Friday, April 07, 2006

UFC 59

Just a final note on UFC for the evening. I think UFC has really dropped the ball when it comes to promotion of UFC 59. Specifically, they have focused on Arlovsky-Sylvia rather than Ortiz-Griffin, and have taken away a lot of buys in the process. The UFC commercial for the event says, “The UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovsky is looking to continue his dominance in the heavyweight division as he takes on one of the top strikers in the sport today, Tim Sylvia.” Two thirds of the commercial shows Arlovsky and Sylvia highlights, and they air a promo of Sylvia saying he wants another shot. Then the final third says, “Also, Tito Ortiz takes on the hard-hitting Ultimate Fighter season one champion, Forrest Griffin.” They cut to Forrest Griffin pulling a John Cena, saying he’s not all that good, but he makes his fights exciting.

This is all backwards. Nobody cares about Sylvia-Arlovsky. Arlovsky will run right through him just like he did the first time. There’s no reason not to expect another destruction. I understand they want to get Arlovsky over as champion. But the way you do not get someone over by putting them in the main event. You put them in the main event because you have gotten them over. Ortiz-Griffin is the fight with so much more drawing potential. The story is that this is Griffin’s big chance. He is the biggest star to come out of the Ultimate Fighter, and here is his chance to prove himself and the show. If he beats Ortiz, he can set himself up for a title shot with Liddell. This is the most important fight of his career. And on the other side you’ve got Tito Ortiz, who also wants his way back up to the top, and has to go through Griffin in his own hometown in order to get to Shamrock and Liddell. The stakes can be presented as really high. But instead they have treated it as an afterthought matchup of two personalities, rather than a fight of vital importance. The show will still do very well at the gate and on PPV I suspect. But there is so much potential there, and they have blown it.


Blogger 17Haze said...

I agree. I really want to see Ortiz vs. Griffin and hopefully Forrest wil win to set up a teacher vs. student match for the Light Heavyweight Title. I think that match would just be huge.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

As they write in each week's Sport Illustrated: This month's sign of the apocalypse

We get the TV product and booking team we deserve.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Of course, it's Sports Illustrated and by "we" I mean WWE fans collectively not those of us on this blog.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Swain said...

Why do they even want to get the Heavyweight Division over right now? Arlovski is cock of the walk, and looks to remain that way for a while. Heavyweight promotion needs to be put on the back burner until there are some serious contenders. This isn't to say that there should be no heavyweight fights, just that they should be focusing on the more competitive divisions.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I agree. The focus seems to be on making Arlovsky a star, and using that to promote Chicago where he lives and trains. But it's harder to get people excited about a guy if he doesn't have opponents. And that's particularly pronounced for Arlovsky, who is a natural guy to root against (I really like him, but he's this hairy, scary badass, and better suited as the unstoppable monster champion that the people want to see dethroned). It's hard to get really excited about Arlovsky demolishing opponents.

I went to that WWE poll, and saw the first two choices, and thought "this isn't that bad." I think there's a perfectly good argument Warrior does belong in a WWE Hall of Fame over Owen Hart based on the level of popularity he attained in the company and the level of stardom. Then I saw choices 3 and 4, and wow, yeah, this is the "if it feels good, do it" HOF.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Josh Amendment said...

I think the idea is to get Arlovski over as a Mike Tyson-esque wrecking machine. The appeal is supposed to be watching how fast he can smash the bums they put in front of him. Don King made a lot of money with that formula, although in later years it had a lot to do with what a maniac Tyson is.

11:46 AM  

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