Ever since Dynamite!! completed last Friday morning, I've heard a lot about how the show, and the format as a whole, is a waste. Some dislike the match-making. Others are not fans of the special rules fights and think they serve no purpose. I, on the other hand, think the Dynamite!! event succeeds in one key area better than any other: entertainment value.
Let's compare Dynamite!! to the gold standard in the MMA world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC events aren't predicated on entertainment value. Instead, they are mostly about what goes on inside the cage. It's conjecture on my part but I believe this may be due to the constant comparison of the UFC to the WWE. Dana White seems willing to do whatever it takes to seperate himself and his company from the circus that is modern Pro Wrestling. I applaud him for that and think it's a great idea. I'm glad there are no locker room confrontations and pre-fight dialogue from the fighters. And let's be honest, nobody can do that as good as Ric Flair, anyways.
Dynamite!! gives fans the entertainment aspect that is missing in American MMA promotions. When you pack a stadium full of fans, it gives the viewer a feeling that what they're watching is truly a big event. The sets and light shows combined with the fight introduction videos, work the crowd into a frenzy before the fighters do battle. I may not know every combatant before they take to the ring but the intro videos are done so well that I feel familiar with the fighters and their motivations to put it all on the line by just watching a few minutes of video.
The staples of Japanese fight sports are another huge plus. Lenne Hardt and her banshee screams to announce the fighters before they embark down the ramp towards the ring. Yuji Shimada and the exuberance he displays by throwing his arm in the air while pointing to a fighter and asking if they want to submit. And who can forget the stalwart officials outside of the ring that are there ready to slap a fighters hand for holding onto the ropes or wiping blood away from a bleeding forehead at a moments notice.
These are things we won't see in the States. Some, because they're impossible with the fights taking place in a cage while others just don't fit into what American promoters envision for an MMA event. I believe this plays into Dynamite's favor as it adds to the feeling of exclusivity among fans.
Sure, Aoki vs Nagashima was a bust and had no real value when it comes to each fighters career. Of course, Jerome Le Banner vs Satoshi Ishii wasn't a matchup that will go down as a pivotal bout in the history of Mixed Martial Arts. But each fight was just goofy enough to make viewers tune-in. Couple that with legitimate fights such as Kawajiri vs Thomson and you have what has made Dynamite!! such a big success - entertainment.