WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania XII

wrestlemania-xiiWrestleMania had a bounce back from the year before. So was it worth watching? I’m going to say yes on this one. You get a match that is over an hour-long for the WWF World Championship.

THE GOOD: The build to theBret Hart/Shawn Michaels match was epic, and the Iron Match itself didn’t disappoint. Well maybe it disappointed me a little, as I’ve always been a Bret fan. The “Backlot Brawl” was absurd, but in a good way. They framed this Roddy Piper/Goldust match with a gold Ford Bronco car chase, reminiscent of the one from the OJ Simpson saga the summer before. The premise itself was very silly, but still fun to watch.

THE BAD: If anything, the match for the Tag Team Championship with the Bodydonnas and the Godwinns, and the Vader/Owen Hart/British Bulldog versus Jake Roberts/Ahmed Johnson/Yokozuna one are pretty forgettable. Although I really did like the Camp Cornette Stable with Vader, Hart and Smith.

MATCH TO WATCH: It’s funny watching the Ultimate Warrior squash Hunter Hearst Helmsley in under two minutes, especially through modern eyes. You would never believe that Triple H would wind up becoming such a superstar, one of the faces of the company and now be so heavily entrenched in the behind the scenes aspect of the business from this.

WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania X

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I started this feature a few years back, giving me a reason to re-watch all of the WrestleManias. Unfortunately, I’m clearly a lazy blogger so this got put to the backseat for a long time. Anyway, with the WWE Network making it so easy to see all of the old pay-per-views, so I have no excuse to not finish this.

THE GOOD: WrestleMania X is a really good show. It has the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon ladder match that is a classic. The show’s opener, Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, is a great match that still holds up. Not only that, but it set up a bunch of rematches and story lines for the rest of the year. At the end of the show, Bret manages to pull out a good match out of Yokozuna, reclaiming the WWF World Championship he lost a year earlier.

THE BAD: Thankfully, there isn’t that much at WrestleMania X that was bad. If anything, I’d have to say the Bam Bam Bigelow/Luna Vachon match against Doink/Dink, or the Quebecers/Men on a Mission Tag Team Championship match are pretty much skippable.

MATCH TO WATCH: Randy Savage has an awesome Falls Count Anywhere match against Crush that I really loved at the time and still do to this day. The story that built up to it is so cartoony and everything that you love about professional wrestling. Crush–who was a brightly, neon colored good guy–gets squashed by the evil Yokozuna. When he comes back, he’s super bitter and angry. Not because he was nearly crushed (see what I did there?), but because Savage, whom he thought was his best friend, didn’t send him a get well card. This sets off a huge feud between the two former friends. You read that right.

WWE 13: Making Pro Wrestling Video Games Fun Again

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The last pro wrestling game that I purchased was Fire Pro Returns for PS2 and I’ve been playing that religiously for the past five years. For Christmas, I was given  WWE 13 for Xbox 360. Was I able to make the transition to the newest, shiniest slickest pro wrestling video game?

The answer is yes. While lacking the ridiculous customization of the Fire Pro games, WWE 13 is the most fun WWE video game since Smackdown vs. Raw: Here Comes The PainI’ve been playing it pretty much non-stop since getting it.

The game is pretty much what you would expect; not only does it have the current WWE talent roster, but all the match types you would expect to find on your typical episode of Raw or Smackdown as well as the usual basic story modes that string along your story-lines.

But what really makes this an awesome game is the Attitude Era mode, which recreates all the major story lines on WWE programming from early 1997 through Wrestlemania XV. You wind up playing as Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the Rock…even Ken Shamrock as you relive all the classic Attitude Era moments. Best of all, if you successfully complete all the objectives in each match, it unlocks content that you can use in the regular game modes, ranging from wrestlers to new arenas.

The online modes add some more fun for the game, allowing you to play against WWE 13 users around the world and to download create-a-wrestlers that people have shared. The only problem with the online components is that the server lags and disconnects a lot, but that can be expected with THQ’s current financial woes. I mostly use the online feature to download new wrestlers and arenas. If you are willing to get up really early in the morning to avoid peak hours, it runs a lot smoother.

I have a feeling that I’ll be playing this for quite some time, as you can create an additional 50 characters on your own. I’ve already found a great Bob Sapp to add to the game. Not to mention, that they’ve issued several downloadable content packs that not only freshen up the current roster with people like Antonio Cesaro and Ryback, but also add classics from the Attitude Era like Brian Pillman, Terry Funk and Diamond Dallas Page. These are all additions I would have made on my own, so it frees up CAW slots!

I’ve been away from WWE gaming for a decent amount of time and it feels good to be back. This game is highly recommended for wrestling fans everywhere.

WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania VIII

WrestleMania VIII was an interesting show. There were a few really cool matches, and a really confusing ending. What happened?

THE GOOD: Randy Savage had a great match with Ric Flair for the WWF Championship. Flair was talking trash about Savage’s wife, Miss Elizabeth, which set up this feud. Flair was being so scummy towards her the whole time, so you really REALLY wanted him to not only beat the tar out of Flair but take away the title. And he did. Another awesome WrestleMania moment from Savage.

THE BAD: The ending of the Hulk Hogan/Sid Justice match. Sid was so awesome, and Hogan wound up costing him the Royal Rumble, which made him go crazy. Rightfully. I was so sure that Sid would end Hulkamania once and for all. Unfortunately, the next day I found out at school that Hogan one and never got around to seeing this match. I just saw this for the first time this month and it is confusing. There’s a lot of confusion, Papa Shongo and the Ultimate Warrior get involved. Just craziness.

MATCH TO WATCH: Bret Hart beating Roddy Piper to win the Intercontinental Championship is the highlight of the event, if not the best match I’ve ever seen Piper in.

What If The Justice League of America Were Professional Wrestlers?

Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance had an interesting post about what wrestlers best fill the roles of the members of the Justice League. While he was spot on that Dusty Rhodes would be the Superman of the group, I thought that there were some better choices to fill the roster.

The Batman would be Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The two are very similar, going into there line of work due to their family. They both have subterranean lairs under their ancestral homes; Hart being based in the family basement training facility known as the Dungeon and Batman’s Batcave under the Wayne Mansion. Both of them travelled the world, honing their craft. And really, Batman and “the Hitman” are known for their mastery of tactics (and execution) as well as their no-nonsense approach to everything.

The Undertaker would be the Martian Manhunter of the group. In both their respective genres, it is always stressed that their characters are other worldly. Even though they’re both very cold emotionally, fire causes them great deals of trouble–Undertaker’s evil brother Kane is known to light things on fire, and Manhunter is deathly afraid of it.

Trish Stratus and Wonder Woman are very similar; they respectively are the most successful woman wrestler and super hero, and that’s something you can’t argue.

Shawn Michaels would be the flash of the group, as both characters rely on their quickness to overcome larger and more powerful opponents.

Christian by far is the Aquaman of the group. How so? Aside from both of them being blonde and foreigners (Canada and Atlantis), neither of them are given the chance to live up to their full potential and are always delegated to second tier status. they both have their loyal fans who are always eager to say otherwise.

Finally, we have “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Hal Jordan. Both of them fall into the rogue hero archetype. They may be smart mouthed, but they have the toughness to back it up.