Jim Ross is back with another blog entry from his official website, Below are some highlights.
** Please note that the final highlight regarding this week’s SmackDown! contains a minor spoiler for the show
UFC Star Rampage’s Arrest: Sad and unfortunate news for one of my favorite MMA fighters “Rampage” Jackson upon his arrest this week in Southern California for a variety of charges. I have never met “Rampage” but I do know that he is a wrestling fan and is a generally good guy from what mutual friends tell me. It’s just sad to see things like this happen no matter the reason. I hope Jackson can rebound from this incident and get back to the business of fighting which will apparently be in early 2008 due to injuries he sustained in a losing effort, no controversial loss in my eyes, recently against Forrest Griffin. Speaking from experience, incidents like this that make national headlines in a negative vein don’t do the genre any favors especially a genre that is fighting a public perception battle with some uninformed media types and lawmakers. Like pro wrestlers, if the MMA fighters become their own worst enemies due to unfortunate situations like “Rampage” has found himself in then their business’s growth will be adversely affected and the public’s perception will feed right into the nay sayer’s hands.
The UFC vs. Affliction MMA War: Another MMA thought, does anyone think that the UFC, which is the NFL of MMA, is paying too much attention to the upstart Affliction promotion? Having experienced matters such as this during the WWE/Turner-WCW Monday Night wars, it is without question that competition is good for business and the most important commodity any promotion has, their fans who pay the tab, benefit the most therefore because these fans make a more significant emotional investment to the genre which pushes all MMA promotions to be even more fan friendly and to do a better job in matchmaking and promoting. From where I sit and it’s only one man’s opinion, the UFC should simply tend to UFC business and let the Affliction promotion run it’s course as the UFC has a significant head start in any perceived race and one would think that there is enough Global business to go around for multiple promotions to make money. If there is not, the consumers will make that known early in the race. Competition between brands should also be great for the fighters who will have multiple places to earn a living and maximize their short windows of opportunity.
Socializing with Ric Flair: It was nice socializing with Ric Flair and many of his immediate family after Smackdown at the Westin Hotel bar. “Naitch” is still one of a kind, is happy, and enjoying life and has many unique and perhaps headline making opportunities ahead of him that will play out soon. And no, I am not going the “spoiler” route with this info in this space but, as a huge Flair fan, and without resorting to hyperbole I was extremely interested, as will many of you, in the potential of some of Ric’s future opportunities.
This week’s SmackDown: Friday Night Smackdown is a unique broadcast and one that I am a nxious to watch after the WWE TV folks finish their edits and production enhancements. The common thread that runs through the show is the “Reception of Edge and Vickie’s Wedding” which certainly seemed to have have its “moments” including the final few moments of the broadcast. We also had some intriguing wrestling bouts including a Hardy vs. Hardy match that completely surprised me as it relates to the direction the bout took.