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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Is MMA the Biggest Threat to WWE, and even TNA?

I figure it's time for my debut here at the Pro Wrestling Roundup. I told the owners that I would sit back for awhile and get a feel for how the site works before jumping in, but well, there's absolutely nothing going on here, so I'm going to jump right in and light this place up. I am the Midnight Writer, and as I blog from the woods, while sitting at my campfire, I'll be giving my views on pro wrestling happenings, and even some MMA. I've decided to kick things off with a little bit on my views on MMA's popularity over the past few years, and if it will be a threat to the pro wrestling world.

I think MMA has recently become so popular due to the aspect of 2 bad asses entering a cage, and just beating some ass. I also think this was the reason WWE and to some degree WCW's popularity sky rocketed in the late 90's. Wrestling made the change, which some would say was caused by Hulk Hogan joining the nWo, and tossing the red and yellow and joining the super cool Hall and Nash in the nWo. Things were taken to the next level of course, when Stone Cold Steve Austin was let loose on WWF, cussing, drinking beer, flipping off everyone in sight, all of which had never been seen or allowed on a WWF show. And of course, there was ECW, which basically invented this whole movement that WWF called the "Attitude Era." ECW was doing the "cool heels," the swearing, the violence, years before WWF or WCW changed directions. None the less, this era gave males 18 and up something to watch, and wrestlers to cheer for. No longer were good guys the smiling do gooders, but they were shit talkers who just wanted to fight. Around this same time....UFC became popular, and over the past few years especially, has gotten hugely popular. UFC is the biggest U.S. MMA company, but its popularity has sparked other companies to pop up, with rosters that include former UFC names, and other popular MMA fighters from around the world. While wrestling (especially WWE!) has taken a step backwards, and has gone back to a stale format of forcing cheezy babyfaces down our throat whether we like them or not, MMA brings no non-sense action that appeals to the same demographic that I feel pro wrestling had back in the 90's. And while UFC does have people who complain about how it's gone to a more rule filled format, and less of a pit fighting style, other promotions such as the new YAMMA Pit Fighting organization that has been started up by UFC founder Bob Meyrowitz, which will be bringing back the tournament and superfight concepts that made the original UFC so great to watch, and will also feature MMA Legends like Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov. I think this MMA promotion will be one to watch, as the tournaments were always fun to watch, and big name legendary fighters are always fun as well. Also EliteXC will produce a dream match of sorts this weekend, as Tank Abbot takes on internet fighting icon Kimbo Slice (both pictured above.) Sure this won't be a great martial arts battle of skill, but who cares! This is a great match up, with 2 great brawlers, and what the original UFC was all about. Do fans older then 17 years old or so, want to see the above pictured fighters go at it, or John Cena doing a fireman's carry on someone new (sometimes the same guys over and over,) every single week, sometimes more than once. I'll admit, Cena's surprise return got an awesome reaction, but I'm afraid we are doomed to have a repeat of the past, with Cena being the main focus of every show, and RAW becoming horribly repetitive once again. TNA wrestling is enjoyable to me, and its a different product, but something is still missing there, maybe it's having shows in different arena's instead of every Thursday show in the same place? Maybe it's lacking a couple more big name guys (Lashley anyone?) But TNA is just not on WWE's level, may never be, but is a nice alternative in wrestling terms, but has nothing that will spark a wildfire of interest and hook people like MMA has.

With all this diversity going on, and even the recent hype for Brock Lesnar's fight...MMA is pulling in more fans, giving them more options, and not mixing it with kids programming, and childish humor on a weekly basis like wrestling. In closing, I'll always love wrestling, and I'll be reporting on things that interest me, but I am taking notice that MMA is bringing in more and more fans, and bringing in levels of intrigue and excitement that wrestling has not been able to produce since around 2002. Wrestling needs to decide if they're a kids show, or an adult show, as mixing the 2 just doesn't work, and MMA may keep on capializing, but as long as WWE keeps selling T-Shirts (which seems to be their main goal these days,) they'll remain in business....in The Midnight Writers opinion!

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