Full Contact Fighter’s ‘The Daily Takedown:’ Kurt Angle Finally Moves to MMA – Thankfully as an Announcer
By Joshua Molina
The World Series of Fighting really knows how to come out swinging. Whether it is a home run or a whiff remains to be seen.
The upstart league formally announced in a press conference on Thursday that it would hold its first show Nov. 3 in Las Vegas, in a bold attempt to take on the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator and become one of the sport’s big MMA promotions.
The show will air live on NBC sports, a cable channel formerly known as Versus.
But like any good MMA fight, there’s already a lot of drama surrounding the organization.
NBC announced on Friday that they have only agreed to air one show on the network – not the eight to 10 that league officials announced on Thursday. That’s a sobering blow to the league, particularly because officials in the press conference made such a big deal about what a big part NBC would play in the development of the organization.
If NBC is waiting to see what the ratings are like for the show, then news is not good for the WSF.
That’s because the cable show will go head to head with Showtime’s Strikeforce show, headlined by Strikforce heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier battling former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, in the first inter-promotional matchup between the top two MMA organizations in the world.
The show will likely break Showtime viewing records because UFC fans who have never watched a Strikeforce show on Showtime will likely watch to see their guy, Mir, take on Strikeforce’s top heavyweight.
Already out of the gate, the WSF has top-notch MMA to compete with and now NBC has committed to no more than one show.
Here’s some good news about the show – for pro wrestling fans. Former WWE champion and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle will be part of the broadcast team for the show. Angle, regarded as one of the best professional wrestlers of all time, won the gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the 1996 Olympics.
Angle had always toyed with the idea of going into MMA, but mercifully, never made the move. That’s because years ago in the WWE he regarded himself as the best “real fighter” in the business. Angle, however, was humbled when a real life fight broke out during one of the storylines.
At the time, the WWE was filming reality show called “Tough Enough.”
It was a reality show where WWE wannabees lived in a house and trained to become professional wrestlers. (UFC totally ripped off the idea years later with The Ultimate Fighter). The show exposed the business – and taught young wrestlers how bump (fall without getting injured) bodyslam, and essentially be a pro wrestler.
One of the guys who tried out for the show was a guy named Daniel Puder. Angle, during one of the show scenes, challenged anyone from the cast to try to pin him or make him submit. Puder, who trained in MMA, after grappling with Angle got him in a kimura and legitimately had Angle’s arm in keylock. Because Puder was on his back while applying the hold, and Angle was defenseless, the referee, trying to cover for Angle, counted Puder’s shoulders down for a really, really fake (even by pro wrestling standards) three count.
You can see it here:
After Puder broke the hold, Angle freaked out and yelled and Puder in the ring. It was quite the hilarious moment that you can see here. It was one of those classic, real things that happens in the wrestling business.
But Angle is charismatic and a great talker on the microphone. He will join MMA legend and a personality of his own, Bas Rutten and Michael Schiavello, to round out the announce team for the show.