Friday, 23 July 2010

WCL Season 2 Episodes 13-16 - DVD Review

It’s time to step into the world of hybrid kickboxing as we return to the second season of Chuck Norris’ World Combat League, as we take a look at the play-offs with episodes 13 through 16.


Texas Dragons v Oklahoma Destroyers
The first Western Conference play-off was another of those one-sided affairs as Thomas Longacre, David Taylor and the always impressive Anthony Njokuani racked up three wins for Oklahoma.

Texas took a share of the spoils as Mike Sheppard drew with Jesse Lawrence, but the Destroyers got back to winning ways when Jeri Sitzes defeated Angela Hayes for the third time. The Dragons’ only first half win came when Lawson Baker defeated Alex Beck.

The second half followed the same pattern, with further wins for Taylor, Longacre and Njokuani. With three fights remaining Texas needed knockouts to stay in the match, and although Mike Sheppard beat Randy Blake there was no knockout. So when Lawson Baker drew with UFC 2 runner-up Patrick Smith Texas had no chance of making the finals, with Oklahoma winning 163-116.

New Jersey Tigers v St. Louis Enforcers

This was an incredibly close contest. New Jersey began the first half well when Uriah Hall got a stoppage win against Dusty Miller. But with St. Louis taking the next three fights Jerrell Miller’s win over John Turlington brought the Tigers back into it and evened the scores, although the Enforcers’ Tim Connors took them to a six point half-time lead when he defeated Shennen Maceo.

With Fernando Calleros and Jennifer Han winning the first two second half fights for the Enforcers New Jersey knew they had to really up their game to stay in the contest, and this they did, winning the next three fights, with the highlight being John James’ knockout win over Samir Seif.

It all came down to numbers in the final fight. John Greubal had to defeated David Gonzalez by eight clear points to give St. Louis the win, and although he dominated for the most part Gonzalez’s performance was just enough to give the Tigers the two point win, 133-131, and entry into the Eastern Conference final.

Los Angeles Stars v Denver Fury
This Western Conference play-off between the top and bottom teams was a one-sided affair.

As soon as Jason Bourelly knocked out Denver’s Gabe Walbridge in the first minute it was obvious that the Stars were going through to the final.

Denver won only one fight in the first half, trailing by forty-one points at half time, even though their luck changed in the second half when Matt Callahan earned a disqualification win over Donald Vickers and Colby Snyder knocked out Jack Felton.

But by the time Raymond Daniels sent El-Java Abdul Qadir down for the count Los Angeles had already won by a massive margin, gaining victory by 151-102.

New York Clash v Miami Force
Miami were supposed to walk over a team who had never won a match in WCL history. New York hadn’t read the script though.

The most enthralling play-off saw the Clash and the Force trading wins until Craig Oxley and the impressive Armin Mrkanovic built up a good lead for Miami. However, New York ended the first half when their best fighter Jennifer Santiago returned from injury to defeat Jessica Bednark.

The pattern continued in the second half, with Leo Valdivia’s win for the clash against Mark Spaziano evening the scores at 91 apiece. The teams remained tired when Terry Bullman and Rick Cheek contested a draw.

But with the teams trading the next two fights Miami went into the final fight four points ahead, needing reserve fighter Kelli Cofer to get the win. Jennifer Santiago was standing in her way though, and another impressive win for her sealed the deal for New York as they won 137-132.

In conclusion - this DVD box set continues to impress me. There were a ton of great fights on this fourth disc, all of which were really enjoyable.

However, and this is my only criticism of the WCL so far, the play-off format was a little perplexing, mainly because all eight teams were entered into the draw, making the regular season results slightly irrelevant, especially when you’ve got a team that didn’t win in the regular season going over a team that was undefeated.

But apart from that this slice of WCL action gets the thumbs up.

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 box set, which can be purchased from the usual online retailers.