I should also say that everything on the associated channel is pure gold if you're into classic extreme no-rules reality cage-fighting and what sensible person isn't? I'm talking oddities like Alcoholic vs. MMA fighter (That guy wasn't a real Alcoholic, you can tell by the stance and the moves are too dangerous to use in competition...) or forgotten Trent Jenkins fights. Pure. Gold.
Today's subject hearkens back to a more innocent time when people thought "UFC" stood for Utah Fried Chicken, when the events were promoted as a brutal death sport and you could wear whatever you wanted in the Octagon, even non-Reebok products. Instead of mainstream popularity and a carefully manicured image it was all about the promise of blood, death and "All I saw was swinging."
Tonight we'll probably see someone killed and eaten.
There's a "Vidmark" logo and this probably should have tipped off viewers that we're not headed to EA Sports land for a minor roster update and a few new features you'll quickly disable in the options menu. Instead there's a giant Tipper Gore parental advisory label and a promise that "the faint of heart" or as we now call them "every single Millennial" would be advised not to watch any further. With the sissies out of the room we go right to fully grown men hurling their bodies at opponents and black fencing. "Technique!" as Jim Brown would say.
Speaking of the greatest non-Walter Payton running back in NFL history, he provides another gem with "You really have to know what you're doing" as one of the forgotten heroes of the cage gets pummeled mercilessly on the ground. Yes, it would definitely be a good idea to have some idea of what to do when a guy that went to Simon Fraser University and has both boxing and wrestling experience is repeatedly striking the facial area while the referee just lets it go for some reason.
This one-sided beating was included on a "Best of" DVD release. Really.
We're told that this is becoming a very popular live event, so look out monster truck rallies and roller derby! More Jim Brown! "I will take quickness and technique!" Yeah, I gotta agree, especially when the alternative is a beer belly, a slimming black outfit, some highly dubious credentials (Black Sash in Blue Dragon Gung Fu! 77-0 in bare-knuckle competition!) and blocking strikes with your face. This was clearly part of the charm of these early events: you had legitimate fighters with real skill going against people who didn't even look like they could run up some stairs without injuring themselves, let alone impose the physical will on another human unit in a game of kinetic chess.
"There's no way out!" we are told. Well, you can lose. That would do it, right? Suffice it to say they would regret all this ultra-violent hyperbole when a guy named John McCain, who was old and doddering even in 1995, decided this would be an acceptable target for political grandstanding. Trying to start World War 3 with Russia, opposing No Holds Barred Anything Goes Fighting...everything he did was wrong.
Finished second in 2008 Election, tried to ban the world's best sport.
Jim Brown discusses "A very dangerous type of weapon" that we hadn't seen before. What could he be referring to? A jumping spinning flying triangle choke/arm lock combination? Bionic limbs? Basic sprawling? Well, as it turns out, he's talking about using headbutts. It took several events for this amazing secret technique to be used, long before Mark Coleman made an entire career of this dangerous forbidden technique from the mystical Orient.
Let's meet the fighters! The Beast (imagine Freddie Mercury with the body of a Middle Linebacker)! The Russian Bear (imagine an ordinary looking Slavic guy in a judo gi)! And many more! We get a loving closeup of a downed opponent being kicked, a move that violates about ten different rules today, but back then it was a lot simpler: Only the strongest survive!
Also, this is where fatigue steps in! If you've ever watched an early event with its one minute fights and endless filler in between, you're familiar with that exhaustion. Now we get the main attraction, namely the SUPER FIGHT. In fairness to whoever edited this, they somehow were able to get enough footage to make that 35 minute plus (!) lay-n-pray marathon look exciting, no small task. On the other hand the fight will feature "Amazing Gracie" and "The Deadliest Man Alive" Ken Shamrock. Call me crazy, but I like this nickname a lot better than the awkward "World's Most Dangerous Man" even if it isn't strictly accurate since I don't recall him ever killing someone in competition. He's tough and all, but he's no Chong Li.
Watch it if you dare! We conclude with "What a brutal match that was!" delivered in a bored monotone. If that doesn't get you hyped, you might not be breathing. Only on VHS from Vidmark entertainment! Yes, this is the same event that now earns millions and has massive popularity. No, really.
No, this isn't a "Left Behind" Sequel.
K i guess...
The Russian Bear!