Let's be honest about Hip Show up front. AXS TV is not showing Hip Show because they think it's a reputable sport or it's the future of MMA or anything of that nature. Hip Show is on AXS TV because it's spectacle, pure and simple.
Two-on-two MMA with platforms and tables is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds. But so is locking men in a cage to engage in combat with the goal of knocking the other man out, choking him unconscious or torquing a limb to the point where he has no option but to give up.
That said, Hip Show is a million times more ridiculous than the idea of MMA ever was. I just want us all to keep our wits about us when we act like the idea should have been shot down immediately. MMA in its American form probably should have been shot down just as quickly. I'm thankful it wasn't, but it was still a ridiculous idea.
Now...on to the show.
First off, you should know that these guys are your announcers:
They're either bad at their job or really good at their job. As no one has ever had to do this job before, it's kind of difficult to say. Though, I will say that lines such as, "landing another cheap shot. Although it's not a cheap shot here at Hip Show...it's the game!" do suggest that maybe there were better options available.
Similarly, the referees are at a loss much of the time. I can't blame them since the rules seem a bit beyond my grasp having missed the opening few minutes of the broadcast where I assume guidelines were established for the viewer. To the best of my understanding, the teams score points by landing knockdowns or submissions OR standing alone atop one of the many obstacles for 10 seconds.
At one point a man is knocked down, eats a few punches on the ground and the referees jump in. At that point one may think the fight(? game? match?) is over. But they award the scoring team 3 points and restart the bout(? contest? competition?). It's one of the many times where I questioned the actual safety of the sport, along with the risk posed by obstacles, blindside shots from the second fighter on the other team and the fact that if one teammate is eliminated, it becomes a 1-on-2 bout until the two minute round concludes.
This is dangerous, that much is clear. While I may take issue with people who worry about what Hip Show will do to the "reputation" of mixed martial arts (that reputation is already established and isn't changing because of some Z-tier tag team MMA competition), I can't fault anyone who hates the risk posed to the competitors.
Oh, and those competitors? Think "American Gladiators," they've been given "cool" new names:
Sniper95's partner goes by the alias of "Smerch."
Also, there's a thing where there's "interactive voting" in the arena which gives one team a 2-on-1 advantage for the first ten seconds of a fight.
I don't know that there are any static rules. It's a few steps away from The Running Man where audience members get to vote a new contestant into the game on a whim. Though, if anything approaching this happens at some point in Hip Show history I'll be hooked for life:
Sometimes the rounds are 2-on-2, sometimes they're 2-on-1 for a few minutes, sometimes 2-on-1 for ten seconds.
Suddenly there is a round that will be 2-on-1 for one minute. Sniper95 ends up trapped in a simultaneous leg lock and arm bar (see main article photo). Somehow, Sniper95 survived that bizarre situation and his team won on points.
The announcer says "that's right man, you gotta be tough. You gotta be willing to let that arm go if you wanna make that money."
You know what? That's enough. This whole thing is stupid.
But definitely stupid.