RAW 12/18 @ F4Wonline
Sambo is “a modern martial art, combat sport and self-defense system developed in the former Soviet Union“, and not the nickname of Sammy Hung, star of Martial Law, as I might have believed last night.
I contend that segment was, in fact, the worst on RAW last night. (I know, I know, I know and I’ll get to it.)
My general point boils down to “What the utter heck is SAMBO?” No offensive to those trained in the Russian martial art, but it’s not exactly the a household name. Outside of Russian Dude on RAW, I vaguely knew it was a form of wrestling (only because Atlantis explained the different forms of wrestling he was awesome at on a recent CMLL show), but I didn’t have any more knowledge of it than that, and I like to think I up on these sort of things. Given the way WWE presents non-pro wrestling styles and lingo (“pound and ground”), I don’t think WWE has really expects the fans to have a clue about – and don’t know enough themselves to give an explanation.
I don’t think it’s even a credidental to those who might know Sambo. MMA fans know what Sambo is, because various Russians have been Sambo champs and very good MMA fighters. It’s hard to believe those Russian Dude will measure up in his worked Sambo style (even if he does such a thing), because if he was actually good at it, he wouldn’t be in wrestling.
The other thing is, this basically boils down to Russian MMA Fighter (where Sambo is MMA), and, looking around, didn’t they just try that with a non-Russian, and give up after three weeks? They quickly gave up as treating Turkey and Burke as anything special because of their MMA background – they’re just guys now in ECW’s midcard, wearing tracksuits and Elijah’s cutting promos, and they’re just guys. Being a MMA dude on ECW and SmackDown really didn’t make a difference, but now that it’s a Russian MMA dude, we’re supposed to believe it’s a deal? Eh.
This is the worst segment because it forebodes bad segments for months to come. It doesn’t matter if no one understands it or no one believes it, Russian Sambo Dude will get segment weekly to ‘establish himself’ and a midcard feud to go over someone to prove something (Crazy vs MMA!), and on and on. The best case scenario over all is they realize it’s pointless, and banish him to Heat, but then I’ve got to write on it weekly and that’ll be sad.
I know I’m jumping ahead here, but all I thought during that interview was “I’m going to be so sick of this guy” and “What’s SAMBO?”. Cryme Tyme with the Prez was at least secretly enjoyable in many ways. Listening to a crowd turn on a segment’s always fun, laughing at their inability to end the segment is fun, and JR deciding just to sit out all but the last bit was awesome. There’s nothing salvageable about Russian MMA dude.