IFL Battleground battling back?
IFL Battleground debuted nearly two months ago on MyNetworkTV. The weekly two-hour show started out on shaky ground, as I chronicled in my critiques of the first two episodes (here and here.) However, I promised I would give the Monday night show another chance and decided to check in again this week.
I was pleasantly surprised by the numerous changes the show's producers have made since the second episode. While I only caught half of this most recent episode, what I did see was enough to make me want to come back for more next week.
One very noticeable change was that there were far fewer fights shown in the most recent episode. In fact, only five fights were shown on Monday's telecast and -- as far as I can tell -- all the fights were shown in their entirety. Because all five fights were taken from the April 13 match between the New York Pitbulls and Portland Wolfpack, the show's progression was logical and easy to follow.
The program also made use of the time between fights to feature vignettes about fighters and present pre- and post-fight interviews. During the fights, coaches as well as other fighters on both teams were also interviewed. More time was spent building up the personalities in each fight and creating a bond between the audience and those in the ring.
And because the action was uncut and easier to follow, it was much easier to appreciate the skill of some of the fighters. Delson Heleno was particularly impressive in his decision win over Mike Dolce and Devin Cole posted an impressive come-from-behind KO victory over Bryan Vetell.
Other improvements I noted were the constant display of time and round on the bottom left corner of the screen; a graphic showing us the fighter trunk colors; and another graphic displaying team scores between fights. While subtle, these details help keep the audience oriented during the program.
In addition, we were given a sneak peek of next week's episode, which will include a new segment featuring IFL's search for new ring card girls. From the few moments presented in this past episode, this segment could prove to be very entertaining.
And gladly, the same can now be said about IFL Battleground as a whole.