Friday, 30 April 2010

WCL Season 2 Episodes 5-8 - DVD Review

It’s time to look into the world of hybrid kickboxing again as we take our second look at Chuck Norris’ World Combat League. This time we’re going to take a look at episodes five through eight of season two, but if you have no idea what the WCL is all about, then read my previous review at http://twoshedsreview.blogspot.com/2010/04/wcl-season-2-episodes-1-4-dvd-review.html.


Los Angeles Stars v Texas Dragons
The Stars of LA put in a truly dominating performance in this match, as Jason Bourelly, Brandon Hastings and Alicia Ashley secured impressive wins. Texas’ only first half win came when Lawson Baker out-pointed Chris Hawk, but the impressive LA continued their first half dominance with Jack Felton and Ray Daniels. Indeed, Daniels was so dominant that his opponent Antoine McRae just sort of gave up.

The second half was more or less the same. Baker won again for the Dragons, who saw a little more success as Shannon Hudson ended Jack Felton’s unbeaten record. But by the time Ray Daniels scored with a ten second knockout over Damion Caldwell with a beautiful spinning back kick to the stomach it was more or less over, with Los Angeles winning 158-88, moving to 2-0 while Texas slipped to 1-1.

New Jersey Tigers v St. Louis Enforcers
This was an even match throughout that could have gone either way, as both teams exchanged wins at the beginning, until Kevin Engel’s great knockout win over Derek Riddick began a two fight streak that saw the Enforcers take a twenty-two point lead into the second half.

The second half followed a similar patter, with several reserves coming into play due to the knockouts and cuts in the first half. Once again the teams exchanged wins, and St. Louis were leading by just four points when two more reservists, David Gonzalez for New Jersey and John Greubel for St. Louis came into the final fight with everything to play for, with Greubel getting the win for his team, and St. Louis winning 133-124, giving both teams a 1-1 record.

Denver Fury v Oklahoma Destroyers
At one point this match looked like it could go either way, but in the end Oklahoma’s home advantage served them well. Once again the teams exchanged victories early on, but dominating performances from Anthony Njokuani and Jesse Lawrence turned things in Oklahoma’s favour, although Denver nearly came back in the final first half fight as Jack Johnson lost by just two points to Thomas Longacre in the fight of the night.

The second half began in exactly the same way, with the teams exchanging wins, and after Chris Decaro stopped P.J. Reilly there were just three points in it. But once again a dominant Jesse Lawrence performance, this tome over London Pray, saw Oklahoma move ahead, with Douglas Edwards securing their win when he stopped Tom Johnson. Oklahoma won 136-11-, moving to 1-1 overall, while Denver’s loss saw them slip to 0-2.

Miami Force v New York Clash
An example of how a lack of alternates can cost a team a win. Miami started well, winning five of the six first half fights, with the Bob Stines/Walter Somerville heavyweight encounter declared a draw after Stines went down after an illegal blow and was unable to continued. This would prove to be a pivotal moment, even more so for New York, as neither team had any heavyweight alternates.

In the second half the teams began to exchange wins, until New York took it up a notch as alternates Virginia Baker and Mark Gee scored impressive wins. But with no heavyweight fight, Miami won 140-128. It’s interesting to note though that if there had been a twelfth fight, New York could have won the match with a clear knockout win. Instead it was Miami who moved to an undefeated 2-0, while New York slipped down further to 0-2.

In conclusion - well, I have to admit that I’m starting to warm to this hybrid kickboxing thing. There were some pretty exciting fights here, and now that I’m getting used to the rules and the scoring system it’s made the viewing experience a whole lot better.

With thanks to the powers that be at the WCL for supplying a copy of this release. These episodes form part of the WCL Season Two: The Complete Collection box set, which can be purchased online at www.wcl.com.