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Jim Ross With Thoughts on Summerslam and Strikeforce


Your friend and mine, Jim Ross, has another blog up and of  course he touches on a  few subjects relevant to our fair site. Summerslam is tonight and how could we not be talking about it? His thoughts on  the card:

I have high expectations for Summer Slam tonight on PPV and will be watching from Norman, Oklahoma and not in Los Angeles.

The event is essentially a three match show featuring Kane defending the World Title against perennial underdog Rey Mysterio, new and still developing star Sheamus putting his WWE Title at stake against Randy Orton who seems poised to take another step up the ladder, and Team WWE (actually Team RAW) lead by Captain John Cena against the rookie faction known as Nexus in a 7 man, elimination tag bout.

While the other bouts have varying levels of significance and are certainly important for the participants, the three aforementioned bouts have gotten the Lion's share of the promotion for Summer Slam, especially the 7 man, elimination tag bout.

When was the last time SEVEN ROOKIES were positioned to headline a major, or even a secondary, WWE PPV? I certainly can't recall because I think that this is a first.

While I understand why he would call it a three match show, he's wrong. The bulk of PPV buys that this show gets will undoubtedly come from the 7 on 7 Team WWE vs Nexus elimination match. The fact that the WWE is pushing the young guys is great and there hasn't been this big of a push for a young group like this in quite a while but how many of them are really getting over? Wade Barrett for sure but anybody else? Not to my eyes. As exciting as this angle is they really need to start figuring out how to push these guys individually. The group thing works but it works to get the group over instead of the individual.

After some nostalgia regarding a few matches he's called at Summerslam he gets into some interesting points regarding Strikeforce and Women's MMA:

CBS/Showtime produced a somewhat pedestrian broadcast on Friday night in Phoenix at the Dodge Theater which was home for the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

I am a fan of Women's MMA and feel that specific genre provides Strikeforce with some much needed exclusivity. The question remains if CBS/Showtime can use all their resources and assets to efficiently cross brand the ladies into other CBS/Showtime vehicles to create needed appeal for the largely unknown, female athletes?

If freak of nature and the amazing attraction known as Cris Cyborg, the seemingly bullet proof 145 pound champion, would learn to speak better English and was effectively promoted outside the MMA world, she is even more money and a much bigger star for Strikeforce and their broadcast partners.  

The production team did little to build to their Houston fight as a more detailed and compelling vignette to Strikeforce's target audience was another missed opportunity. Bobby Lashley had a fleeting mention, the Champion, King Mo, who is in the next main event, feels like just another MMA fighter and his opponent feels as if he's residing in the witness protection program. 

This lack of strategic planning continues to make me question if CBS/Showtime truly knows how to market and promote much needed 'stars' specifically and most importantly to new fans who do not already have an allegiance to UFC.  To many of those fans, the UFC is the equivalent to the NFL while Strikeforce, albeit an arguable #2, is considered by many hard core fans as the MMA equivalent to the Arena Football League. 

Miesha Tate has marketability for Strikeforce at 135 pounds and possesses a great look and she fought hard Friday night...twice. Tate has the looks, athleticism, and sex appeal that appeals to a non MMA, die hard fan ala Gina Carano who looks like she's most likely done with MMA. 

I totally agree regarding Women's MMA. It's the one thing they can provide fans that the UFC cannot. Yet they continue to botch everything about it. They can put on good shows but when the production and presentation is so bad it leaves a bad taste. Even when they put on good fights they leave absolutely no desire to come back for more. They are in an unenviable position in regards to their place in the MMA landscape. Every time they make a mistake it just reaffirms to many fans that, well, they aren't the UFC.

Meisha Tate can definitely turn into a big star for them. She has a great look and is actually a damn good fighter. Gina Carano is on the fence regarding whether she wants to be a fighter anymore, from plenty of reports, and that would leave the world of Women's MMA without it's biggest ever star. Cyborg beating her didn't translate over into her gaining many fans and that's not a recipe for success. The cold hard fact about it is that MMA is watched primarily by men. A lot of men have no desire to watch women fight and if they do, they want to see women that they find attractive. Tate can be the next big thing if she gets promoted and marketed correctly. Strikeforce doesn't have much of a track record with such things so we'll see how that plays out.

JR blogs here and it's always interesting to get his perspective.

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