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MMA writers Jordan Breen and Luke Thomas are disgusted with pro-wrestling fans using MMA for validation

By Zach Arnold | September 1, 2010

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From last Thursday’s Jordan Breen radio show with Luke Thomas of, right before UFC 118 took place. The set-up here is an e-mail question about Toney and how UFC was portraying him heading into the fight. While the e-mail questioner is wrong in hindsight, the truth is that what the mail pointed out were some of the issues I had pointed out last week as far as the troubles UFC was having in getting people motivated enough to pay to see the Randy Couture/James Toney fight.

Here’s the set-up:

JORDAN BREEN: “Now, you mentioned the trash talking. I would like to read you an e-mail that I suspect might bother you. Is that OK, Luke?”

LUKE THOMAS: “I get many e-mails a day that bother me. This won’t be the first.”

JORDAN BREEN: “Uh, OK. I think it’s more targeted at a specific sensibility of yours, so… E-mailer writes: ‘It seems like the UFC might be setting itself up for an unexpected Toney face turn. He’s such a huge underdog. Instead of hyping up Toney and making it seem closer than it really is (we know how good they are at that game), they decided to almost bill it almost as a squash match. This should be a situation where Toney’s brash cockiness keeps the MMA fans against him. There’s been so much media about how badly Toney is going to get beat that he’s becoming David to Couture’s Goliath. Add the fact that Toney actually seems to be training for this fight and actually appearing to make an honest effort, you got a recipe for the aforementioned face turn in the eyes of many fans.’ Now, that e-mail uses the term face turn twice and the phrase squash match once. Are you ready to go defcon over such pro-wrestling shenanigans surrounding MMA, Luke Thomas?”

LUKE THOMAS: “I just feel sorry for people who think in those terms, that’s all I really have to say about that. You really have to be very, and I know I’m going to piss everybody off but oh well sorry, but you really got to be intellectually lazy..”

JORDAN BREEN: “Hang on! Hang on! I will not accept intellectually lazy. You are a man that came out and said that pro-wrestling fans are fat retards. I demand, I demand… I demand a higher level of accosting on my show than saying intellectually challenged.”

This led into a 20-minute discussion on ‘hillbilly’ pro-wrestling fans and how their terminology and way of thinking should be treated the same way that air pollution should be treated. I was given a heads up about this segment last week and the reason it took me a while to get to this is because it took me about 80 minutes from start-to-finish transcribe this. Don’t say that I never love my readers or masochism or both at the same time.

I would encourage you to listen to the segment because the tone is much more cynical? accurate? scripted? than any transcript will do justice. But, now that I got your attention, view the transcript in full-page mode. 20 comments of bust on this one.

LUKE THOMAS: “Well, this whole nonsense, this guy’s a heel, this guy’s a babyface, this is a turnface, this farrago of absolute inane [expletive], shut the [expletive] up. There’s a reason I don’t watch pro-wrestling. You know why? BECAUSE IT SUCKS, that’s why. I don’t like FICTION. Thanks. I like sports and I’m not alone. I’m not alone. I mean, listen, are there obvious, obvious familial relationships between MMA and pro-wrestling? Yes, of course, you have to be a buffoon to argue otherwise. From Japan, in America, and the way the UFC has structured it’s business and the way in which they promote, yes, of course, of course there is no denying that and you would be really, really dishonest in saying otherwise. But STOP pretending you can distill MMA on pro-wrestling’s terms. You cannot. It’s real as much that may pain you to think.”

JORDAN BREEN: “I do find it really interesting, too, that any time there’s anything that can be considered a triumph for pro-wrestling in the sphere of MMA, it’s used as justification that somehow pro-wrestling is somehow a legitimate entity, like it’s a finishing school for something higher. You know, we look at something like Silva/Sonnen and the message taken away is, OH, WELL SONNEN TALKED TO ROWDY RODDY PIPER ABOUT HOW TO CUT TO A PROMO AND HE REALLY LIKED PRO-WRESTLING SO CLEARLY MMA WOULD BE NOWHERE WITHOUT PRO-WRESTLING. ‘Anderson Silva only became great because he got pro-wrestling help from Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen got him over, as they say in the business,’ ‘eh Luke, ‘eh? ‘eh? ‘eh?”

LUKE THOMAS: “Or the other thing that I love is like, hey is MMA boring? Throw in a little pro-wrestling atmospherics and suddenly it’s interesting. Saying or, what was the one that really got me? The one that really got me is the only difference between pro-wrestling and MMA is that MMA is real is like saying the only difference between monkeys and humans is that humans can talk. It’s like, uh…. not exactly. I mean, the genetic similarity between humans and apes is 99% but we’re pretty different at this point. The branching of the trees is trending away and that’s the real critical consideration here. As much as the UFC, in fact, no doubt about it, employed a lot of the WWE’s game plan for their growth and their development and their promotion, they’re trending towards the sporting audience. That is the audience that they’re creating. I know that FOR A FACT. I know that for a fact in meetings I’ve had with SBNation, they are dying to get more of the actual sporting audience and everybody loves a little trash talk. That’s sport-wise, baseball, basketball, everybody loves theater. I mean, my God, in D.C. the theater between Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan, where are your pro-wrestling constructs now, assholes? You know I don’t see anybody be like, ‘oh Albert Haynesworth is the typical heel!’ You know, that seems to fall away very conveniently in sports they don’t pay attention but you could just as easily apply it. But the reality is…”

JORDAN BREEN: “The reality I think there is that they might try to do it but the real truth is MMA has become the sport for pro-wrestling fans and essentially people who’ve never liked sports before, so trying to say that if they followed other sports is completely in anathema. They never would, that’s why they’re so into MMA and I think that the funniest irony for me, you mentioned the UFC trying to follow some WWE business plans, you know, in terms of where they do events, like they’re interested in Germany for instance and to me the central irony is people going, ‘Well, you know, it proves that pro-wrestling, you know, it validates pro-wrestling and proves pro-wrestling is worthwhile because the UFC is trying to copy the WWE’s playbook!’ when really, essentially they’re trying to follow a treasure map to gullible, ridiculously easy-to-fool marks. Like, really, it’s essentially like whenever someone somehow feels validated and invigorated that they’re a pro-wrestling fansand Zuffa’s going ‘all right, WWE does really strong demographics here, we need to get a cable deal there and make sure people can see the sport,’ essentially what they’re saying is ‘Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have identified me as a mark and I’m someone who’s extremely susceptible to whatever BS they want to throw my way and I will fall for anything that they give me.’ How awesome is that?”

LUKE THOMAS: “Uh… you have to ask them. To dovetail with that is that, you know, going to Germany which is… on its own makes sense, it’s Europe’s largest market, I think 5th largest economy in the world or 4th largest, it’s pretty large, so economically-speaking it got its own value, but on top of that they’re following certainly the fans are more likely to, as you mentioned, pro-wrestling fans are much more likely to become MMA fans. I think that’s very true and sports fans are a newer audience for them but they’re going to markets that have been somewhat trained. They’re trained to buy PPV buys and the WWE did a lot of that ground work for that. They’re trained to identify, you know, these dynamic characters and I don’t use characters as a pro-wrestling construct but I mean… this Canadian Georges St. Pierre, this Brazilian Anderson Silva, these guys who they don’t know who they see from afar, these stars sort of speak, and that economically makes sense but I think ultimately at the end of the day what MMA means to pro-wrestling fans, and if it does God Bless You and by the way there are guys who like pro-wrestling who I have deep respect for. They’re limited in number…”

JORDAN BREEN: “No, don’t say stuff like that.”

LUKE THOMAS: “But it is true, but it is true, there are some guys who, you know, for example Chad Dukes who I mentioned earlier, he’s a big pro-wrestling fan but he’s a gigantic sports fan so he I will give a pass to because I think he likes sports on the same term that I do. But I think, at the end of the day, for a lot of pro-wrestling fans what MMA means to them is a final validator for all the ostracism and strangeness that being a pro-wrestling fan brings. It’s like, finally, we’re afforded some reality because this really is pro-wrestling, it’s just real at the end.”

JORDAN BREEN: “And no one can mock them for it.”

LUKE THOMAS: “And no one can mock them for it!”

JORDAN BREEN: “I think it’s fascinating, too, something I never really thought about it until you just said it now, we bemoan the fact that people attempt to view MMA as this distillation of pro-wrestling but when you talk about some of these markets being trained to look out for characters and you say you don’t mean it in a pro-wrestling way, it reinforces the fact that pro-wrestling is just a distillation of life, you know like the idea that there are characters, you know people take the idea that, oh so and so, in MMA if someone has a real gregarious personality, ‘OH, you know, they’re really working it, they’re a face or a heel and they have like a real over-the-top pro-wrestling persona.’ Like, as though, over-the-top, boisterous, gregarious people don’t actually exist outside of a wrestling ring. Like you could never meet someone in a day-to-day situation who has a really bombastic personality, those people just don’t exist unless Vince McMahon has written them into being.”

LUKE THOMAS: “Yeah, the question is, what is pro-wrestling doing with its theatrics and do they work? Absolutely, they work, I won’t deny pro-wrestling fans that. Clearly the WWE’s success is a testament to the theatrics of their product that they would work. But, you know, what are they doing? What they’re doing is basically they have developed, in some ways for certain audiences, best practices for evoking a certain kind of response. But that’s just tapping into who we are as a people and manipulating that. They didn’t invent the ways in which to tap into human beings and to get them interested. Those ways have always kind of existed, they just formulated a certain kind of method and popularized it. But those methods long before pro-wrestling was ever around. I mean, people didn’t like controversy in the 17th Century? Of course they did. Of course. The theatrics always mattered then and controversy, that will always matter to human beings. Pro-wrestling just found a certain dynamic and a way of delivering that and God Bless them for it. And, again, I don’t deny that it works, but let’s not pretend that you have some sort of purchase on it or that you have a copyright on it. That is a human dynamic and, again, that happens across all… you don’t think Ovechkin and Crosby, you know, WHO’S THE HEEL THERE? Who’s the hero there? Whatever the opposite of a heel is, I don’t even know. That’s just human nature. That’s just human nature. They just found a way to package it into tight, little, compartmentalized identities and the reality is that a sport is so much more complex than that, that trying to fit them into those compartments does… not… actually… work.”

JORDAN BREEN: “And it’s actually unfortunate, too, because it actually ruins the real thing there because you bring up Ovechkin/Crosby, I’m always amazed by the Ovechkin/Crosby dynamic because even being Canadian that you would think they would want to always paint Crosby in a light that shows him as some kind of hero and that Alexander Ovechkin is some kind of anti-other, you know, he’s Russian and he has no teeth and he’s extremely awkward-looking in sort of a manchild-sort of way and he’s got this over-the-top sensational personality. But, yet, it really almost seems that Sidney Crosby has this rage that burns within him because he’s beat Alexander Ovechkin on the World Junior level, he has beat him in the NHL, and now he has destroyed him at the Olympics and yet because of the kind of star appeal and the je ne sais quoi that Alexander Ovechkin has, the dynamism that he displays on the ice in the most highlight reel making way possible, even in Canada he remains kind of a bigger star where at least seems like a bigger deal whereas Sidney Crosby is more objectively achieved in every respect of hockey, actually winning than Alexander Ovechkin ever has and that, to me, if you tell that to a pro-wrestling fan they’d act like, ‘what an angle, what a feud!’ But there’s a human complexity that is actually far more genuine and as a result far more robust in nuance than anything a scriptwriter for WWE would ever write and it’s true for MMA. As much as we like to believe that there are good guys and bad guys and while by in the large in the broad strokes there are, even MMA’s most sympathetic figures have dark and shadowy and ugly parts and even MMA’s most horrible, heinous people have interesting and sympathetic parts to them. I think you need only look at that in this case. I mean, Randy Couture is always constantly posited to be Captain America. This is a guy who’s on his 800th wife and by all accounts is, you know, is the first guy to admit that he makes a lot of mistakes in his life and doesn’t always do the best thing on a personal level. Yet, he’s supposed to be the personification of all that is hetero-normative and masculine and American. I mean, that’s… that’s not a pro-wrestling character, that is a human character and that’s a 1,000 times better than that.”

LUKE THOMAS: “That’s so much… How much more interesting is human success and fallibility and the contradiction between them and trying to make sense of it all. That, to me, trying to unpack that and make sense of it and roll with it and have fun with it, that to me is so is why sport will always beat pro-wrestling and not to say that pro-wrestling hasn’t been hugely at popular. Obviously the 80s were the hey-day, but that… I mean, listen, who is The Rock, right? Who is that guy? Well, Dwayne Johnson is Dwayne Johnson. The Rock is a character and Dwayne Johnson is an actor. It is a human caricature played by a human being. But, to me, Dwayne Johnson as entertaining as some of The Rock’s rants may have been when I was 18 years old or whenever, Dwayne Johnson’s life is vastly more interesting and you know or even locally, let’s take John McCain. I don’t care whether you like John McCain or hate him. Here’s a guy who was a war hero and also left his first wife for his second for really no good reason, you know this is a guy who has served America for many years, fought for America and was tortured in prison, I mean my God one of the best Americans ever, and you know… kind of just left his family hanging and to me that is the essence of who we are. I am many, I contain multitudes. To me, you know, that is why I enjoy sports so much more. Chael Sonnen, for all his inanity, I bet he’s a much more interesting guy than sort of this person he portrayed himself to be and I think if pro-wrestling fans lose that, then you lose part of the reason why sports and our athletes who participate in our sport, THAT is what makes them so interesting.”

JORDAN BREEN: “Yeah, and I think, you know, bringing up the Albert Haynesworth thing in D.C. is an interesting example because here you have this guy that, you know, the media tries to pain him as just this big petulant crybaby but really I think it’s an interesting case. Here’s a guy who clearly is… if you were… Albert Haynesworth I always, whenever I hear him speak, I’m always surprised because I forget sort of how mild-mannered he seems when just speaking, just by the fact that he’s constantly portrayed as some of kind Godzilla-type tyrant who shows up and just tries to ruin everything around his being and is clearly a good football player and I don’t think it’s the most horrible thing in the world that he wants to play in a 1-gap 4-3 system all the time and I think the debates that go on about him and his role in team play and being in Washington and whether or not he should have to give back all of his money, these are complex and interesting debates that tell us things about people and how they act and yet there seems to be a world out there that would much prefer it rather than try to get to know people and think, you know, what does it say about this person? What is really going on here? They would rather be much simpler if Haynesworth just showed up, took off his helmet, hit Mike Shanahan in the face, and then did a crotch chop to Dan Snyder and took off on a helicopter to some other city.”

LUKE THOMAS: “Well, you know, I don’t know Albert Haynesworth but he does seem to be a bit of crybaby, I will admit… I’m not even a Redskins fan but… yeah, I mean, what I think we’re tapping into is you know… I don’t want to bring up any of the beefs my site has had with Shane Carwin but I think some people have said, you know, Shane Carwin is acting like a heel and I think I mentioned that earlier. But, you know, Shane Carwin, despite all the problems our site has had with him, you know still has a rabid fan base and while he is not the media-savvy guy… you’re calling him a heel is trying to understand him on one aspect of a very complex identity and you know why you’re doing that, I would ask pro-wrestling fans, why would you classify him in such a way? I really think it’s them trying to navigate the sport on a road map that’s a little too easy and a little too lazy for them or as a consequence of laziness, but they’re trying to use an old road map for a new reality and I would just caution, as much [expletive] as I’ve talked and I’m sure I’m going to get a boatload… every time I go on your show I get hate mail for months…”


LUKE THOMAS: “Yeah. I would just say that you’re only cheating yourself, you know, you’re only hurting yourself. You’re only giving yourself a very narrow window into a world that I would ask you to believe is significantly more complicated and significantly more interesting because of that complication. You know, you don’t have to have final resolution about somebody, you know somebody’s either black or their white, and I mean that sort of as a moralistic thing, ah, well they’re evil or they’re good or they’re strong or they’re weak. You know, they’re much more than that and you don’t have to have a satisfying feeling about them being predominantly one or the other. You could just say, I don’t know who they really are and I say that all the time about people and that’s OK and that’s still, to me, vastly more interesting than anything else. And people change over the course of their career. BJ Penn isn’t the same guy he was earlier and that’s human development that has changed him. He’s a father now, he’s got lots of money now, he was a two-division champion, you know he’s a much different human being than he was before, you know why lose sight of that?”

JORDAN BREEN: “Or why do that when you could just say he’s this BAD-ASS RICH BOY HAWAIIAN TWEENER? He’s a TWEENER, Luke, that’s really what he is, you can’t put him in the face or heel box. He’s a Stone Cold Steve Austin at his height.”

LUKE THOMAS: “I don’t even know… I don’t even know what a tweener is. Is that in-between?”

JORDAN BREEN: “Yes, that is in fact between. You’re a better man for not knowing, by the way.”

LUKE THOMAS: “Well, I can say this, I don’t know pro-wrestling terminology and I think I’m probably a lot more informed because of it.”

JORDAN BREEN: “That’s probably very true.”

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “MMA writers Jordan Breen and Luke Thomas are disgusted with pro-wrestling fans using MMA for validation”

  1. Kid Nate says:

    thanks for transcribing all this Zach! will be posting on this for BE, probably tomorrow.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I love their rant on this topic. I was a huge Pro Wrestling fan as a kid. From about ages 10 to 20, I couldn’t get enough of it. From WWE to ECW to WCW…. It very much shaped my childhood interests.

    As an adult, I can’t say enough bad things about Pro Wrestling and the patheticness that it is. There is still entertainment value for a kid in Pro Wrestling…. But not any rational educated adult.

    When I flip on the channel and see many of the same guys I watched as a kid still performing in Pro Wrestling, I look at them in a very different light. Guys who were once “cool” are now “pathetic”. Overgrown children who never grew up and got mature enough to do something respectable with their lives. Because lets be honest…. There is nothing respectable about a 50 year old grown man dressing up and trying to hold onto their childhood dreams in a weird entertainment/sports hybrid that is fake.

    The VOCAL MMA fanbase online that talks about it like it’s Pro Wrestling are in the minority. Go meet a MMA fan on the streets, and most of them could care less about Pro Wrestling. Something about the internet brings out those Pro Wrestling geeks to the MMA websites an they think everything is babyface vs. heel or some sort of angle.

    MMA is a sport. Plain and simple. It’s a sport that doesn’t appeal to everybody but it appeals to enough fans that it has a strong loyal fanbase. It’s not Pro Wrestling. Stupid fans need to get that out of their under developed brains….

    • Mark says:

      That time frame, assuming you watched ECW to at least 1999 when the product fell off, would make you much younger than you’ve previously claimed being.

      Just sayin’.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Did anybody believe I was in my mid-40’s?

        • Mark says:

          Sure. If we’re to believe you’re not a gimmick poster as you claim, we’d believe that you were telling the truth that you were in your 40s. There’s no real benefit you’d get from weirdly lying about that, nobody really gives a crap. So yes, it looked truthful. Or else I didn’t care enough to think on it. One or the other.

    • Peter says:

      Take it from somebody who has actually trained in both worlds bro…each sport takes a lot of dedication, talent, and time. You sound SO disrespectful. I never got into mma but I trained 5 years of bjj and submission wrestling. I have a purple belt under Relson Gracie and consider myself more of a no gi grappler. I’ve rolled with black belts and brown belts both of whom I held my own with in no gi grappling. Right now I’m traning to become a professional wrestler. It’s pretty intense man. It takes a lot of athleticism and acrobatics and training. And the thing that is so great about it is that it does appeal to kids (something you said is stupid) Kids can’t understand what’s going on in a real fight. But they can be entertained by pro wrestling. If you don’t like it, fine. But don’t bad mouth something someone’s has worked their entire life to accomplish (50 year old wrestler). It’s so stupid to say well I’m a fan of wrestling…well I’m a fan of mma. dude it’s kind of comparing football and basketball. Just because I like watching the super bowl doesn’t mean I can’t watch the NBA finals. Different kind of athletes in different sports. Bet your dumb ass didn’t know that the fighter whom I consider the best grappler in mma history did professional wrestling….Kazushi Sakuraba, the gracie hunter. Stop criticizing and get out and do a sport yourself.

  3. edub says:

    Man, that was long. Thanx Zach.

  4. Light23 says:

    I grew up watching wrestling too but got out of it when I was 19-20 (3 years ago). The only reason I watched as from 16y/o onwards was because it used to be awesome when I was a kid.

    There’s a possibility that I would perhaps watch it if it was good, but wrestling is horrible right now. But this isn’t exactly the exception to the rule. Wrestling has always been pretty horrible. Although at least somewhat entertaining in the late 90s.

    I question the sanity of someone who watches TNA every week. And if you were sane when you started watching it, after a few months you won’t be.

    I won’t completely bury pro wrestling, because it does theoretically have value as an entertainment and artform, especially in regards to the in ring stuff.

  5. David M says:

    Zach how long did it take you to type that? Jesus that was long!

    Would I geek out if I met Stone Cold or the Rock? Of course. Do they have anything to do with mma? Not really. The UFC has eaten the WWF’s audience; who would watch 2 people pretend to fight when they can instead watch 2 people actually fight. MMA has cuckolded pro-wrestling.

    Every time you post something related to pro-wrestling I vow to never return to this site, yet I come back anyways. Most mma fans don’t care about pro-wrestling, and we have no interest in hearing grown up fanbois explain how they are so closely related; it is insulting to mma.

    At the end of the day, pro wrestling sucks and anyone over 18 who watches it regularly has some issues. Further, if mma had gotten big earlier, pro wrestling never would have had a fanbase amongst the 20somethings today who grew up watching rasslin. Kids grew up wondering if HHH and the Rock and these guys were really tough fighters, but then when the UFC blew up and people saw what fights actually look like, the ability to suspend belief and care about a pro-wrestling match went away too, except to the geekiest .1% of mma fans.

  6. Mark says:

    I can totally see why non-wrestling fans get annoyed at the lingo being used constantly on boards. Hell, I get embarrassed by the Bryan Alvarez types of the world who spend countless audio shows discussing scenarios of ‘angles’ UFC should be running to sell more pay per views. It is humiliating to be linked to that type of stuff.

    But, I don’t think them clinging on to MMA is so much validation that there’s proof the pro wrestling way of business can work on the mainstream sports world as it is them clinging on to UFC because they were the ones who took away WWE’s pay per view business and put a dent in their ratings (although their live attendance figures are still very good.) I’ve seen millions of ‘Ha-Ha! Take that Hunter & Stephanie!’ type messages and zero ‘I am glad the pro wrestling business structure has found a valid marketplace with the UFC.’

    And on a side note, you may not like ’em, but don’t be snobby to them when you want MMA’s army of loyal fans built up. So they like thinking of UFC as pro wrestling. Who cares? They pay for it. They can think of it as an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for all I care.

  7. Nick says:

    MMA and Pro-Wrestling have a lot of similarities whether MMA or Pro-Wrestling fans like to admit it. From production to promotion to the athletes that compete in it. Yes pro-wrestling is entertainment and not a sport, but its participants are tough and athletic. It’s also a spectacle that is based on catch wrestling. In fact, pro-wrestling used to be real and the techniques used are prevalent in modern MMA (Randy Couture, Josh Barnett, Sakuraba, Lesnar, etc.). I think Breen and Thomas are guilty of being journalistic snobs and need to get their facts straight instead of insulting pro-wrestling and anyone who points out the similarities between the two businesses.

  8. kongqueror says:

    I have no issues at all with wrestling fans – I used to be one. I can still remember the magic of Wrestlemania V, the awe I felt the first time I saw the Undertaker (squashed SuperFly Snuka), and the excitement of matches between the Heart Foundation vs. the British Bulldogs. But sadly, I am grown up and can’t find that feeling anymore EXCEPT when I am watching MMA. As an MMA fan, I do my best to invite friends who are not MMA fans to watch them with me in the pubs and sports bars but there is nothing quite embarassing as when one of my invitees turn out to be rabid pro-wrestling fans and start discussing really loudly how Kurt Angle’s Angle Slam and Angle Lock would’ve won KenFlo’s match vs. Gray Maynard. My heart sinks and wish I could turn invisible!

  9. nolan says:

    Unlike most, my personal experience with pro-wrestling is ongoing. I’m 29 and started watching WWF and then quickly (NWA) WCW in the late eighties and early nineties, then mostly stuck to WWF after the nWo thing took off and got into tape trading a little while after that.

    Limiting your exposure to wrestling to what’s available on basic cable is like getting your music exclusively through On Air with Ryan Seacrest; the show is annoying and worse, you’re under the misapprehension that _all_ music is Top 40 music.

    Worse, now that you’ve convinced yourself you’ve seen the light, you can sound off on pro-wrestling and look (and feel) as smart as James Toney (subtitles please) talking about MMA.

  10. MMA isn’t any more socially accepted than pro wrestling. Maybe slightly more popular these days, but I don’t think its beloved as if it was basketball. Its still something that draws “You watch that? You’re a moron” type responses. And I don’t think most pro wrestling fans watch it either.

    There is a very vocal group of people on the internet, however, who’ve been very vocal for a long time about pro wrestling, who see MMA as validation not for their love of pro wrestling but of the ideas they have in pro wrestling. Remember Meltzer complaining about the WWE not having true sports build and the “lessons of 2007”? The UFC is ECW crossed with Mid-South but actually real, and that makes it the greatest pro wrestling of all to these people.

    • Mark says:

      Yes, if you go to a pro wrestling board more people hate MMA than like it. There’s lots of threads about how angry they all are that Meltzer has downgraded his pro wrestling coverage to work more UFC stuff into the newsletters.

      But nobody sees UFC as ECW or Mid-South. One was a shoestring budget promotion who went heavy on blood and sex to cover up that they had no money and limited talent (but they did make the best out of nearly everybody.) The other was a regional promotion run by an overbearing promoter who ran with an iron fist who was great at getting great promo men like Jim Cornette and Ernie Ladd to insult fans to the point of a riot to sell tickets. Neither used “real sports build”, unless you consider stuff like kidnapping an opponents son and making him join your cult or purposely blinding an opponent so you don’t have to wrestle him “real sports build.”

      They see a product with far more interesting personalities than what the WWE or TNA has to offer. No more, no less.

  11. Liger05 says:

    Personally I love MMA, boxing, K-1 and Japanese pro-wrestling. I have no problem saying I like Puroresu. To me it’s just another form of combat sports albeit different to the other ones I like. I don’t treat MMA as pro-wrestling but then again I don’t watch that WWE/TNA crap so comparing angles and storylines isn’t something I do. I don’t watch the Ultimate Fighter either as it’s just something which has never appealed to me. The reason I still love Puroresu is because it doesn’t have the crap like American wrestling has. I just want to watch athletes fight. Whether its predetermined or not doesn’t concern me. As long as it’s hard hitting, athletic and actually resembles a ‘real’ bout then I’m happy.

    With the recent news that FEG are desperate for investment it’s quite ironic that the same people who said MMA has killed pro-wrestling in Japan are now seeing that the severe downturn in the fight industry over there is not just affecting Pro-wrestling. MMA/K-1 are not immune to this. While MMA and kickboxing will always exist, like puroresu it looks like it will be on a much smaller scale.

    • Mark says:

      I think the big difference between Puro’s downturn and WWE’s downturn will be the talent issue, which Puro will suffer from much worse.

      If you know anything about Puro, then you’d know these guys go through training 10 times more brutal than any MMA camp. A good look into that would be the Ring of Hell book. So if you’re going to go that far in Puro Dojos, why not go into MMA instead?

      But over in America, where pro wrestling is more entertainment based, you’ve got a lot of guys who aren’t legit fighters, have some athletic skill and just want to be entertainers. Guys like The Miz, John Cena, Randy Orton, I don’t see much promise in them being able to win an MMA fight. But they can entertain pro wrestling, so unless Japan wants to open itself up more to this ideal (which would probably kill them or only attract the HUSTLE fans) they’re going to die off from lack of new talent way before WWE would.

  12. "Dr. MMA" Tim Lee says:

    i would love to hear Luke Thomas AND Dave Meltzer on the radio show at the same time

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