January 30, 2005
New TV network's got the fight idea
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Tossing back a few beers and devouring some chicken wings with the boys after a hockey game, Mike Garrow had a brainstorm. How about a 24-hour specialty TV network with all fighting, all the time?
"Awesome," was the response from his buddies.
So, Garrow began to build on the grandiose plan and The Fight Network was born. Wrestling, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, boxing, documentaries and movies.
"There's no launch date yet," said Garrow, the CEO. "But we're prepared to do it this year. Do we feel confident? Absolutely.
"This is aimed to appeal to the male 18-34 demographic. It's a very coveted area to tap into. We believe our programming will connect with that audience."
Garrow grew up a wrestling fan in Gloucester.
He'd watch wrestling at the Montreal Forum. Or he'd sit front row at Lansdowne Park during the Hulkamania tour, catching Hulk Hogan's headband in a main event against Macho Man Randy Savage.
Brian Sobie, The Fight Network's director of programming and production, is a fan, too. Born in Montreal, he remembers the days of The Sheik and Bobo Brazil. At the University of Western Ontario, he wrote an article on Dave McKigney, the wrestler who fought bears. Sobie helped develop TSN's Off the Record shows, with their cutting-edge wrestling interviews.
While they're not prepared to talk about what wrestling content may be shown, they'll surely have to take a hard look at such organizations as New Japan, Ring of Honor and Mexican wrestling.
"Since word got out, all kinds of independent organizations have contacted us," said Sobie. "There's so much out there. Not everything is mainstream."
The Fight Network also picked up a majority chunk of Live Audio Wrestling, the highly-rated Toronto internet/radio show.
- It's time to Rumble. I've got to admit, I'm really looking forward to tonight's Royal Rumble, although I have to question some of the choices for the 30-man over-the-top rope match. The list of competitors is: Batista, Booker T, Charlie Haas, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Christian, Dan Puder, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Gene Snitsky, Hardcore Holly, Jonathan Coachman, John Cena, Kane, Kenzo Suzuki, Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, Muhammad Hassan, Orlando Jordan, Paul London, Rene Dupree, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Scotty 2 Hotty, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Simon Dean, The Hurricane and Viscera. Why in the name of Adnan El-Kaisee is Hassan in the Rumble? Would it not be better to get him on the microphone again and have him defeat another American infidel? It'll be interesting to see what happens with Batista and Flair. You've got to think there'll be some sort of incident between the two that pushes the inevitable Evolution split one step further. Other Rumble matches: Triple H vs. Randy Orton; Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show vs. JBL; and The Undertaker vs. Heidenreich (casket match).
- Just seeing Viscera is a painful memory of the Corporate Ministry, one of WWE's goofiest payoffs to a storyline. Not the goofiest, though ... both Mae Young giving birth to a hand and Triple H's necrophilia episode should have gotten someone fired.
- Kevin Nash recently told tnawrestling.com that he has slimmed down from 340 to 290 lbs. "I was also one of those guys who was known to drink 30-40 beers every night," said Nash. "So when you cut that down to two beers on a regular night and maybe five or six beers to celebrate with friends after the shows, it makes a huge improvement."
- Thunder will get a shot at fellow M.O.B. member Tray Hugh Mongus at CPW's Vendetta 2K5 show on Feb. 5, at 7 p.m., at the St-Jean-Bosco school gym, 71 St-Jean-Bosco St. in Hull. For info, check out www.cpwinternational.com.
- The Wrestling Observer reported Rob Van Dam had knee surgery to repair his torn ACL. He could be out for six months.
- There are plenty of rumours about Brock Lesnar returning to WWE.