Couple cool big broadcasts last weekend...
First was the all new CBS SATURDAY NIGHT FIGHTS: EliteXC MMA.
MMA's been around a long time, lurking on odd cable networks, but recently has been getting more mainstream, with stars like Chuck Liddell getting featured on Entourage an the like.
Now, any time I've caught MMA on TV, it never lives up to the "mixed" billing, more often than not, featuring two dudes grappling on the mat, and not much kicking, or boxing, or anything else exciting.
But when I heard internet street fighting sensation Kimbo Slice, and American Gladiator Gina Carano (Crush) were on the card lineup, I thought, what the hell, I'll check this out on DVR.
And the first couple smaller matchups (they showed 5) were quick TKO's that didn't showcase much action, but what action they did, was more upright and exciting.
However, the next match was the womens matchup, and it was too cool to see Crush from American Gladiators take on an up and coming scraper. Could she really fight? Was it all staged? Would we get to see some good action?
Well, it turned out to be another great fight, and Gina could in fact, kick ass!
Though this one was stopped early, but her opponent, Young, was on the verge of getting her face caved in...
Then the fourth match, the middleweight title bout between Smith/Lawler, featured two 6' guys, just under 200 pounds. An interesting weight/size for middleweight, and the in show hype promised two exciting brawlers going head to head, and the bout lived up to it.
It was really exciting, and mostly upright punching, something I'd rarely seen in MMA (to me, all the other stuff is cool, but not a cool as quality boxing in terms of explosiveness, so at least mixing some of that in is good to see).
Ultimately, it ended prematurely in the 3rd round, after some epic swings in momentum, on an errant finger to the eye...
Then, unfortunately the main event was cut off by my DVR, as the show apparently ran 45 minutes over it's programmed 2 hours...
I was, to say it mildly, po'd.
Turns out the Kimbo/Thompson matchup was also controversially stopped early, with Kimbo getting taken to the matt and nearly ended, and then coming out striking early in the third, exploding a giant cauliflower ear on Thompson and getting ready to blow him up... (I caught it later online)
Was the show a success?
Well, it had many shortcomings, the woeful XFL style cheerleaders, Gina not making weight, and questionable ends to all the main events, but it did more for MMA for me than anything else to this point. I saw some truly intriguing matchups and fights, with plenty of good action, and not an overabundance of ground action.
Also, the ringside talent was decent, with a nice MMA basics up front that helped.
I understand EliteXC is a bit of the minor league of MMA, but if they can build on what they started here with CBS, it's all good.
Nothing saying an upstart can't shake things up for MMA and capture a larger audience. Not to mention the buzz around this show is more than any other MMA event I've ever seen.
I know I'm eager to see more!
Then on Sunday, it was time for the MTV MOVIE AWARDS...
No one much cares about their actual awards, and the musical performers aren't usually too intriguing (it's MTV being all about the pre-teen audience after all), but the Movie Awards remains one of the only MTV productions that still plays to a wide audience with cutting edge entertainment (their music awards, once an annual staple of exciting programming have grown pointless) that doesn't dissapoint.
This year, hosted by Mike Myers, they kept the streak going.
It was a fun, often hilarious, show from start to finish, which was all enhanced by actually being broadcast live!
Check out some of the better moments from the show, including the "viral video promo" for Tropic Thunder, and Seth Rogan and James Franco's (uncensored) blazing presentation: