Well, yet again we find that MMA is repeating what went on in the 80's in professional wrestling.
This time the battle of promotions is going to be UFC Vs. Affliction. The UFC is running a free show on Spike headlined by Anderson Silva making his light heavyweight debut against James Irvin. The Affliction card is stacked with a Fedor Vs. Sylvia match up, as well as other heavyweights like Arlovski, Barnett, and others.
This weeks Wrestling Observer had a little bit of how this went down in the 80's with Vince McMahon's WWF and rival Crockett Promotions (NWA):
McMahon ran a competing PPV, the original Survivor Series, against Jim Crockett’s first attempt at PPV, Starrcade ‘87, on Thanksgiving night of that year. McMahon forced cable companies to make a choice on which show to carry, and with McMahon having an established track record due to the success of Wrestlemania III, all but five companies nationally chose to carry the McMahon show,and basically destroyed the Crockett effort before the show even got started. When Crockett then called for help from Turner Home Entertainment, a giant in the industry, for a Bunkhouse Stampede show in early 1988, and the power of Turner kept McMahon from doing a PPV in opposition, McMahon, similar to this, cut a deal with USA Network and ran the first nationally promoted Royal Rumble show as a free TV special. After the Crockett/Turner alliance then created the first Clash of Champions in 1988, running a live show against Wrestlemania IV, hurting Wrestlemania IV on PPV badly in the process. McMahon cried foul. The cable industry, which got roughly half the revenue from Wrestlemania, the biggest non- boxing PPV event of the year, was furious that the wrestling war had cut into its revenue and told both USA and TBS as well as both wrestling companies that they could no longer put free television specials up against PPV show. Due to a later dispute between McMahon and the cable companies, there was a Clash against Wrestlemania in 1989 as well, but even before that show took place, it was well known such a thing wasn’t going t happen again.This could be intriguing for all of us MMA fans out there. This is probably the biggest non UFC card in the history of North American MMA, but no one is still sure whether it will draw or not. Will hardcore fans forgo a fight that would have been huge 4 years ago, and still some extent still is, to watch and see how Anderson Silva does in a higher weight class (against a so so fighter)? And just how many casual fans that may pay to see a familiar face like Arlovski fight will instead save their cash in these tight economic times to watch the free show? I don't know about the rest of you, but I am stoked to get to re-live the wrestling war with these MMA wars.