Friday, 3 September 2010

WCL Season 2 Episodes 21-24 - DVD Review

It’s time to take our final look at the second season of Chuck Norris’ World Combat League. We’ve now reached the final four episodes, with only the third place play-off and the championship final remaining.

Third Place Play-Off: New Jersey Tigers v Oklahoma Destroyers

This was the best match-up of the season so far. The first half began with the teams exchanging victories, beginning with Shennen Maceo getting the points win for New Jersey over Thomas Longacre.

Once again the women stole the show in this half as the Tigers’ Munah Holland and the Destroyers’ Jeri Sitzes had a great fight, with Sitzes’ win complimented by that of team-mate Anthony Njokuani, until Uriah Hall gave New Jersey the half-ending win over Jesse Lawrence.

So as Oklahoma went into the second half leading 80-66 New Jersey knew they’d have to up their game, and even though David Gonzalez, Jarrell Miller and Lyman Good put on great winning performances their points wins meant that Oklahoma were still in with a chance.

The Destroyers took that chance in style as Jeri Sitzes absolutely demolished Melissa Bopp for the knockout win, taking them to a 114-115 score, and successive wins for Anthony Njokuani and Jesse Lawrence secured the win and gave them the third place in front of their home fans.

Championship Final: New York Clash v Los Angeles Stars

It was almost a Cinderella-like story. New York didn’t win a regular season match and came into the final looking for an upset.

Both teams started tentatively. An accidental clash of heads meant that the opener between Leo Valdivia and Jason Bourelly was declared a draw, and the stars eked out the next two wins courtesy of Brandon Hastings and Jack Felton.

The Clash came back into it when Pat Barry’s leg kicks demolished the squatty Matt Thomas and Jennifer Santiago defeated Jessica Covarrubias. However, Raymond Daniels took the lead back for L.A. when he overwhelmed Jaime Fletcher.

The second half began with an upset as New York’s Abraham Han made Jason look human. The teams traded the next two wins until Pat Barry’s legs demolished another fighter in the form of Chris Hawk, knocking him down four times.

Then came the turning point. L.A. coach Colin Van Deusen threw his own wife Tara into the mix, and she took a rather scrappy win over the normally dependable Jennifer Santiago.

This meant that the Stars needed a knockout to win the championship. Up stepped Raymond Daniels as he got the desired result, putting Brandon Banda to sleep with a spin kick. Los Angeles had won the title by just four points, defeating New York 137-133.

In conclusion - well, it was a long ride, but we finally got to the final two matches, and what matches they were. They definitely saved the best for last here.

So now I’ve watched over 200 fights and 22 hours of action, what’s my overall view of the World Combat League?

It took a while for me to get used to it, but this is a great concept, although it could do with a few tweaks, such as having only the top two teams from each conference in the play-offs. After all, as I’ve mentioned before, New York didn’t win a match during the regular season, and although they put in some great performances in the play-offs and the final I couldn’t help but think that they didn’t really deserve to be there.

As for the fighters there were quite a few who impressed the hell out of me. The entire women’s division were great, while the likes of Pat Barry, Raymond Daniels, Jason Bourelly, Anthony Njokuani, Armin Mrkanovic and many more put in great performances.

But I’m left to wonder what’s next for the World Combat League. This season took place back in 2008. The 2009 season was cancelled.

If you look at the WCL website you’ll see that the last news item was posted late in 2009. There’s also mention of teams from Canada and Great Britain entering the competition.

The merchandise page doesn’t work anymore either, although you can still get WCL DVDs from Amazon.

I really hope that Chuck Norris and his team bring back the WCL soon. He shouldn’t let his dream die. It’s a great concept, and if handled and promoted correctly it could become as big as that other form of hybrid kickboxing K-1, or, dare I say it, the UFC.

Hopefully we, the fans, can do our bit. Maybe my reviews will make you want to buy these DVDs so you can see for yourselves what the WCL is all about. Watching these has made me want to seek out the first season box set.

So to Chuck Norris and the rest of the powers-that-be at the WCL, thank you for sending me this box set and allowing me to review these fights. This fan hopes to see WCL Season 3 sometime in the future.

WCL Season 2 Episodes 21-24 form part of the WCL Season 2 box set, which is available to buy at the usual online outlets.

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