Sunday, March 11, 2007

IFL TV report featuring the best promo man of 2007

By Jeff Hamlin

Tokyo Sabers vs. Tucson Scorpions from Houston, TX

Overview: After becoming the first team to get swept in an IFL event on September 9th against Bas Rutten’s Los Angeles Anacondas, the Tokyo Sabers (coached by Ken Yasuda, who is listed as the official coach on the league website instead of Antonio Inoki) faces the debuting Tucson Scorpions, coached by Don Frye, who ensured his candidacy for the Best on Interviews category in the 2007 Wrestling Observer Awards. This show was like watching an episode of The Ultimate Fighter 2, where the coach is ten times as intriguing as any of the fights or competitors.

Frye started the show guaranteeing victories by welterweight Gabe Rivas and heavyweight Chad Griggs. He claimed he kept his teamed motivated because they were all afraid of him, and if they didn’t win, he wouldn’t give them airplane tickets home and would make them walk. It got better as the show went on. After a full year of bland interviews, the IFL has finally found personalities that can sell the product. With Frye, Ken and Frank Shamrock, the company has the three best talkers in MMA history.

The Sabers won the coin toss, and Yasuda put the welterweight fight first between the Sabers Antonio McKee vs. the Scorpions Gabe Rivas.

From there the lineup consisted of:
2. At light heavyweight: the Sabers’ Vladimir Matyushenko vs. the Scorpions’ Dwayne Compton.
3. At heavyweight: the Sabers’ John Marsh vs. the Scorpions’ Chad Griggs.
4. At lightweight: the Sabers’ Savant Young vs. the Scorpions’ Ed West (who was with the Sabers last year)
5. At lightweight: the Sabers Masaaki Izena vs. the Scorpions’ Matt Ver Halen (insert favorite rehab joke here).

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