Lashley Submits, Kim Couture Debuts in TNA

By Jake Rossen Oct 19, 2009
This is the part where I tell you I don’t like professional wrestling, do not watch professional wrestling, and do not possess the neurological tools necessary to understand professional wrestling. It exists beyond my ability to appreciate it. In deference to pro wrestling fans that are consistently embittered by my reaction to grown men in role-play situations, it’s possible I’m simply not intellectual enough to spot the sport’s nuances. I’m sure this is it.

But even the most dyed-in-the-wool fan has to have a problem with wrestling’s latest gimmickry: aping a shoot-style MMA template in the service of a choreographed match. During Sunday’s “Bound for Glory” TNA attraction, hybrid fighter/actor Bobby Lashley engaged in something billed as a “submission” contest against the very dangerous Samoa Joe. The contest ended when Lashley applied a choke.

If we accept that wrestling works for some because of its broad physical showmanship, I’m lost on the purpose of replicating submission grappling -- often a fairly low-key game of inches -- in order to satisfy their expectations of mega-violence. In an era where you can get the real thing on television free and regularly, what purpose does a fake armbar serve, exactly? (I’m honestly wondering: a valid explanation gets a prize.)

TNA’s preoccupation with MMA did not end with Lashley: during a women’s bout on the same telecast, semi-pro fight athlete Kim Couture was heard to be attacking a competitor off-camera. She later posted that her victim ”needs to stick to the fake stuff” on Twitter. Couture fights Kerry Vera November 20 for Strikeforce. I sincerely hope she doesn’t get confused.
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