2008 is upon us but we’re still stuck in 2007. For our complete list of the Top 15 Combat Sports Moments of 2007 click here.
#3: The Death Of WCW, er, Pride
What: The UFC purchases Pride and then quietly puts it to sleep
Where: Las Vegas & Japan
When: Spring 2007
The similarities between the fall of World Championship Wrestling and Pride Fighting Championships are eerie. Let us count the ways:
* WCW was purchased by its top competitor – World Wrestling Federation. Pride was purchased by its top competitor – the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
* When the WWF acquired WCW they vowed to rebuild the brand into a better and stronger promotion. When the UFC acquired Pride they vowed to rebuild the brand into a better and stronger promotion (ha).
* WWF signed some of WCW’s biggest stars only to have them fail in their ring. UFC signed some of Pride’s biggest stars only to have them fail in their Octagon.
* WWF planned to run WCW as a seperate entity but quickly scrapped those plans. UFC planned to run Pride as…well, you get the picture.
Oh, and both purchases went down in the month of March (I know the Pride deal took a while to get finalized but it was pretty much official in March).
The jury is still out on who will now become the top MMA promotion in Japan. Will it be K1 Hero’s? Yarennoka? World Victory Road? Will the sport suffer the same hardships as Japanese pro wrestling? Who knows. But one thing is for sure in spite of all it’s political issues outside the ring (and there were many) Pride will be missed. On the other hand, I can’t say the same for WCW anymore since it’s pretty much back in the form of TNA.