Thursday, 8 April 2010

WCL Season 2 Episodes 1-4 - DVD Review

Justify FullIt’s debut time in The Two Sheds Review as we take a look at the World Combat League. Founded in 2005 by film star Chuck Norris, the WCL is a full contact striking competition, incorporating styles from boxing, muay thai, kick boxing, karate and tae kwon do, and like MMA’s M-1 Challenge it’s a team event. But perhaps the most interesting part is that all fights are contested in what the fans call “the pit”, a no ring circle.

Each fight last two three minute rounds, but the difference here is that after the fighters complete their first round, there’s a half-time interval, before the fighters re-commence their fights. Sometimes the fighters meet again, but sometimes the coaches send reserve fighters into action. There are three judges for each fight, and they score five points each for the superior fighter, although points are taken away for fouls such as holding, stalling and passivity, which means that the fighters must also be constantly active.

As for the teams, each team has six members, five men for each of the weight divisions and one woman. The winner is the team with the most points, but that’s pretty obvious.

So for this first review we’re going to look at the first four episodes from WCL’s second season.

Match 1 - Oklahoma Destroyers versus Los Angeles Stars
Boy this stuff was fast paced. Some very good performances here, with the women’s fights between Oklahoma’s Jeri Sitzes and LA’s Alicia Ashley the best in the show. Oklahoma’s attempts to reduce LA’s half-time lead by using some of their reserves backfired because one of them failed to make weight, giving LA’s Raymond Daniels a 15-0 walkover win. This was too much for Oklahoma to overcome, as LA won by 161-141.

Match 2 - St. Louis Enforcers versus Miami Force
This was a far more entertaining encounter, and was pretty even until Miami’s Craig Oxley got the knockout win over Tim Connors at the end of the first half, which began a series of KO wins that saw Miami take an unassailable lead, and even though they lost the last fight, Miami still win 145-121.

Match 3 - Denver Fury v Texas Dragons
A good if somewhat one-side affair saw Texas open up a big lead after Charles Wilson and Lawson Baker earned a couple of stoppage wins. Denver came back well at the end of the first half when Jack Johnson knocked Nick Gonzalez down three times, but with Texas leading Denver 81-45, they needed a minor miracle to overturn the score, which was something that just didn’t happen. Texas won four of the second half fights, eventually winning 150-102.

Match 4 - New York Clash versus New Jersey Tigers
The best of the four encounters so far. New York began strongly thanks to convincing performances from Tommy Bach and Jason Quick, but great performances from Corey Miller and John James put New Jersey back in the hunt, so much so that by the time Munah Holland handed Jennifer Santiago her first WCL defeat New Jersey were leading 77-73 going into half-time. Each team continued to share wins in the second half, with Corey Miller putting in another good performance against NY reserve Andy Young. Everything was still to play for in the final fight, and even though Jennifer Santiago avenged her earlier defeat to Munah Holland, Holland did enough to earn the points New Jersey needed as they won 140-135.

In conclusion - as a fan of K-1’s form of hybrid kickboxing I was very eager to see what Chuck Norris’ WCL was all about, and I have to admit that after my first viewing I have rather mixed feelings. Some of the fights seemed a little messy, but there were some who impressed me greatly, in particular the women. So I think the best way to describe these first four episodes of WCL’s second season is interesting, and I look forward to seeing how things progressed.

With thanks to the powers that be at WCL for supplying a copy of this release. These episodes are part of the WCL Season 2 box set, and can be purchased online at www.worldcombatleague.com.