Mid-Afternoon Muesli: GSP, WEC, TNA, Roy…

It’s been a while since we had some muesli so let’s get back in the mix…

* I attended the Montreal Canadiens-Ottawa Senators hockey game last night at the Bell Centre and amongst the 21,000+ in attendance was none other than Monsieur Georges St.Pierre. Someone interviewed him during the second period and, boy, do the Montreal faithful love GSP. The moment he was shown on the big screen everyone began cheering and when he talked about bringing the title back to Montreal he received an even bigger applause. I’ll say it again: MMA fans have never heard anything like the ovation GSP will receive before the Serra fight. Montreal fans are famous for their extra-long standing O’s and I expect nothing else come 4/19. One would think that Jarry Park would be representing at UFC 83 but someone had the audacity to schedule the event on the first night of a fairly important Jewish holiday so, alas, I will have to watch from home. When I found out about the scheduling snafu I fell into a deep depression and seeing GSP at the Bell Centre last night conjured up some sad emotions but, regardless, April 19th can’t come soon enough. I will be shocked if Serra makes it past the first round.

* Tomorrow kicks off a pretty amazing week in the world of mixed martial arts. First, there’s WEC on Versus and while this card isn’t as stacked as some of the more recent WEC cards these telecasts never seem to disappoint. Of all the WEC champions, Doug Marshall strikes me as the most inexperienced of the bunch but, luckily for him, he’s facing a fighter in Brian Stann who only has four fights under his belt. However, the televised fight I am most looking forward to is Ed Ratcliff vs. Marcus Hicks as the winner will probably earn a shot at Lightweight champ Jamie Varner. Finally, it will be interesting to see how all the “will Paulo Filho fight or not” drama will affect Chael Sonnen in his bout against the undefeated Bryan Barker. If Sonnen loses this bout does he also lose his shot at Filho’s title? That would seem like a huge injustice but it would be strange to have him fight for the title after a loss.

* Following the WEC event, it’s Shamrock vs. Le on Saturday night and I’m very much looking forward to this one. I also agree with Sam Caplan in thinking that Cung Le has a much better chance than others have been giving him against Frank. Throw in Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz and an always hot San Jose card and this should be just as good as Shamrock-Baroni last June. Update: I am considerably less excited for this card. No Jake Shields? What a bummer.

* Then next Wednesday marks another edition of Ultimate Fight Night headlined by Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon. Die hard MMA fans have been waiting for this three-hour telecast for what seems like forever and I’m guessing it will deliver. UFN 13 will be followed by the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 7 with coaches Forrest Griffin and Quinton Jackson. 32 fighters and a couple of quote-machines and I’m thinking that this will be another solid season. We did hear about some “major changes” to the format of the show and I am hoping for a few more surprises than simply doubling the cast.

* Oh yeah, I hear there is some sort of wrestling event going down in Orlando this weekend too. Actually, there are several wrestling events in Orlando. TNA will be shooting it’s first-ever live telecast and Ring of Honor will also be putting on a couple of shows. Is it me or does TNA’s first live show feel like it’s lacking a little excitement? I have always been a huge supporter of live wrestling but I feel like we are going to get the same old product on Thursday. Sorry, an “interactive vote” to determine Awesome Kong’s opponent just doesn’t do it for me. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

* As I mentioned earlier, I’m back home in Montreal for the next few days and, surprisingly enough, fighting is on everyone’s mind here. That’s because Jonathan Roy, the son of former Habs goalie Patrick, was involved in a pretty brutal hockey fight over the weekend. So brutal that the local authorities have gotten involved! As far as hockey fights go this one is pretty intense but I have to admit hat even I – lover of all things combat – get a weird feeling watching it. When a guy moves into the fetal/turtle position and you continue to land an extra 20 punches to the back of his head I think you deserve to have the police come looking for you. I mean, who does Roy think he is – Babalu?

A Tale Of Two Weekends

victory_05_482×316.jpgIt was a fairly quiet weekend on the MMA and wrestling front but not so in the world of boxing. Some had a great 72 hours while others not. Let’s break it down:

Good: Boxing – Normally, I hate all those “boxing may or may not be dead” articles but, damn, we’ve had enough fight of the year candidates to fill up the entire calendar.

Bad: Malaipet Sitprapom – Might want to brush up on that MMA rulebook 

Good: Librado Andrade – After a tough loss to Mikkel Kessler a year ago Monday, Andrade is 3-0 and has been winning in impressive fashion. Is Bute next?

Bad: Andy Lee – Manny Steward might have learned that all that glitters is not gold.

Good: Me – I got engaged…to a real girl.

Bad: Space Mountain – It officially closed. Wooooo!

Good: Joel Casamayor – Another tremendous performance. Nate Campbell may be in trouble.

Pollock’s POV: Say It Ain’t So, Naitch

Want to hear a fired up John Pollock? Just ask him about Ric Flair’s retirement.

You can’t really blame The Prodigy since it’s safe to say that regardless of whether Flair and HBK tear down the Citrus Bowl this Sunday this angle has been a major disappointment for all residents of Flair Country. That is considering this will in fact be Flair’s final match. I am actually surprised as to how many people believe this will be it for The Nature Boy. I fully expect to see Flair back in some ring within 12-14 months but I guess that is a different story for a different day.

If you’ve been out of the loop and didn’t even know that Flair was on the verge of retirement I will let John explain why what could have been one of the most memorable storylines in WWF/E history turned out to be, well, simply ordinary.


Pollock’s POV – 03/24/08

You can hear much more from John Pollock weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on Fight Network Radio on Sirius channel 186 or via Hardcoresportsradio.com not to mention every Sunday evening at 11 p.m. ET on Live Audio Wrestling.

Evolution, It’s A Beautiful Thing

I want to root for TNA, I really do. The business needs an alternative. However, most of the time it’s hard to do so because beind-the-scenes they haven’t been very receptive to good ol’ Jarry Park. Actually, they have been downright rude to us on MANY occasions but, nevertheless, they are the number two game in town right now and that, in itself, makes them relevant. I won’t start covering their PPVs or big shows anytime soon but I will give props when it is due.

This past episode of Impact! featured two video packages that should give wrestling fans hope that TNA actually knows how to produce an interesting and compelling television show because for a while the jury was still out on that one. And, wouldn’t you know it, the genesis of both ideas came from outside the wrestling world. Who would have thunk it? There are actual lessons to be learned from the real world.

WWE refuses to change with the times. The Mayweather-Show angle – which should have been a home run – has been adequate at best (this week’s package on the Big Show at home with his wife and dogs was interesting but I have no idea what he said as I was blinded by the royal blue shirt he was wearing).

So, here comes Team Orlando showing Samoa Joe training with the likes of UFC fighter Marcus Davis. They are actually building up Angle-Joe XXXVIII into a heated affair. No girlfriends, no wives, no underwear, no tanning beds – just two guys who want to kill each other and have valid reasons for wanting to do so. Brilliant.

Next, we have the next installment in a new segment called “Rough Cut.” (On a sperate note, one thing that really gets under my skin when watching TNA is how much television terminology they use during their broadcasts. The average person doesn’t know what B-Roll or even a rough cut means yet, for some reason, they continue to use them.) Sure, I could give a rat’s behind of the problems Kipe and BG James are or have been experiencing but the segments have been great if not a little short. Make these characters real. Forget the gimmicks and the over-the-top storylines. Give me Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels and get rid of Black Machismo and Curry Man. If I want to see cartoon characters I’ll watch ABC on a Saturday morning. If I want jokes I’ll watch Comedy Central and if I want to see porn I’ll watch Skinimax.

Is it that f*cking hard to understand?

Jarry Park’s Top 24 Wrestlemania Moments

Can you feel it? We’re just over a week away baby. Time to break out the big moments. If you’re joining us in progress, click here for moments #24-21, here for #20-17, here for #16-13 and here for #12-9.

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#8: Climbing the Ladder
Wrestlemania X – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
March 24, 1990

The Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (c)

The Moment: This match is widely considered as the genesis to all the amazing ladder matches of the next decade. The moves these two pulled off were definitely the first of their kind.

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#7: A Rattlesnake is Born
Wrestlemania 13 – Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, IL
March 23, 1991

The Match: Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

The Moment: It’s not often that the loser of a match comes out looking stronger than the victor but that’s exactly what happened when Hart and Austin battled in a submission match at WM 13. The WWF pulled the old switcheroo by turning Hart heel and Austin babyface in one simple moment of defiance.

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#6: The Boyhood Dream…
Wrestlemania XII – Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, CA
March 31, 1996

The Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart (c)

The Moment: Alright, now we are getting into the “arguably the greatest match in Wrestlemania history” territory. Exhibit A: Bret vs. Shawn. Ironman match. Some doubted whether they could hold the crowd’s attention for 60 minutes. Did they ever…and then some.

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#5: Year of the Dragon
Wrestlemania III – Pontiac Silverdome, Detroit, MI
March 29, 1987

The Match: Intercontinental Championship: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage (c)

The Moment:
Forget Wrestlemania, many wrestling fans consider this I-C title match to be one of the greatest matches ever. While I will forever love this contest I don’t hold it in that high regard. The best parts, hands-down, were the near-falls. Back-and-forth they went and in the end, Steamboat, with the incomparable George “The Animal” Steele in his corner, would add another title to his impressive career resume.

Around The World Of Boxing With Large

A look back at an exciting few weeks in boxing

Been out of the boxing loop lately? Don’t fear because Large and I seemingly covered it all this week.

First, we talked a little Mayweather-WWE. Large watched this week’s episode of RAW so I was curious as to what he thought about the product considering this was the first time he watched wrestling in something like ten years.

We then transitioned into Pacquiao-Marquez II and whether they should fight for a third time. Large brought up some minor controversy brewing following the affair as well.

Later, we spoke about David Haye’s entrance into the Heavyweight division, Andy Lee on Friday Night Fights, Ricky Hatton’s future, Casamayor-Katsidis, Cotto-Gomez and, finally, a little Hopkins-Calzaghe.

Consider this the cliff notes version of the last few weeks in boxing.


Large – 03/21/08

Meet Your Next Flyweight Champion

Below is a clip of a 6-year-old model named Pretty Boy Bam Bam training to become a boxer. There are so many things wrong with that sentence.

Some interesting facts on PBBB:

* He was born on 09/11/01

* He has been boxing since he was two-years-old

* He is the subject of a documentary being produced by Wright Tyme Multi Media

It’s all pretty mesmerizing but I think his left jab is a little weak.

Frank Shamrock’s Best-Looking Fan

Model Ashley Mulls talks a little combat sports

picture-1.pngIt’s very easy to ask some fighter, journalist or fellow fan their thoughts on the combat world but can you ask a model? That’s the real test my friends.

So, on that note, today we go toe-to-toe with model Ashley Mull. She is one of the Platinum Agency‘s top talents. She also kind of looks like Trish Stratus, don’t you think?

AH: Good morning, Ashley. So, tell me, are you a lover or a fighter?

AM: I am a bit of both at times. I am passionate, loving, and I love to make people happy but I can also be a fighter. I am so passionate that I will fight for what I believe is right even if I’m wrong! Can I add stubborn to that list too?

AH: Hmm…maybe. The obvious next question is would you ever date a fighter?

ashley32.jpgAM: I would date anyone that can catch my eye, make me laugh, give me goose bumps and butterflies. If he happens to be a fighter I would be his #1 fan! Only if he doesn’t mind that I close my eyes during his fight!

ashley1.jpg AH: Sorry I’m taken. N-E-Wayz, which sport intrigues you the most: boxing, MMA or pro wrestling?

AM: Boxing is the sport that will always have my interest. It is such a classic! Blood, sweat, testosterone all in one ring…sheesh! I think boxers are very dignified. Ali was the greatest. Plus those silk shorts are so sexy.

AH: Sheesh is right. But on a more serious note who is your favorite professional fighter? Ali?

AM: Frank Shamrock is one of my favorites. Especially because I met him and his brother Ken a few years ago in Colorado and had a great time with them. He’s a great guy; funny, nice, and down-to-earth.

AH: The Shamrocks, eh? Very interesting. Have you ever been to a live fight?

AM: I was a ring girl for a couple fights a few years ago. I had never even seen a fight before and I sat front row. It was intense! I never thought I could be in so much pain just from watching two guys fight. The worst part was getting up after each round and having to walk around the ring with a smile on my face while the ring was being cleaned up because of all the blood.

AH: What a strange working environment. What do you think of female fighters?

AM: I have a lot of respect for female fighters. It takes a lot of courage to get in that ring and fight another woman. Women are vicious and can fight just as hard as any other guy out there. I have seen a vicious female fight and swore I would never step foot in a ring.

AH: I know what you mean. I have seen a couple of those in my day. Would you ever consider stepping into the octagon or ring?

AM: No way Jose!

AH: Actually it’s Ariel but whatev…

AM: Being a ring girl is one thing, having my face pounded in by another angry woman’s fist is another. I can hold my own for sure, but I like my teeth too much to sacrifice them! You can fight, I’ll watch from here!

Matt Lindland Is Good At Keeping A Secret

The Middleweight star remains tight-lipped about his fighting future

Not only is Matt Lindland a great fighter but, man, that guy can keep a secret.

I had the pleasure of talking to “The Law” at a time where his name was very much in the news. Needless to say, I was looking for some answers.

We knew he had signed with a promotion we just didn’t know which one.

We knew he was planning on running for an Oregon State House of Representatives seat we just didn’t know why.

We knew he had recently talked with Dana White about potentially returning to the UFC but didn’t know what came of those discussions.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad. Lindland was more than willing to discuss his political career and his talks with White but his new contract? Hell no. I might have asked him ten questions regarding his new home only to be shut down every time. It felt like high school all over again.

Sure, we’ve all heard the Affliction/Golden Boy rumors but in a time where upstart promotions have press conferences to announce a big free agent signing only to find out five months later that said fighter never signed a contract (see: Global, M-1) we can’t really believe much these days.

Plus, Lindland told us that the promotion he has signed with is established and has been running shows for a while so there’s that.

We also spoke about why he left the UFC in the first place, Anderson Silva, the offer to appear on TUF 4 and his fight against Fedor. It’s an interesting one.


Matt Lindland – 03/19/08

A Few Things I Hate…

1) St. Patrick’s Day drunken idiots

2) Unsanctioned fights (aka when people get drunk they like to fight)

3) Men who lay their hands on women

4) Men who knock ladies out with a punch

5) The snow

Amazingly, all these things are exemplified in the clip below. I have already confessed my love for all things fighting but this kind of behavior is definitely not my bag.

Words can not even describe how disgusted this makes me feel.

source: The Big Lead