With Super Art Fight 9 just hours away, fans are already beginning to speculate on the winners and losers for each bout.Â Having commentated nearly every single Super Art Fight event respectively, our own Ross Nover and Marty Day discuss the bouts heading into the show, going over the tale of the tape, and making their picks for victors. Read on, and feel free to make your own predictions in the comments.
Marty Day: Ross, This Friday night, January 21st, we return to the Ottobar to present our first major event of 2011, Super Art Fight 9. It’s a stacked card from top to bottom and should deliver a spectacle unlike any ever seen in Charm City.
There will be four absolutely stacked bouts, including the first official SAF Tag Battle and an SAF Championship bout, not to mention two amazing performances from video game rockers Rare Candy and Japanese action comic punkers Peelander-Z.
But the question at the end of the day is – who will have their hand raised in victory.
Ross Nover: Super Art Fight has come a long way since its humble beginnings, Marty. From a group of talented artists and friends putting on a show to a truly competative spectacular. I’ve heard many of the combatants from the upcoming show discussing strategy and technique, something unheard of in the early stages of Super Art Fight.
I know all of our regulars are determined to bring their A-game to the show, with their eyes on a chance at the championship belt and bragging rights as BEST ART FIGHTER OF THEM ALL.
BOUT 1: ROOKIE BATTLE – Caldwell Tanner vs. Brandon J. Carr
Ross Nover: First up we have two newbies to the Baltimore show, both of which have participated in the traveling Super Art Fight tour: Brandon J “The J” Carr and Caldwell “Loldwell” Tanner. Who do you think has the dexterity, strength, and charisma to make it happen?
Marty Day: Personally, I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing Caldwell Tanner in action, but I’ve heard great things about what Brandon J. Carr brings to the table.Â No matter how great Carr might be though, Tanner has a diverse history of drawing topics under his belt, being the on-staff cartoonist for the team at CollegeHumor.com.Â I think it’s going to be a tight match for both opponents, but I can’t help but believe at the end of the day that Tanner’s hand will be the one raised at the end.
Ross Nover: Tanner’s skills have been more thoroughly documented, but Carr isn’t one to be overlooked. He’s a webcomic artist with years of experience under his belt, and from seeing him perform at the recent Super Art Fight / AIGA show in DC, he can hold his own and was the winner of his match.
But at the end of the day, I have to agree. Tanner’s ability to win over an audience very well may favor him in the end.
And why is it so many of our male competitors have beards!?
Marty Day: Either way, Ross, I feel like this won’t be the last we hear from EITHER competitor on the SAF stage. And for warmth.
BOUT 2: TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH – Chelsea “Grose Misconduct” Grose & Jami “Angry Zen Master” Noguchi vs. Nick “Ghostfreehood” Borkowicz & Kelsey Wailes
Ross Nover: So who’s next up, Marty?
Marty Day: Next on the docket is the dawning of a new era. After strenous road-testing, the SAF Championship Committee decided that an official tag battle division needed to be created, and the first bout is a doozy – the Chelsea Grose/Nick Borkowicz grudge is settled as the team of Chelsea Grose and Jami “Angry Zen Master” Noguchi battle “Team Robozilla” – Nick “Ghostfreehood” Borkowicz and Kelsey Wailes!
Ross Nover: So how did this grudge start, Marty? Over the last slice of pie? The remote? Or was it an Art Fight previous where the cacophony wasn’t kept on the canvas?
Marty Day: It all comes down to two devout fanbases and an untested wordpress plugin. The SAF8 “You-Pick” main event saw THOUSANDS of votes, so many that the voting system broke. After careful checking, Nick Borkowicz was given the title shot, but fans believed that Chelsea Grose deserved her day in the sun.
Grose went for the #1 contendership at SAF8 proper, but was unsuccessful, and after losing his title shot to Jamie Baldwin, Nick Borkowicz knew that 2011 had to be a year of finishing up business.
Add the fact that the new tag division was getting off the ground, and you had the perfect rivalry to kick start 2011.
Ross Nover: It’ll be one for the ages, Marty.
Marty Day: Both Grose and Borkowicz have chosen partners that compliment their strengths, and the end result will be nothing but creative chaos.
Ross Nover: Both sets of competitors have a fair amount of wins under their belt. It’s a real question of which team can better use the tag team format to their advantage, allowing the team as a whole to thrive.
I think Jami Noguchi and Chelsea Grose have an element of crowd-pleasing that is hard to beat, but rumors are flowing out of the Borkowicz camp that they have somethingâ€”or thingsâ€”big in store!
Marty Day: Ever since we received that mysterious JPG containing their team name, we’ve wondered what “Team Robozilla” had under their sleeve, and all will be revealed Friday night.
Ross Nover: I’m all tingly, Marty.
Marty Day: But will those tingles translate into fan reaction? Nick’s gone all out before in title bouts, and despite his fan reaction coming into the bout, he’s been going out a loser. I think the era of Grose might be upon us, and she and Jami Noguchi will be taking the first tag victory home.
Ross Nover: I gotta say, they are pretty evenly matched artists. Not to mention, let’s face it, both have a cute girl on their team. The power of cute girls to get the audience’s attention is not to be overlooked.
Marty Day: Very true Ross. Heaven forbid we ever see the unmatched future of a Chelsea Grose/Kelsey Wailes team. They’d be UNSTOPPABLE.
Ross Nover: I shutter, and yet am slightly tingly again. We’d better move on.
BOUT #3: #1 CONTENDER’S BOUT – Josh Taylor vs. Bryan “Silent But Violent” Prindiville
Marty Day: The penultimate battle of the evening is one I will absolutely have my eyes glued to. It’s the #1 contender’s bout, where the winner gets an SAF title shot at SAFX, our TENTH major event.Â It represents the changing of the guard, as two artists who really made their name at SAF8 try to crack their way into the history books, it’s Josh Taylor battling Bryan “Silent But Violent” Prindiville.
Ross Nover: Wow, when did we turn into a video game?
Yeah, it’s a real battle of Black Knights, as the Josh Taylor and Bryan Prindiville storm clouds face it off. In comparison to the previous match, here are two competitors who have no time for the flash and panache. They want to let their work say it for them, and little else.
Josh Taylor famously won over the audience at the last show by FLIPPING THEM ALL OFF and BLATANTLY IGNORING the Wheel Of Death. But instead of hating him, they loved the man for drawing outside the lines. The audience has some daddy issues, Marty.
Marty Day: Not just the audience, Ross, the commentators too.
Ross Nover: Of course! I don’t know how I feel about letting a man whose sheer distdain for the medium might have a chance to wear our championship belt.
Marty Day: It’s going to be all about the mind games, as each competitor uses the canvas – and not their words – in an ongoing game of can you top this. No matter who wins this bout, the fact will remain, a new era of Super Art Fight is dawning, and the man who wins will be leading it.
Ross Nover: Riding it like a comet into the cosmos.
But who do you think will win? As much as I hate to say it, Josh Taylor blasted through the last show, and I have every thought that he’ll do the same through this one.
Marty Day: On the opposite side, I feel that people have gotten behind the underdog tale of Bryan Prindiville, and want to see the wordless wonder bring the title shot home!
Ross Nover: It’s true, Marty. But in the clutch, who do you think will walk away with the shot at the title?
Marty Day: Color me Team Prindiville. Sure, his smooch to me last show might make me bias, but I feel like this is his time.
Ross Nover: Will we ever agree on a match?
Marty Day: The day we agree on blazers, Ross. The day we agree on blazers.
BOUT #4: MAIN EVENT – SAF CHAMPIONSHIP Jamie “Brawlin'” Baldwin (C) vs. Michael “Spaghetti Kiss” Bracco
Ross Nover: Finally Marty, we have the Super Art Fight championship bout. Jamie “Brawlin” Baldwin is defending her title once again, against the very man she won it from a year ago, Michael “Spaghettikiss” Bracco.
Bracco’s got a pretty amazing record going into this bout, but Baldwin seems to be his one weakness, the one competitor he somehow seems unable to beat. It’s like a sick game of rock/paper/scissors.
Marty Day: Jamie Baldwin has proven time and time again that she is the roadblock preventing Michael Bracco riding down the highway to Victory Town, and while it’s taken him a year to get back near the top of the mountain, I don’t know if this is the time where he ascends it once more.
People have doubted Jamie Baldwin from day one, but since taking the title in January 2010, she has defeated all challengers, putting together both the longest reign in SAF history, but also the most consecutive defences of the SAF belt. She’s a record holder, and I think she wants to keep making history into 2011.
And even though I say this, do NOT count out Michael Bracco. Upon losing the belt, he kept his head down, worked hard and found his way back towards the championship. As great a champion Baldwin has been, I think that Michael Bracco’s going to make history of his own as the first ever TWO time SAF Champion.
Ross Nover: I have to agree with you, Marty. I think Baldwin’s time at the top is dwindling. It was never going to last forever, and I think Bracco is the one going to take her down a few pegs.
Marty Day: Hey, look! We agreed! Now, about that blue blazer of yours.
Ross Nover: Don’t touch the blazer, Marty.