It's the last Sunday of the NFL regular season and there's a gambit of matters to address before I return to the easy chair and some pigskin action. We're burning daylight so let's kick this thing off.....
I paid $60 for the UFC PPV Saturday night and it was money well spent. No buyer's remorse whatsoever.
UFC did a better job of mic'ing the live crowd but it still could have been louder as friends who were there said it was deafening. Again, it's simple, if the announcers have to fight to get over the natural noises of the live audience then the broadcasters have a keener sense of urgency in their voice. Thusly, their voice draws me more into the presentation
From a former broadcaster's perspective, it's amazing that play by play voice Mike Goldberg has to read all the sponsor billboards and any thing else that airs in the show including the voice overs for the video packages within the broadcast. Any 'big voice guy' could do that or Jon Anik or even one of the other fighter/broadcasters to give Goldberg a break.
If one watched the prelims on Fox Sports 1 then one heard WAY more of Goldberg and Joe Rogan than was necessary. Don't get me wrong, the duo is the best but they are rode hard and put up wet as it relates to their production load on 'game day.'
Still think that UFC misses a bit when the major fighters make their entrance by mostly talking over the entrances and generally delivering the same info that we've already heard. Laying out more on specific entrances makes the TV viewer feel more like they are there live.
The one thing that UFC, WWE or any other PPV companies must battle to prevent is to become too formulaic in their PPV presentation. That's easier said than done because often times production types are leery of leaving their comfort zones and providing new production elements in a broadcast.
Tragic ending to the much anticipated Weidman middleweight championship rematch that ended with Silva sustaining a broken leg after the champion blocked a kick attempt. The gruesome injury wasn't exploited with footage but in hindsight it seems as if it could have been a bigger story on the PPV broadcast's closing moments than it was.
Anderson Silva is arguably the greatest MMA athlete ever and for him to sustain a potentially career ending injury in the main event where he was attempting to regain his championship is huge news and whether one likes it or not casts a shadow over the show itself. However, it is massive, UFC news plus Spider wasn't in a life or death situation.
Silva will heal in 3-6 months but at the age of 38 his MMA fighting career is resting under a dark cloud. Something tells me that Silva won't go out this way but that's merely a gut feeling and nothing else.
Chris Weidman is going to continue to evolve into something extraordinary as his career progresses as he's still 'green' and learning. Plus, he is well spoken, sincere, natural and exudes class ala a George St. Pierre. Potential sponsors and other involved parties love that in an athlete.
Hopefully Weidman won't have to defend his title against Vitor Belfort in Brazil where TRT issues aren't seemingly as scrutinized or as diligently as they are in America. On a side note, the Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a legal short cut for many athletes, in my opinion, and should not be utilized in any sport.
I blogged before the fight that Ronda Rousey would be booed in Vegas and some on Twitter @JRsBBQ and here thought I had lost my mind and was reverting back to my pro wrestling days. Of course, we all know that anyone with a pro wrestling background doesn't morally have the right to speak on MMA. Nonetheless, Rousey was a heel BEFORE the match and merely underscored that perception by refusing the shake Miesha Tate's hand after the fight of which Rousey won with her patented arm bar.
First of all, the hardest thing in pro wrestling to do is to develop a viable villain who fans will pay big money to see lose. Great villains with big personalities are golden in sports entertainment and in boxing....think Muhammad Ali who made a fortune being a 'heel.' Rousey is there and will likely embrace that role by simply being herself and not playing the role of MMA bad girl.
Secondly, Tate got over in a losing effort by showing great skill, determination and by not quitting on her fans....another set of traits that pro wrestling fans embrace in their fan favorites but that many pro wrestling fan favorites struggle to master. The perception in rasslin is that it's much cooler to be a bad guy than a fan favorite.
Funny how old school pro wrestling and MMA have so many of the some basic, traits that all relate to fundamental, human interest and human emotions but, of course, MMA purists and some MMA TV types would never want to agree with the obvious.
Heavyweight Travis Browne is the real deal and is another 'green' talent who is going to get much better if he stays focused and doesn't allow outside distractions to stunt his professional growth. It's easy to see where Browne could become a future champion of the world down the road plus he provides UFC another young heavyweight to build while Champion Cain Velasquez is healing from shoulder surgery.
I'm a Josh Barnett fan but Josh ran into a young animal Saturday night who's going places. Barnett is still viable and his body of work is pretty, damn amazing when one looks at it thoroughly but we live in a what have you done for me lately world so Josh righting again soon and winning is important.
Loved the nationalistic flavor of UFC168 with the Brazilian in attendance making so much noise. For pro wrestling promoters to think that specific element of their show biz presentation is too old school to work any longer is being somewhat embarrassingly out of touch.
One thing about UFC, the storytellers aka the broadcasters stay focused on what I'm seeing in the ring and keep me emotionally invested as opposed to exchanging "witty repartee" ala Anchorman 2.
So, I thoroughly enjoyed UFC168 and the post game coverage on Fox Sports 1 and kudos to all involved in creating a great, Saturday night event.
Oh, yeah...no Brock Lesnar at #UFC168 contrary to the rumor of the week online and elsewhere. I wrote about this situation in my last blog (Saturday) which you can access here on the site. Why would anyone leave the protected, show biz world of WWE where Brock's working a part time gig for BIG money to risk his health and legacy to step back into the Octagon? Again, if I'm Lesnar I'm taking all of the WWE money that I can count (and saving it) plus I'd even be willing to work more RAW TV dates to better promote and monetize the reason that WWE hired Lesnar in the first place, to sell PPV's.
The question is can Brock or WWE ever fully monetize their arrangement to the fullest extent with Lesnar only working a handful of dates a year? I've got mixed emotions regarding that one but for each party's sake, I hope that they do.
Paul Heyman is a marvelous representative for Lesnar but no one, not even WWE's most talented talker, can carry the entire load with the PPV customers that only see Lesnar a handful of times a year.
Lesnar is not the Undertaker and Brock doesn't have 'The Streak' going for him at WrestleMania. Big difference.
Working on the Q&A section of the site. Please keep your questions succinct and don't expect me to engage in debate. If your question isn't answered don't take it personally as it's usually a duplicate or just plain pet coon goofy in my opinion.
Get your tickets for my first ever shows in NYC on Saturday March 1 at the Gramercy Theatre now at the box office and at http://www.ticketmaster.com. 'RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross' is going to be a blast and I hope that you will join me in the Big Apple or where ever we may be touring in 2014.
Take just a moment and check out all the NEW packages of JR's products now at http://www.wweshop.com that include a fantastic FREE offer of a double sided, double signed, hand written thank you note and autograph. Many package are priced under $10.
We're one day closer to the Sugar Bowl and I can't wait to visit NOLA to see my Sooners battle Alabama.
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