slice for white people. If you can find the beard, you will have awesomeness. This may not be as recognizable, but if you’re going to a place with lots of MMA fans, they may appreciate this.
Forrest Griffin-This would be fun. You get some big ears (that was really easy back when Ross Perot was running for President, though I looked more like Alfred E. Neuman), an Affliction/TapOut t-shirt and several cuts on the face (Doesn’t he always seem to have one?).
Chuck Liddell-This will require a little bit of preparation. You’ve gotta get the trademark haircut. If you have a little belly, it’s good. For the bigger belly, see Roy Nelson. You need the goatee. And if you wanted to go the “Dancing With the Stars” route, there’s always the Latin dancing outfits you can do.
MMA woman-You must wear corn rows. That is the number one rule of female MMA fighters. You must do the sports bra top and then really baggy shorts.
Arianny Celeste-If you have the body to pull off Arianny Celeste, God bless you. You wear the black bikini. At random moments, you walk around with cards with numbers up (but never more than 5). When you’re not doing such, you sit in a folding chair near the center of the party wearing a coat and drinking bottled water.
Who did I miss? What are yours? Post pictures if you can.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What the Rangers Making the World Series Means to Me

I spent the early part of my life in San Antonio, TX (where folks know what salsa should taste like). The team I grew up with was the San Antonio Dodgers (previously and now called the Missions). It was at the tiny park (in comparison) and I grew accustomed to this minor league atmosphere. My mother tells a story of the first time I ever saw a Rangers game. I couldn’t have been much older than 5 or 6. My mom says that we went to Arlington Stadium and when I walked out in the big stadium, my mouth dropped. It was like this commercial. And thus began a little boy’s love story with Major League Baseball.
I have got to see some great players. George Brett, Jim Rice, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken, Jr., Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura (and no, I was not at the game where he charged Nolan Ryan), Ichiro, Ken Griffey, Jr., Albert Pujols & Mike Piazza. I saw some great Rangers: Nolan Ryan (and Nolan was treated like a god in Arlington; Arlington Stadium was like a ghost town when he wasn’t pitching), Kenny Rogers, Tom Henke, John Wetteland, Pudge Rodriguez, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro (Don’t laugh. He was once great.), Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young, Dean Palmer, Harold Baines, Jose Canseco (he gave us the ball bouncing off his head), Ruben Sierra, Julio Franco, Juan Gonzalez and Sammy Sosa (pre-steroids). And there were some great players we loved: Geno Petralli, Charlie Hough, Jose Guzman, Pete O’Brien, Mark McLemore, Pete Incaviglia and Steve Buechele. One of my earliest memories was everybody booing this one Rangers player. I asked my parents why they were booing and they chuckled and said “They’re not booing him. His name is Steve ‘Boooooo-shell’.”
I went to my share of baseball card shows and autograph lines. I remember going one time and my mom and I were just about first and we walked in and there was Frank Lucchesi & Mitch Williams. They were so nice and we got to talk to them about being a Cubs fan (which my mom is diehard) and I was in my pre-pubescent heaven. At another convention, the Brewers were playing a weekend series that included an Old Timers’ Game. So you know that the people were gathering around the Johnny Mizes and Lew Burdettes and Leo Durochers of the room. I went right for the Brewers. The two doing duty that shift were Mike Felder and Glenn Braggs. They were so nice and treated me like I was the most special fan ever. They took their pictures with me and that meant everything to me as a kid.
And I have some great memories from my time there. There was a game that the Marlins pitched an 8-0 shutout and my (future) wife was so bored she counted airplanes. There was the game that my wife explained to me what a knuckleball was and then asked me where the designated hitter stood on the field (in the same game). And there was the night we got the foul ball from Larry Sheets.
So from a kid who loves baseball, the Rangers are what I grew up on. But there is one thing we have never known in the city of Arlington. A winner. Yes, we come to your games. We cheer you on, celebrate when we homer and hear “The Natural” theme. We buy your expensive food products, shop in your really awesome merchandise stores and pay $12 to park. I endure your dot races, little kids trying to figure out Three-card Monte and the atrocious butcherings you call a national anthem. But you have never given me a winner. You’ve given me wins when I’ve gone, but you’ve never been the winner.
I am a die-hard Phillies fan. I fell in love with their team back in ’93 with Dutch and Nails and Wild Thing and in ’03 I made the jump and have been with them ever since. When people ask “Why the Phillies? Are you from there?” I always say “The Rangers never gave me a reason to cheer for them” or “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me since 1972, shame on me.”
Now I am not a bandwagon fan nor do I ever plan to be. I look at this as a native of Arlington and as somebody who calls the Rangers a very large part of his childhood. For years we have been a joke. Now finally, we have made the World Series. It has been 38 years in the making but it is here now.
Thank you for finally giving me a winner.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stand Up for... WWE?

First of all, I should give a little bit of my background. I have been watching pro wrestling since 1996 (right around Wrestlemania XII). I stopped watching Monday Night Raw in 2005, the first time that Daivari started talking to Muhammad Hassan in English for no reason. I switched it to Medium and have watched NBC on Monday nights ever since. I am still a die-hard wrestling fan and leave and breathe by the business. I have what they call “the sickness.”

Now, in what can best be described as a pathetic attempt to get votes for Linda McMahon, the WWE has started a “Stand Up for WWE” campaign. (For their page, click here) They have a page where it shows common myths and rebuttals to these myths (as seen by the McMahon family).


“…the company…has been criticized for violent and sexually suggestive programming.”
Peter Wallsten – The Wall Street Journal – July 2, 2010

  • All of WWE’s programming has been TV-PG since June 2008.
  • Friday Night SmackDown, which made its network debut in 1999 has always been rated TV-PG.
  • 87 percent of WWE fans say WWE content is appropriate for families.
My personal opinion:

The company isn’t violent? Pro wrestling isn’t violent? Isn’t that like denying that the pope is Catholic? Or that Oprah is rich? Or that the Yankees paid a lot for their payroll? What would you like us to forget, WWE? Kane attaching Shane McMahon’s testicles to a car battery? What about Randy Orton getting back body-dropped on thumbtacks? How about a wrestler who uses a sledgehammer to assault his opponents like it’s a fist?

Sexually suggestive programming? Does anybody remember strip poker? How about Kelly Kelly’s “exhibitionist” persona? How about “Hot Lesbian Action?” Edge and Lita’s live sex show? How about The Kat’s stripping, Miss Jackie & Sable popping out of her top? Bra and panties matches? How about the Billy & Chuck wedding?

“Putting profits before people.”
– Richard Blumenthal ads

This I have no opinion on. Yes, they’ve fired married couples on their honeymoons and talent while they were pregnant, but what company hasn’t? This is a listed on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), publicly-traded company. Wanna find me a company on the NYSE that hasn’t done something like that? They have also paid for wrestlers to go to rehab who have needed it. If their company was about profit, they would not have that as an option.

“… The state Democratic Party has criticized … other business practices, particularly its classifying performers as independent contractors who do not receive health benefits from WWE.”
– Ed Stannard – New Haven Register, Sept. 5, 2010

As I said above, the WWE has gone out of their way to keep wrestlers employed after their injuries. For every story about Andrew “Test” Martin getting fired while recovering from spinal fusion surgery, there’s stories of Tony Atlas being brought in because he was homeless or the WWE re-hiring the husband of the aforementioned married couple fired on their honeymoon.

“The company also has been accused of looking the other way as wrestlers, feeling pressured to maintain the pumped-up bodies showcased in the WWE, turned to steroids.”
– Ray Hernandez & Joshua Brustein – The New York Times, July 15, 2010

There is a culture in wrestling that still glorifies the biggest and best bodies. To be the best, you are still required to look like a genetic freak. I am not saying that WWE typifies this culture as much, but if I am an indy wrestler up and coming and I see that I’m not going to make it because of my height, I might try to compensate for it by bulking up in the middle. We saw it with Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit. I think the WWE has done a much better job of pushing smaller guys, like the Jack Swaggers, CM Punks and the Kanes. This is a positive step.

But in honesty, I won’t be standing up for WWE. And I’ll tell you why. It was their product. Don’t get me wrong. I had some great moments watching WWE. The night my future wife made me be quiet while The Rock was speaking. The night Goldberg attacked The Rock and my wife left me a message saying, “I just wanted to say that was really cool.” I cried when Chris Benoit won the belt, I cried the night Eddy Guerrero won the belt and I was inconsolable the nights we lost Chris Benoit, Owen Hart and the Fabulous Moolah.

For nearly 10 years, the WWE was the center of my universe. But now I wouldn’t watch their product with somebody else’s eyes. You want me to stand up for WWE? You haven’t given me a reason to in about 5 years. I respect the Tribute to the Troops. I respect all the “Make a Wish Foundation” and charitable work. But when I see a bad television show, I cannot watch it and I’m not going to get behind a company that delivers crappy television to me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Race Card Time

Brock Lesnar. Ah, how we love you. This is the same person who once gave the WWE two weeks’ notice before Wrestlemania to tell them he was going to be an NFL star. (For those unfamiliar to the wrestling world, that’s like Michael Chiklis giving two weeks’ notice that he was going to leave “The Shield” just before the season’s end.) He went to the Vikings and the highlight of his tenure there was a fight during training camp. He was never really considered more than a publicity stunt and a desperate attempt to to sell some jerseys. As soon as they told him he would have to go to NFL Europe, he was out of there. And then after his championship win at UFC 100, he proceeded to slam the sponsors, flip the fans off and brag about how he was going to jump on his wife. (It’s not 1996 anymore. That’s not really something I’d brag about now.)
Now Brock is doing his little thing again. “When I get done whooping your ass, I’m gonna go drink a Corona and eat a burrito just for your Hispanic heritage. How about that?”
Okay, first of all, the name is pronounced Bel-as-kez, not Vel-as-kwez. This is common courtesy that you learn your opponents’ name and make an attempt to pronounce it correctly. This really bothers me as a human being. I encounter people all the time whom I don’t know how to pronounce their name. I ask them how to pronounce it and try it. If I miss it, I chuckle sheepishly and I ask them to forgive me for butchering their names. Maybe because my degree is in a foreign language (Spanish, to be exact), but I get insulted when somebody makes no attempt to pronounce a name right.
Second of all, (and you know this is coming from a Spanish major, so forgive my bias) I’m trying to think of shameful stereotypes that Brock forgot. A corona & a burrito? Really? Brock, did you learn all about the Hispanic culture by watching Speedy Gonzalez cartoons? You gonna start playing the Mexican Hat Dance? How about wearing a sombrero & pancho? Brock, you were born in South Dakota. Do you have a giant head constructed in your honor? Do you ride around on motorcycles?
Finally, Brock Lesnar is the biggest freaking genius in MMA. One of my favorite quotes is from Rowdy Roddy Piper, the legendary actor/wrestler when speaking to Hulk Hogan, “If they didn’t hate me so much, you think they would have been cheering you so much?” Brock is doing what Brock is great at doing. He runs his mouth and hypes up pay-per-views. He is the villain you want to see defeated. He’s the Yankees, the Lakers, the Duke Blue Devils, the Cowboys, the Red Wings.
You want to see Velasquez defeat Brock Lesnar. You want to see Clint Eastwood defeat the villain in the final shootout. You want to see the rebels defeat the Death Star. You want to see Frodo destroy the ring of doom. You want to see Jamal Malik win the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” You want to see Rocky beat Apollo Creed. You want to see John McClane defeat the terrorists and save the day.
Brock is our Charles Boyer in Gaslight, Mr. Potter, Khan Noonien Singh, Keyser Soze, Lord Voldemort, Sauron, Emperor Palpatine, Cruella de Vil. He’s the villain we want to see defeated. He is doing everything he can to make sure that we buy this PPV to see Cain Velasquez beat him.
Am I offended by what Brock said? Absolutely. Do I think he’s a genius? Absolutely. He’s even got me talking/ranting about him today. Brilliant.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

UFC 120

Well, I have maintained a steady prediction record now at 11 out of 20. I’m already shooting better than Shaquille O’Neal. UFC British cards kind of remind me of a wrestling show full of squash matches. You have real-name vs. English guy most of the night. This card is no exception. It is a free card in the states, so I will be grateful and I think it should be a good night of fighting.
Middleweight bout: Michael Bisping (19-3) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-2, 2 no contests)
I will make it no mystery that I do not like Michael Bisping. I think he’s a worthless jerk and nothing makes me happier than to see him knocked out. That being said, I do think this will be his fight. Akiyama is 1-1 since debuting in UFC. Bisping really is one of the best fighters in MMA and I see him walking away with a decision (though woe be unto him if he ends up on the ground; that’s Akiyama’s realm). If this goes to a decision, it’s going on in London. Bisping will win, no matter if he deserves it or not.
Winner: Bisping
Welterweight bout: Dan Hardy (23-7, 1 NC) vs. Carlos Condit (25-5)
The more I see of Dan Hardy the more he impresses me. He looks like a throwback from a post-apocalyptic 80′s British film. (Yes, I know The Warriors wasn’t British, but I love that clip anyway). 4-1 in UFC and the one loss was to GS-freakin’-P. Wins over Rory Markham, Marcus Davis & Mike Swick. Condit was 5-0 in WEC and is 2-1 in UFC. While the numbers look impressive, I just think so much of Hardy and I look at his numbers and I see him walking away with the victory. I think we’re going to a decision and the guy from Nottingham wins.
Winner: Hardy
Welterweight bout: John Hathaway (14-0) vs. Mike Pyle (20-7-1)
This is another intriguing fight. Hathaway is on the rise  and is on the rise against some pretty big names (most notably Diego Sanchez). Mike Pyle is not to be taken lightly either. He’s fought for the International Fight League, WEC, Elite XC, Strikeforce, Affliction and the UFC. The more I look at this fight on paper, the more this bout stands out to me. I’m going to go with Edward Cullen John Hathaway. I don’t see Pyle stopping Hathaway’s rise.
Winner: Hathaway
Heavyweight bout: Cheick Kongo (15-6-1) vs. Travis Browne (10-0)
This is a very confusing fight to examine because it’s hard to know who Cheick Kongo is.  8-4 in UFC, he always seems to be on the cusp of something great. I like the guy. I live in total, utter fear of him. I just don’t know who we’re going to see. I’m thinking this is going to be an all-out slobber-knocker. 60% of Kongo’s wins and 80% of Browne’s have been via knockout. Sometimes you can tell who’s getting fed to who. I’m not really sure in this one. I’m going Kongo.
Winner: Kongo
Welterweight bout: James Wilks (7-3) vs. Claude Patrick (12-1)
After beating DaMarques Johnson (one of the season’s favorites) in the finale of Season 9 of Ultimate Fighter, Wilks has been 1-1 in the UFC. Claude Patrick is 1-0 in UFC. Patrick’s game seems to be dependent on the ground game. Wilks has a variety of different weapons at his disposal. If Wilks denies Patrick the ability to go to the floor, I don’t know how effective he’ll be.
Winner: Wilks
Upset alert: Claude Patrick. If he gets on the ground, it’s over.
Fighters to watch in the prelims:
Stanislav Nedkov-Making his UFC debut, Bulgarian Nedkov is 11-0, including a vistory over Kevin Randleman.
Paul Sass-10-0 record. 8 of his fights haven’t made it past the first round.
Other Fighters to watch during the week:
Lyman Good-known as “The Cyborg,” he is 10-0, the first Bellator Welterweight Champion. And Bellator is going to be giving us Good vs. Ben Askren (6-0). If you can find a Fox Sports showing it, that will be quite the fight.
Eddie Alvarez-number 6 Lightweight in the world as ranked by Sherdog, Alvarez will be fighting “El Matador” Roger Huerta. That should be a great fight by Bellator I see going the distance.
Rick Hawn-also fighting for Bellator, Hawn (8-0) has only made it to the third round twice. All the other 6 fights have been TKO’s.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Judging the Act of Judging

It seems like the concept of judging in MMA has become quite the hot topic. I think we’ve seen some problems from judging manifest themselves. Even certain (WINNING) fighters have criticized judging immediately after the fight. (See Josh Thomson)

I thought we’d take a look at the Nevada State Athletic Commission application for judges. To see the full application, click here.

Now, as you can see $50, a printer and 2 pictures of yourself will get you a license as a judge in the state of Nevada. I’m not sure if there is an application process beyond this, but it’s pretty much a pulse-check. They ask if you’re a felon, past disciplinary actions and financial interest in any fighters.

The lack of a few questions bother me. Previous experience? Emotional interest?

Previous experience-So I, Justin Ruff, could pay my $50 and be licensed to judge an MMA fight in Nevada. What experience do I have in MMA? I used to watch it with my dad. Now I watch it with my wife (and by “with my wife,” I mean while she sleeps) and talk about it with my cousin and other people I’ve met on Twitter. I’ve never stepped in the octagon. I never trained to become a fighter. (Though I did contact my local BJJ instructor once.) So would that make me qualified to be a judge? There is no right answer, but it is a philosophical aspect that should be considered.

I “score” the fights I’m watching on Twitter for the fun of it. It’s fun and it’s just one person’s opinion. I never claim to be official or know what I’m talking about. But the ramifications of somebody stepping in to a official judge’s chair in MMA with no real understanding of the sport is alarming.

Emotional interest-This past Saturday, I watched Josh Thomson beat Gesias Cavalcante. Again, I am not an unequalled expert on MMA, but regardless of how you saw the fight, there is no way Thomson won all three rounds. Yet one of the judges gave Thomson all three rounds. After the fight, being interviewed, Thomson (in very classy move) said there was no way that he won all three rounds and the judges needed a clinic (my paraphrase; no direct quote intended).

You see, there’s something ironic about this fight. Josh Thomson is from San Jose, California. This fight took place in-wait for it-San Jose, California against a Brazilian fighter from Rio de Janeiro. Now I am NOT implying any impropriety in this situation on the part of Thomson or the judge or anybody else in this sport. But if a fighter fights in a hometown, they really need to think about a judge’s ability to be impartial. When Joey Crawford referees a Sixers game, is he impartial? (We already know he has a problem with Tim Duncan.) What about a basebal umpire from Boston? You mean to tell me there’s going to be no favoritism for Red Sox-Yankees games? You going to tell me that a Cuban boxer is going to get the same fair shake from a Detroit crowd as the guy from Detroit?

If there was a thought that a judge had a personal bias against a certain lawyer in a criminal case, the judge would be removed. I’m thinking about the ability for an MMA judge to be impartial when faced with the “hometown guy,” and I just don’t see how they can do it.

Is the system perfect? Obviously not. Do I have a better choice than judges? Probably not. Maybe we need to examine who is chosen for judging with more scrutiny. Or maybe we have an independent audit of the judging. Maybe we make them support their answer.

One of the phrases Dana White nails into everybody’s heads is “Never leave it in the hands of the judges.” I know it’s not always easy to knockout your opponent or submit them, but that seems to be the number one way to not get screwed by the judges. It never rings more true than a night where Michael Bisping fights in England or a Shamrock in San Jose or Brock Lesnar in Minnesota. Let’s see what we can do to change this sport for the better.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II-Preview

Ok, so I'm now 9 for 16 all-time with my predictions (.563 winning percentage). I'm going to admit very freely. Looking at this Strikeforce card, I have no idea where to go on some, if not all of these fights. I'm not sure if this is a testament to Strikeforce's fight-making or me being unfamiliar with these fighters. So if I can't tell who is going to win, I guess this should be a pretty nice night.

(Brief rant: My wife doesn't have more than one birthday a year. What is up with scheduling this on THE NIGHT OF HER BIRTHDAY? Curses upon you, Strikeforce! Curses!)

Welterweight Championship bout: Nick Diaz (c) (22-7-1) vs.  KJ Noons (10-2)

To say this one's a toughie is like saying my daughter is going through pain while she's cutting three teeth. Nick Diaz has lost once since '06 with victories over legends like Frank Shamrock and top names like Scott Smith, Gleison Tibau and Robbie Lawler. The one loss was to KJ Noons. Noons hasn't lost since '07, with wins over Yves Edwards, Jorge Gurgel & Conor Heun. This is a traditional good vs. evil matchup. You've got Diaz: Tested positive for marijuana, taunted his opponents before and during his fights, flipping off doctors. Then you have Noons: He's not Nick Diaz. This will be an all-out "slobber-knocker" as Jim Ross would say. Both want to beat the stuffing out of each other. This should be epic. KJ, I hope you prove me wrong, but I think Diaz will pull this off.

Winner: Diaz

Women's Welterweight Championship (135 lbs) bout: Sarah Kaufman (c) (12-0) vs. Marloes Coenen (17-4)

First of all, let me say that I admire any women that fight in MMA because they are comfortable with their weight being public. *rim shot* Ok, now that I'm done with my chauvinistic, misogynistic "joke," let's take a serious look at the fight. Marloes Coenen is a pioneer in women's MMA. She was fighting in Japan when the thought of women main eventing a co-ed card would have been unheard of. I have a great amount of respect for her. Then going against her is Sarah Kaufman. I remember the last time I saw Sarah Kaufman. She slammed Roxanne Modafferi (who I totally have this geeky schoolboy crush on). I could try hating her for that but Coenen beat her too. Both women look really good (fighting-wise) and ready to walk away from this the winner. Coenen can beat you any way she wants to and has the experience to do it.

Winner: Coenen

Lightweight bout:  Josh Thomson (17-3, 1 no contest) vs.  Gesias Cavalcante (15-3-1-1)

This is another really hard one on paper to call. Thomson is coming off a victory of Pat Healy. Cavalcante has just joined Strikeforce. While there is no clear-cut favorite, this fight could be fought a hundred different times to a hundred different outcomes. I can't even go with my gut on this one because I have no idea what it's telling me.

Winner: Cavalcante

Welterweight bout: Tyron Woodley (6-0) vs. Andre Galvao (5-1)

There is one thing for sure in this fight. This will be a submission ground game. Galvao is a writer who shows people how to do better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a year. But can a teacher do? I am not discounting the teaching profession as that is in my heritage. But let's take a look at the 8 managers whose teams made the MLB playoffs this year. Among the 8 managers, there are 3 combined All-Star appearances among them as players. (2 for Dusty Baker & 1 for Joe Girardi) A great teacher does not make a great fighter. The winner is the one who slaps on the hold first.

Winner: Galvao

Upset watch: All of them. If I have to choose one, I say Sarah Kaufman.

Fighters on Note to Watch Over the Next Week:
Neil Grove: (10-2-1) Fighting for Bellator on October 14, 39-year-old Grove (nicknamed "Goliath") is slated to battle to be the winner of the Heavyweight Tournament. This is a fighter with wins over UFC's James McSweeney and James "Better Drain my Cauliflower Ear Before CBS Never Airs MMA on Prime Time Again" Thompson. Oh, yeah, and all ten of his wins have been via TKO.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who I Would Build a Wrestling Company Around…

So this has been a difficult blog for me to write. Naming only 5 people has been challenging. I looked at so many factors here. There are so many big names, but some I wouldn’t choose because of injuries, attitude or age. I’m looking at somebody that will be the foundation of my wrestling company for 10 years. I also went over the entire rosters of WWE, TNA, ROH & AAA for making my decision. So without further adieu, here they are.

5. Jack Evans-Right now Jack Evans wrestles in AAA. I really like Evans’ look. And if you’ve never seen what he can do in the ring, you are missing something. He wrestles with the fluidity of Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy. RVD did not make this list mostly because of his age and Hardy is Hardy. He’s good at what he does but is by no means one you want to anchor a company around. Jack Evans makes the girls scream, the guys sit back in awe and will amaze the kids at what he can do. This is somebody who can and will sell merchandise.

4. AJ Styles-(Ok, so I'm a mark. Yes, that's me with AJ.) For the most part, TNA has tried to build their company around him. But TNA has had so many problems, they could never really make him the focus. I saw AJ live once. He is electric, gets crowds going and has a great natural charisma. 3 seconds coming to the ring, my wife turned to me and said, “He’s pretty.” Also, outside the ring, he’s great to fans and a reason to support the show.

3. MVP-Yes, you read me correctly. I would build my company around Montel Vontavious Porter. I think the WWE has done an “ok” job with him. But they haven’t come within one-tenth of his potential. MVP has a different look. He looks like an athlete. When I watch him, I feel like I’m watching an NFL prospect at the combine. He’s a student of the game and spends lots of time trying to learn it and perfect it. I want that work ethic. He is also great on the mic, very over with the crowd (look at the number of people doing the “baller” thing in the crowd). He is a little older, but he has so many personal stories to tell. His story is one of redemption and turning your life around. MVP has a different look and I think would get the respect of the kids and the adults alike.

2. Ezekiel Jackson-Big Zeke. If I were booking Big Zeke, I would bring in Brian Kendrick, give him the title and have Zeke be his bodyguard. Then after Kendrick lost the belt, I would have him slap around Zeke until he snapped back. And thus would have begun the legendary career of Ezekiel Jackson. This isn’t hard. This is the Diesel-Shawn Michaels storyline. Ezekiel Jackson is on the cusp of something great. He has amazing facials, great charisma and looks like he will snap you in half with a glance. And forgive me for playing the race card, but Ezekiel Jackson could bring in a larger African-American crowd. Booked smartly, he would be a great draw and be somebody the kids could idolize.

1. Hernandez-Perhaps I’m a little biased. Hernandez came from Texas and worked the indies where I came from. He is a total specimen of hugeness.  The major wrestling organizations love their larger-than-life figures. There are fewer that have that larger-than-life persona. Hernandez is in many ways a total package. Huge, charismatic, great on the mic. Plus, most guys of his stature are unable to move with the agility he can. Guys respect him, women adore him (You know who you are) and the kids would love him. And forgive me for more racial carding and stereotyping, but Hispanic fans are very loyal and since the passing of Eddie Guerrero, the only major name for the Hispanic audience is Rey Mysterio, Jr. This man should be headlining PPV’s.

I’m sure you will all have your own choices. I hope you agree/disagree. I would love to hear yours as well.

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All pictures appear via, except for the mark with AJ Styles. That's mine.