Untethered Mail Bag for July 2013
The Untethered Mail Bag is a monthly repository of your questions about the world of MMA. Only the most silly, irreverent, and absurd inquiries are considered. Send your questions by email to email@example.com or through Twitter @ItsMikeFagan.
if the royal rumble was comprised of mma fighters who would emerge victorious? – @bettingc
I decided to watch the 1992 Royal Rumble while I write this week’s Mail Bag. Be prepared for random comments throughout. If you don’t have 75 minutes to spare, at least watch Vince McMahon reading off a list of the competitors. (Ted DiBiase is introduced as the man who drew number 2. He comes out with Sensational Sherri. She always sort of scared me as a child, but goddamn if she doesn’t do it for me now. DiBiase’s gone, and here comes Flair at no. 3.) It’s Vince at his pre-Mr. McMahon finest.
I loved when the WWF* showed the selection process. Guys would pick out their ping pong balls and have the worst poker faces. Then you’d get tag teams where one guy showed the partner and the partner wouldn’t reciprocate and they’d have a little argument about it. So good. (Shawn Michaels enters with his ’90s mullet.)
* – I have a hard time referring to ’90s WWF as “WWE.” It feels wrong.
That selection process would be even more crucial in an MMA Rumble. (Bobby Heenan just referred to Tito Santana as the “flying jalepeno.” Casual racism at its finest.) You’d have to draw something in the 20s to have a shot at winning the thing. Flair was the first person to win the Rumble with a single-digit number in ’92. That’s not happening in an MMA Rumble. Having to fight off 20-plus men over the course of an hour? You’d have to resort to some SERIOUS heel tactics: avoiding engagement, rolling out under the bottom rope, that sort of thing. (Crowd pops for Greg Valentine figure-fouring Flair.)
There’s also the question of the ruleset. Obviously, the only way to eliminate a fighter would be to throw him over the top rope. But are we operating under the Unified Rules? Can they even be enforced? (The Big Boss Man eliminates himself and Flair is left in the ring by himself. And gives us a nice Flair Flop for the hell of it.) Imagine how brutal this thing would be if professional fighters were allowed to low blow and eye gouge and headbutt. In addition to the fact that, you know, you have THIRTY PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS GOING AT EACH OTHER IN A FREE FOR ALL.
Piper makes Flair pass out with a sleeper hold. And that raises another question: Would you even want to knock or choke someone out? It would be difficult to pick up dead weight and throw them OVER the top rope, smaller guys included. And that goes back to the brutality of the thing, too. (Irwin R. Schyster enters. Gorilla Monsoon mentions someone needs to grab a hold of his tie and make him pay for wearing it.) Throwing unconscious men down some ten feet onto concrete is fucking dangerous.
(Here comes the Undertaker. Business is about to pick up. And now the Macho Man SPRINTING TO THE RING. Oh god. He throws Jake Roberts over the top and then JUMPS OVER THE TOP HIMSELF. That was a great feud.)
Ignoring the importance of your entrance number, you’d have to favor big, athletic wrestlers: Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, etc. That’s assuming everyone fights for themselves. (‘Taker tossed Savage back in the ring a while ago, and he’s still in there for some reason. I must have missed the explanation for why Savage wasn’t eliminated.) Just like the real Rumble, though, you’d likely see alliances between teammates and countrymen and so on. And you’d also see spots involving smaller guys banding together to toss the big men out.
(And here comes Hogan late in the Rumble. One thing about Hogan: Even during his heyday he wasn’t shy about using typical heel moves. It only took him a few moments to start raking the Undertaker’s eyes.)
If you had to pick one fighter from any era in an MMA Rumble, you’d have to take pre-diverticulitis Brock Lesnar. He had the size and wrestling, not to mention previous Rumble experience.
what fighter would most likely be found dead in home/apartment of apparent overdose? – @thebigbluegold
(Sid Justice/Vicious and his gross blond mullet enters.)
It’s gotta be Chris Leben, right? Nevada awarded him a therapeutic-use exemption for Suboxone, which is used to treat opiod addiction. (Sid throws out Hogan, who was busy with Flair. And look, here’s Hogan pulling some heel shit, grabbing Sid’s arm and allowing Flair to come up from behind and finish the job.) Leben’s had issues since the original Ultimate Fighter, and it’s likely his problems extend past that.
(Flair giving his “tear in my eye” speech. My favorite wrestling promo of all time. Moving on to the 2001 Royal Rumble.)
You’ve got guys like Court McGee and Matt Brown who had issues with heroin. Brown actually overdosed and had doctors pronounce him clincally dead for over a minute. I suppose there’s always a chance they relapse and bite it. Lyle Beerbohm used to be addicted to meth, and James Irvin’s had issues with painkillers and has a family history of addiction.
But of guys currently active in the UFC? Gotta be Leben.
Anderson Silva with his hands tied behind his back vs. Kimbo Slice. Who wins, how, and why? – @NYid07
(Jeff Hardy and Bull Buchanan (…) are your number 1 and 2. Number 3? Matt Hardy. They throw out Buchanan, and…start fighting?)
One arm, I think Silva can beat him, maybe. (Oh god. Drew Carey is number 4. I forgot all about this. And for some reason, the Hardys are still fighting one another. And…they both fall out. Oh wait. I remember now. Kane comes out, right? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…YEP KANE.) Two arms? It’s going to be hard for Anderson to throw a kick with any significance, which is the only offensive option he would have. Silva would have to fight a perfect fight: kicking Kimbo’s legs, dancing away, and hoping he never falls down.
Because Kimbo wins when Anderson hits the floor. Bull rushing won’t be the most efficient strategy, but even that would work given enough attempts. Once on the floor, Kimbo passes the guard and moves right into mount, where he starts throwing punch after and undefended punch. And then it’s just a matter of time until the referee steps in.
Even one-armed, though, it would be tough. He could jab, which would probably be better than kicking, and he’d be a little better defending takedowns. It’s the balance issues that fighting with one arm behind the back that probably make Kimbo the rightful favorite.
(Kane clears the ring, and the Honky Tonk Man enters as a sacrificial lamb.)
Anderson could beat Kimbo without throwing a punch, though. I’m certain of that.