// [PW] CM Punk’s ‘drunken daddy issues’ is a stroke of genius from Chris Jericho//

Leading up to this past Monday’s Raw, WWE Title number one contender Chris Jericho tweeted, “Just found out some interesting information about @CMPunk ….A dirty little secret.”

The secret wasn’t actually a secret at all, just something that isn’t widely known by those who only follow WWE’s product. On Monday, after Punk defeated The Miz in singles competition, Jericho showed up on the TitanTron and revealed to the audience why the WWE Champion had chosen to live a life free of drugs and alcohol.

Punk’s straight edge lifestyle was a result of his father’s alcoholism and the effect it had on him and his family.

That’s no storyline, it’s not a facet of the CM Punk “character.” It’s the honest to goodness truth. Punk has spoken about it before, during his tenure with Ring of Honor (ROH) while he was embroiled in a feud with Raven. The surface hadn’t been scratched in WWE, however. Simply, Punk was straight edge and that was that.

Until Monday.

The segment received a lot of criticsm with some saying it was awkward or uncomfortable but I found it to be an intriguing and bold decision by WWE, Jericho and Punk to take their feud to that level.

Here’s why.

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// [MMA] Rampage Jackson’s signature howl sounds more like pouting these days//

There’s hardly a fighter more charismatic than Quinton Jackson.

Ever since his days in PRIDE Fighting Championships (PRIDE), the Memphis-born fighter has been entertaining fans with his mouth as much as he has with his fists. His battles against longtime rival Wanderlei Silva are legendary and he entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC) as the only man to have an unavenged victory over Chuck Liddell.

In his second bout inside the Octagon, “Rampage” replicated the result against “The Iceman” and captured the light heavyweightchampionship of the world. Some months later, he defeated Dan Henderson and — on top of winning the PRIDE title which eluded him for so many years — became the undisputed 205-pound king of the world.

Then came Forrest Griffin with his razor-thin, controversial decision, and “Rampage” hasn’t been the same since.

After losing to Ryan Bader last month at UFC 144 — Jackson’s second consecutive loss — "Rampage" has been on a Twitter spree, claiming he is underpaid, undervalued and just plain under-appreciated. I’m not sure what world Jackson lives in but the reality is far, far from what he is claiming.

The former champion has openly expressed his desire to be released from his contract. I don’t think that’s the right move for Dana White and company. The UFC should absolutely not release Jackson.

They should let the contract run out, as long as it may be, and let “Rampage” sit on the sidelines.

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// [MMA] Ghosts of Saitama: The Japanese New Year’s Eve war starts with three blockbuster shows//

The roar of the crowd … the sound of bare feet shuffling against canvas … the unexplainable electricity inside the building. They are all mere echos today as crowds in the tens of thousands have dwindled down to a fraction of that amount. The Saitama Super Arena, host of this Saturday’s (Feb. 25) UFC 144 event, has been home to some of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) events in the history of the sport. “Ghosts of Saitama” will take a look at some of those moments, forever preserved and never forgotten.

Yesterday we took a look back at 2011’s New Year’s Eve (NYE) event at the Saitama Super Arena, a show that very well could be the last in the near-decade long tradition. Indeed, the future looks grim from where we sit.

It wasn’t the case eight years prior when groups headed by Antonio Inoki, K-1 parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) and Pride Fighting Championships (Pride), each decided to go to all-out television war on Dec. 31, 2003.

Bom-Ba-Ye. Dynamite!!. Shockwave.

Three huge events that had millions of combat sports fans glued to their television sets at home and more than 100,000 people packed into three different stadiums. Saitama Super Arena, of course, was one of them. The building played host to Pride’s Shockwave event, also holding the honors for the next three years.

It was supposed to be the dawn of a new age in mixed martial arts (MMA) and combat sports in general. And while it seemed to fulfill that very promise for the next couple of years, it also inevitably led to the downfall of the sport in Japan.

Let’s dive right in:

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[PW] Short but sweet: Pro wrestling is entertainment but it doesn't have to be dumb

Yesterday I wrote an article describing my feelings towards the opening segment of Monday’s RAW featuring John Cena, Eve Torres and a cavalcade of slut shaming.

Some of you agreed, some of you didn’t. And that’s fine. As long as your arguments are well articulated and thoughtful, there’s more than enough room for dissenting opinions here at Cageside.

One argument, however, used by those who didn’t share the same point of view as me was I should just sit back and enjoy myself since pro wrestling is just dumb entertainment.

Continue reading…

// [MMA] History in the Making: Diego Sanchez survives the beating of a lifetime to defeat Martin Kampmann//

It may seem hard to believe but the stars of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) are some of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) most tenured fighters. After nearly seven years, the likes ofForrest GriffinKenny Florian and Josh Koscheck have just about shed their reality TV roots as they have become better known for defeating mixed martial arts (MMA) legends or winning championships.

Another such fighter is Diego Sanchez who like his fellow TUF 1 middleweight finalist Kenny Florian has never quite been able to grab ahold of the brass ring and make the transition from contender to champion. Both “KenFlo” and Sanchez have been to the big dance at 155 pounds but each ran into the (nearly) immovable lightweight object known as B.J. Penn.

Now more than two years removed from his UFC 107 main event, Sanchez finds himself one win away from perhaps another title shot. Possibly challenging for Carlos Condit’s newly won interim welterweight title or perhaps tangling with Georges St. Pierre when the French-Canadian heals up could be in the TUF veteran’s near future should he pick up the W on Wednesday (Feb. 15).

Standing in his way is Jake Ellenberger who is fresh off an impressive knockout over Jake Shields. A solid wrestler with devastating knockout power, Ellenberger is hoping to lay one of his fists directly on his opponent’s chin in the main event of the inaugural UFC on Fuel TV event. But Sanchez is no stranger to heavy-handed opponents. Whereas Florian left his bout with the Hawaiian relatively unscathed — as much as one can when having stepped inside the Octagon — “The Dream” was permanently disfigured after hooking up with “The Prodigy,” the new bearer of a scar from a chasm-like gash on his forehead.

It was a similar experience the Greg Jackson fighter had when he took on Martin Kampmann nearly a year ago. Let’s take a look at that bout, complete with its controversial decision.

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internationalobject:

The opening for Bound for Glory 2011.

I fully believe they plan on doing the right thing(s) at BFG. But that’s not as important as continuing to do the right things. That’s where the challenge lies.

(Source: internationalobject)

// [MMA] UFC 135: Is Josh Koscheck throwing in the towel or planning for the future?//

"I’ve got a couple of good fights left in me, whether it’s at 170 or 185."

Josh Koscheck said this yesterday (Sept. 22) during the closing press junket leading up to UFC 135: “Jones vs. Rampage.” 

Those are curious words for a top ten-ranked welterweight who was last seen challenging for the division’s title.

But the beating he received at the hands of Georges St. Pierre seems to have broken more than the bones surrounding his eye. It seems that the mouthy, arrogant wrestling powerhouse from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) also suffered a broken spirit.

It’s been almost an entire year since the 25-minute shellacking at UFC 124 but wounds like those Koscheck had inflicted on him don’t heal too easily and often come with a much higher price than going under the knife and sitting on the sidelines for a few months.

The above quote sounds like a man resigned to his fate. It sounds like a man who not only knows his place in the grand scheme of things but also accepts it and plans on making the most of it.

And is that such a bad thing?

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// History in the Making: Did Jon Jones usher in a new era when he destroyed ‘Shogun’ Rua?//

If one didn’t know better, they would swear that the UFC light heavyweight championship was cursed.

The allure of the title beckons fighters to it like a siren, leading them down a dangerous path before meeting an untimely and unceremonious end. 

Ever since Quinton Jackson knocked long-time champion Chuck Liddell unconscious at UFC 71, no one has managed to keep the belt around their waist for more than one defense. “Rampage” went on to unify the title with that of Pride Fighting Championships’ (Pride) but had the crown wrested away from him months later by Forrest Griffin.

Griffin — and his eventual usurper Rashad Evans — weren’t able to make a single successful defense in the cut-throat world that is the 205-pound division. When Lyoto Machida won the strap, Joe Rogan infamously bellowed, “Welcome to the Machida Era!”

"The Dragon" defended the belt — albeit unconvincingly — in what was the title’s first defense since Jackson’s bout with Dan Henderson only to lose it — very convincingly — in the immediate rematch to Mauricio Rua

The title was his for nearly a year but only due to an injury that put him on the shelf. When “Shogun” did finally step back inside the Octagon, Jon Jones was there to almost literally beat him within an inch of his life to assume the light heavyweight throne.

A little over 48 hours (Sept. 24) remain until “Bones” makes his first defense as champion when he takes on Jackson in the main event of UFC 135: “Jones vs. Rampage.” Will the young superstar be able to hang onto the belt?

If he fights like he did against Rua, there will be little chance he doesn’t. Let’s take a closer look at that bout.

Read on!

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// UFC Fight Night 25 results: Jake Ellenberger should be one win away from a title shot //

When he was signed by the UFC two years ago to take a bout on only one month’s notice, Jake Ellenberger gave current number one welterweight contender Carlos Condit everything the New Mexican could handle.

Since then, he’s been a one-man wrecking crew, finishing all but one of his opponents. Only Brazilian Carlos Eduardo Rocha was able to climb inside the Octagon with Ellenberger and escape with his consciousness intact.

Veteran Mike Pyle was the first victim on “The Juggernaut’s” hit list and was followed up with a temporary disfigurement of John Howard. “Doomsday” was undefeated in the Octagon prior to meeting up with Ellenberger who caused a softball-sized hematoma to grow from Howard’s forehead.

Rocha and a split decision win came next for the wrestler. It was a fight that has lingered with him, a point made obvious when he compared the Brazilian to his opponent from last night.

Less than three months after his tilt with the Brazilian, Ellenberger stepped inside the Octagon on about two weeks notice at UFC 129. He nearly erased the stench from the lackluster decision win three pay-per-views (PPV) earlier with a brutal two-punch knockout over Sean Pierson.

But it wasn’t until last night that “The Juggernaut” proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he belongs in the infamous “mix” for a welterweight title shot. He beat — no, destroyed — Jake Shields in a manner that no other fighter has been able to do.

It took Georges St. Pierre 25 minutes and three judges to get the better of Shields while it took Ellenberger only one knee and a handful of punches to leave little doubt who has the better man. 

Which is why — should he get one more solid win under his belt — “The Juggernaut” should challenge the French-Canadian — or whoever holds the title — for welterweight supremacy. 

The argument continues after the jump!

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// Floyd Mayweather and the psychology of heroes and villains//

In the year and a half since Floyd Mayweather stepped inside the ring, the pugilist has managed to keep his name in the headlines.

Unfortunately for the boxing great, it isn’t for his accomplishments inside the squared circle but rather for his relative inability to do anything in public without some type of law enforcement getting involved. 

Whether it’s stealing his baby mama’s iPhone and being charged with felony theft or slapping around and threatening a security guard over parking tickets, Mayweather seems to be as good at getting into trouble outside the ring as he is at avoiding it inside.

The latter half of that statement can’t be denied. “Pretty Boy” is an amazingly skilled defensive boxer who can put you to sleep if you’re not careful. He has won every single one of his professional boxing bouts and brought his record last night to a flawless 42-0. 

In fact, the only other fighter that can be mentioned in the same breath as “Money” is Manny Pacquiao.

And that is why the inability to produce what would be the biggest boxing match of this generation — the eagerly anticipated bout with “PacMan” — is so frustrating. These are the two men at the pinnacle of their crafts but money, ego, and fear have kept the contract from being signed.

That isn’t to say that the bout will never happen. There’s actually a very good chance of the fight materializing and after last night’s spectacle, there’s a possibility — nay, a probability — that when all is said and done, the pay-per-view (PPV) will do two million buys and rake in nearly a quarter of a billion dollars once the live gate is tallied in.

Why?

Because people hate Floyd Mayweather and love Manny Pacquiao.

And we don’t want it any other way.

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"What good is shaking your hands? If you want to shake something, put your hands together and wrap them around your opponent's head."