World Victory Road: Gaining on DREAM?

For the past couple of months DREAM has been getting all the love and most have written off World Victory Road as a second-tier promotion. Certainly DREAM.1 got more hype on the blogs than WVR's debut Sengoku event.

But now that both events have happened, I don't think many would say the DREAM event was head and shoulders better than Sengoku.

DREAM.1 got mixed reviews at best for fight quality, but much more importantly, the TV ratings for DREAM were awful:

It is confirmed that the show drew an 8.9% rating on TBS. That is a miserable rating that would even make HEROs blush. TBS finished second to last for ratings in that time frame, with low-powered TV Tokyo finishing in last (with a 6.9% number).
While DREAM.2 will likely produce better numbers -- featuring big draws like Sakuraba, Funaki, Tamura as well as top talents like Akiyama and Kang -- WVR is announcing some signings of its own. In addition to promising lightweight Satoru Kitaoka, who should be headed toward a showdown with Gomi next New Year's Eve, they also signed Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao. Now we know why rumors were flying that the Yakuza wouldn't let Nakao fight Cro Cop for DREAM -- I suspect he'd already committed to WVR before that fight was even proposed.

Most importantly though, it looks like WVR has scored a network TV deal with Fuji, the network that carried PRIDE until scandal forced them to drop the promotion. Personally I think more big events are a good thing. I also think DREAM carries a bit of the stink of K-1's fucked upness about it. With a network TV deal, WVR can compete with DREAM on an equal footing. I expect the better organization will win.

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