There are semifinal bouts to be fought, and in a season anemic on urgency and emotion, there’s a grudge that must be settled. From his seat in the living room, Shamar Bailey simmers in a cauldron of loathing. The object of his hate strolls by – one Chris Cope, who the Team dos Santos rep will face in combat – and as Cope emits a grating “Woo!” at the top of his lungs, you can almost see the steam shoot from Bailey’s ears.
Or something like that.
But first! Both teams are assembled at the TUF Training Center for some sort of special presentation. They’re greeted by Dana White, who inexplicably has UFC fighter and ex-Marine Corp officer Brian Stann in tow. The topic of today’s discussion? Good God, I’ve watched that scene twice now on DVR and still can’t tell. It seems like Stann was brought in to pitch the Marine Corps as the ultimate den of warriors, maybe talk about their discipline and how jarheads and fighters are similar in their dedication and predilection for short haircuts. Who knows. Afterwards, coach Brock Lesnar asks if Stann brought along any applications for the TUFers to fill out – was this some sort of recruiting ploy? Maybe.
The first semifinal match-up will see odd wrestler Ramsey Nijem take on Mr. Jacked Finger, a.k.a. Clay Harvison, and we’re supposed to believe that it will be competitive. But before they get into the cage, we get a little more insight into the men. For instance, Coach Junior dos Santos thinks very highly of his ward Nijem, and Nijem is revealed to be a Palestinian-American who’s visited his homeland. Harvison, meanwhile, is taught things like Whizzers and sprawls. Lest we forget how awkward Nijem can be, he strips down to his skivvies at the weigh-ins, his skivvies something straight out of “Spartacus” (and by “Spartacus”, I mean the 1960 Stanley Kubrick film with all the disconcerting innuendo, not the modern show on the Starz channel).
Then they’re fighting, and it’s a quick one. Nijem gets the takedown, takes Harvison’s back, and chokes him out. For all his questionable actions outside of the cage, the Palestinian-American at least has skills inside of it.
It’s back to the saga of Bailey and Cope. Where did this unsettling rage come from and is it warranted? Or is it just some manufactured slight, encouraged to grow by an off-camera SpikeTV producer who’s been watching the dailies and knows this season is a stinker? Really, it doesn’t matter. As the coaches seem to dig each other and everyone gets on swimmingly in the TUF House, this is what we get instead of drama this season. So let’s just play along, and pretend that the word “Woo!” has created a seething, festering anger within the heart of the wrestler. Let’s pretend that Bailey must have his revenge.
For backstory, we get people saying how awesome they think Bailey is, and we get Cope practicing his wrestling defense over and over, first at the gym with coach Lesnar, then at home with the German kid (who is a striker and who lost to Bailey early on). No one believes Cope stands a chance though. Bailey was dos Santos’ first pick, he wrestles bison in the off-season, and his rage is too great.
Boom! They’re fighting, and from the outset Bailey is throwing leather and tying up and going for takedowns – and failing miserably in all areas. Cope, it appears, actually soaked up a lot of wrestling in his time on the show, and whenever Bailey tries to get him down the Team Lesnar-ite just punches him in the face nonstop. This goes on for two rounds, with Cope landing more in the exchanges and shouting “Woo!” as if it were his mantra. And it works. When time runs out, he takes the decision.
The woo is undefeatable.