Mixed martial arts and pro wrestling often combine in interesting and entertaining ways, with participants from both sports crossing over and competing. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. Whatever the hell this ‘promo’ is that Tito Ortiz and Alberto Del Rio just cut to promote their Combate Americas fight? It definitely doesn’t.
I’ve seen some bad pro wrestling skits over the years. You know the type: filmed live, so there’s no way to stop the train wreck from unfolding completely. Flat crowd. Bumbled promo line delivery. And an odd man out inserting themselves into things awkwardly at every opportunity. In this case, the third wheel was Combates Americas founder Campbell McLaren, who happens to be one of the OG UFC founders way back in the day.
Tito Ortiz vs Alberto Del Rio - Cringe Level 100000000000000000% pic.twitter.com/7Fs1lHHByq— Evil Gokhan/Jeff (@EvilGokhanJeff) September 1, 2019
Even those cool points aren’t enough to save him as he jockeys with Ortiz and Del Rio for some reason like a wannabe Vince McMahon type character. Is this only the beginning of things? Is Combate Americas planning on performing more of these as part of a Mexican soap opera approach to promotion? The possibility both terrifies and excites me.
Because this is awful. It’s one of the worst, most contrived bits of attempted showmanship I’ve ever witnessed in MMA. And I’ll totally watch more of it on a weekly basis until Tito and Alberto finally fight — for real, no fakesies — sometime in the fall. Ortiz proved he’s still a capable fighter with his two recent wins over Chuck Liddell and Chael Sonnen. Former WWE champ and PRIDE veteran Alberto Del Rio? His last MMA match was a 2010 TKO loss, dropping his record to 9-5.
McLaren declared he’d announce the event date by the end of the long weekend, so the sneaky bastard clearly understands the importance of feeding out information at a drip to maximize media attention. Combate Americas is a quality product with exciting fighters that regularly pulls more viewers than Bellator. They definitely don’t have to be cutting these awful promos, but so long as they do I’ll keep tuning in and allowing the overt cringe to just flow through me unabashedly.
No word yet on if Del Rio will wear a wrestling match like he did in his ill-fated fight against Mirko Crocop....