WWE 13: Roster, Features, News, & Attitude
The “Well, It’s Another THQ Wrestling Game” Disclaimer for WWE 13
I’ll preface this by saying I’ve been very critical of both WWE 12 and the Attitude Era in general, but I’m going into this with a glass-half-full approach. Every time we as consumers do this, though, we are let down. That being said, you’ve been warned. I could tell you this will be the greatest game ever made, just to get you to buy it through my affiliate link, but I won’t do that.
Instead, like any other game that hasn’t had a 100% solid track record, I’d suggest renting/redboxing WWE 13 FIRST before dropping $60 on it (hopefully you’ll come back here and use my link).
Also, at the time of writing, I do not OWN this game. Consider this a speculative preview, based on the information that is out there.
WWE 13: Features
Apparently, the crowd ‘dynamically reacts’ to the action in the ring. I’m surprised they didn’t do this years ago. A crowd popping for a finisher or kickout seems like a no-brainer. Yet, WWE games haven’t really had this. Until now.
WWE 13 will feature two commentary teams, as well, to provide an authentic Attitude Era environment. More on that later. Commentary has always been a rough spot in these games, but if I have the option to specify whether I hear Michael Cole’s voice or not, I’m happy.
Relive the WWE Attitude Era
For many, this is a major selling point. I don’t blame them. While it may not have been my favorite time period, there’s still a nostalgic attachment. After all, the best part about the roster reveals for these games–year after year–is their selection of WWE Legends. We’re using the term Legends a bit more loosely this year as we include X-Pac, The Godfather, and multiple incarnations of Triple H, but it’s certainly not something to complain about. Would you rather it take three hours to try to download a created Godfather from Community Creations?
“Attitude Era Mode” will let you relive actual story-lines you may remember having seen on TV. Sounds good to me. More after the jump. Read more
Jerry Lawler: The Best AND Worst Ever
Let’s face it, everyone’s got an opinion of Jerry Lawler. For the most part, I think he’s a revered legend in the WWE realm, at least in average fan’s eyes. However–and I’m going to try to avoid sounding snarky here, although it may be an impossible feat–the average fan doesn’t have a clue.
Now I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with cheering for the goodies and booing the baddies, but the average fan doesn’t recognize crap when they see it. Perhaps I’m jealous. The average fan doesn’t care about faces doing villainous things, and they don’t care about chain wrestling. They don’t care about John Cena main eventing at the ‘expense’ of CM Punk (that’s debatable and another argument entirely) because they are stuck in a rut and LOVE John Cena.
The average fan hates Michael Cole ONLY when he’s ‘beeing a heel,’ loves Jerry Lawler, loves Jim Ross, hates Johnny Ace, and loves Triple H unconditionally. I don’t consider myself better than these people and in many ways I envy them. I envy them for enjoying wrestling through pure eyes just like I did 15 years ago. I cheered for the good guys and booed the bad guys. There comes a time where you may learn more and begin to respect the people you grew up hating. This time came for me, but will it come for everyone? Maybe, maybe not. If it does, that’s fine. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too. But I do think that if you feel passionate about a topic you should learn and respect its history. And by history, I don’t mean whatever retrospective WWE DVD release came out that month. I mean tape/DVD trading, a staple of wrestling fandom for decades. If not that, there’s YouTube. There’s no excuse, with everything so accessible. Perhaps because everything is TOO accessible, the joy of getting that rare show in your hands is completely nonexistent.
Back on topic. Jerry Lawler as a performer and character is one of the most polarized examples in wrestling for me. I find myself dreading hearing his voice or mention, but put him in the ring and I’ve never been happier. Here’s why. Read more
The Rock vs John Cena at WrestleMania: Part Two
The Rock vs CM Punk?
Yesterday I mused that The Rock vs CM Punk might be a realistic possibility at WrestleMania 29. I’m not going back on that; I think it’s completely possible. However, there’s a difference between possible and likely. Money talks, and at the end of the day, the final result is what’s good for business. Scoff all you want, but WWE does know how to do good business. The Rock’s return to WrestleMania this year proved that. How do you make it break even THOSE records? How do you get people to buy the same match a second time? Easy. You up the ante.
Note: this post is partially inspired by John Canton’s article about Cena vs Rock II. Be sure to check that out.
The Rock + John Cena = $$$, an already-proven equation
It pains me to admit this, but I’d be a fool if I didn’t. CM Punk is still in the ‘building’ stages, and I think they have something else planned that may even be better. Who knows, other than Vince McMahon and possibly CM Punk. CM Punk is money, but John Cena is more money. CM Punk will have his chance, don’t worry. It just won’t be at WrestleMania 29. Just like anyone else, I hope I’m wrong by saying this, but I don’t think I am, and here’s why.
The Rock = Ratings?
Maybe, maybe not. One thing’s for sure, his Hollywood-caused-absences can be used to WWE’s advantage. The less Rocky you see, the more you want to see him. The more you either want him to be there, or begin to resent him. Hell, The Rock ‘not being there’ nearly turned me into a John Cena fan, if only for just that one event. It doesn’t matter if you like the Rock, hate the Rock, like John Cena, or hate John Cena. If you have an opinion in one way or another, you’re going to want to see this match. Unless, of course, you hate them both, which is something WWE needs to work hard to avoid. This time around, they need to make at least one of the two seem appealing. There’s a pretty easy way to do that.
The Rock must win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble
This is a tough one for me to suggest. In no way, shape, or form do I want to see a part-timer become the WWE Champion, and especially not over someone who busts his ass, like CM Punk does. However, in a sadly ironic way, this just might be a necessity. If the Rock takes the WWE Championship and goes back to Hollywood, your entire company has lost their top title. This could actually be a good thing. If your eventual plan is to put John Cena over, you keep the title away from WWE. You have The Rock flaunt it at media appearances, generating massive publicity for WWE from the mainstream, while building resentment from the WWE faithfuls for stealing the title away. It’s really a quite similar idea to CM Punk running off with the title last summer (even though he really didn’t) except it’d actually benefit the company a great deal.
Of course, if you go with this, The Rock becomes somewhat of a heel through resentment, without needing to actually turn. John Cena miraculously gets backed by the WWE crowd and goes over. One might think that this would set up a rubber match at WrestleMania 30, which might actually make sense. Every tie needs a tiebreaker, and The Rock vs John Cena–even if for a third time–would be the biggest match possible for the biggest WrestleMania event to date, aside from maybe CM Punk vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (which is a stretch).
Or… The Rock loses. Read more
CM Punk – The Best in the World is on top of WWE’s World
CM Punk may or may not be the best in the world. That’s up for debate, sure, but at the end of the day, it hardly matters. What does matter is that CM Punk is on his way to becoming a mega-star.
CM Punk in WWE 13
Every young wrestler’s dream or fantasy is to ‘make it’ to the ‘big league’ of WWE. Fame and fortune. Not everyone gets there, but once a wrestler makes it to that point, their dreams evolve. Maybe they want to have a match at WrestleMania. Maybe they want to be WWE Champion. Maybe they want to be in a video game. CM Punk has done all of this, numerous times. Now, he’s had the fortune of becoming the sole focus of the COVER of WWE’s latest video game: WWE ’13. This game will be purchased by millions, across multiple platforms, and WWE has chosen CM Punk to be the main focus. On a game that is all about ‘the Attitude Era,’ a ‘current guy’ is on the cover, because he represents tradition and history. The point here is to make CM Punk appeal to the ‘attitude’ fans, which was the plan from day one, and it is working.
CM Punk – The Best on DVD & Blu-Ray
Another dream a wrestler might have is to have a DVD set made dedicated to their career. CM Punk isn’t anywhere near finished with his career and he’s already got a DVD set coming out. (Also available on Blu-Ray) It’s no ordinary DVD set, either. CM Punk had full control over every aspect of the DVD, from the footage used to the music selected. Punk set a precedent by convincing WWE to allow him to use music from bands HE wanted, rather than stock music or Jim Johnston standards.
In addition to the music, footage from independent promotions will be used for this CM Punk DVD set, potentially making this the best “WWE Home Video” release ever. WWE giving other companies attention is unheard of, especially since Ring of Honor has a TV deal and isn’t really struggling. It was enough of a shock to hear CM Punk mention New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor in his ‘pipe bomb’ promo, but to see Ring of Honor make an appearance on a WWE DVD is mind-boggling, in a very good way. Check out the trailer for the DVD set: Read more
Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE is a big deal, but who will he face?
Last week I talked about Five Possibilities in Part 1 of my list of ‘Ten Ideal Brock Lesnar Opponents.’ This week, I’ve got the second half, with five long-shots. Possible? Of course. Nothing in WWE is ever out of the realm of possibility, though I don’t see these being likely. A few might have true potential to be not only watchable but downright entertaining.
First off, let me say that I’m tempted to put the The Rock on this list. Sure, he’s the eventual blockbuster name to face Brock Lesnar, but do we really picture The Rock getting physical with Lesnar? I mean…. Extreme Rules physical? For that reason, I’m hesitant to even put this first choice on this list:
Let’s face it: when it comes down to it, Randy Orton isn’t a brawler. He gives off that pretty-boy vibe and doesn’t strike me as someone who’d get his hands dirty. Then again, it’s been a while, and I’m referring to the 2012 Orton. 2004 Orton was a different story, as he took Mick Foley to the limit. However, didn’t Foley take the majority of the punishment in their feud? Oops, I’m mistaken. Check this one out:
That’s from WWE Backlash 2004. I’m not saying wrestling needs blood and thumbtacks…in fact I’m pretty much against it. While you’re at it, check out T Holzerman’s recent article that pretty much offers the same sentiments; I’m glad I’m not the only one to realize this. However, it’s easy to see that in order to work with the 2012 Brock Lesnar ‘character,’ there’s a minimum level of physicality expected that we haven’t seen in years. Randy Orton desperately needs a reboot and this could be a great opportunity. More after the jump. Read more
Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE is a big deal, but who will he face?
Let’s face it: Whenever a big return happens, it’s a fantasy-booker’s dream. We all have an idea of how we could ‘do it better,’ and what happens on the screen isn’t always what we imagined in advance, for better or worse. When Brock Lesnar made his impactful re-debut in WWE, the wheels started turning in everyone’s minds.
Here are some hopeful (and completely possible) opponents for Brock Lesnar to plow through as he works through his $5 million deal.
Brock Lesnar vs The Rock
We’ll start with the painfully obvious. These two have a history, and if done carefully, Brock Lesnar vs The Rock can (and probably will) be the big-money-match for WrestleMania 29. The Miami Raw after ‘Mania told us two things: The Rock wants the WWE Championship one more time, and Brock Lesnar is back, and pissed at the world. My prediction was that Brock Lesnar would snag a title shot versus CM Punk at SummerSlam, and hold the belt straight through to WrestleMania, and drop it to the Royal Rumble winner, The Rock. It looks like they’re really behind ‘those internet guys,’ so my prediction’s a bit off, but I still think we’ll see Rock versus Brock Lesnar at Mania. More after the jump. Read more
Paul Heyman is back in WWE…but to what extent?
Everyone that doesn’t live in North Carolina was pretty excited to see Paul Heyman come back to WWE on Monday. Hold your horses, though. Many fans love Heyman as an on-screen managerial-mouthpiece, but a lot of fans respect him for his ‘creative’ side behind the scenes. I hate to break it to you all, but Heyman is back ONLY as an on-screen persona. He is not involved with creative decisions or writing. I’m hoping that will change, but for now, it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar?
Brock Lesnar signed for a limited quantity of dates across 2012-2013, so Heyman was finally decided to be a good option as someone they can use to continue Lesnar’s storylines on dates where Lesnar isn’t booked. It’s genius, really. You pay $5 million to Lesnar for limited dates, but in a way, you still get him to be ‘represented’ on every single show, via Paul Heyman.
Paul Heyman and CM Punk?
While CM Punk is a ‘Paul Heyman Guy,’ it appears Paul Heyman is a ‘CM Punk Guy,’ according to PWinsider: “While one of the reasons Heyman has returned is to work with close friend Lesnar, word is that he also returned to potentially work with CM Punk down the line. Heyman has much respect for Punk and will work with him on the upcoming Punk DVD release.” Cheap plug: order saidDVD or Blu-Ray and help me out, eh?
Given that the working relationship is strong, MAYBE we’ll see him write again, but unless he is given free-range, don’t hold your breath. I’m content with him being an on-screen figure since he can talk his ass off. As long as they don’t try to revive ECW again, we’re fine and [El] dandy.
What’s your favorite Paul Heyman memory?
WWE Extreme Rules 2012… now with more Brock Lesnar!
It’s that time of year, again, kids. Backlash!
Oh, wait, no. That’s right; Backlash is gone and the dying remnants of ECW are thrown at us in the form of a monthly gimmick pay-per-view. WWE Extreme Rules 2012. I hate to get all negative right off the bat, but you know it’s true. Gimmicks for the sake of having a gimmick don’t make much sense to me. However, somehow, the booking for this year’s Extreme Rules event WORKS for nearly all of the gimmick matches involved.
WWE Extreme Rules 2012: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena
First up, we’ve got Brock Lesnar returning for his first wrestling match in around seven years. …At Extreme Rules 2012. Odd, no? Don’t worry, he’ll be sticking around for a bit. A month after The Rock makes his big return to WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar’s back in the ring, too. (Speaking of which, I never wrote a WrestleMania article, and probably won’t. The whole show was forgettable. If you want me to complain about it, tell me to, and I’ll write up an article just for you.) Not only his match at Extreme Rules 2012 a return match, but Brock Lesnar’s hot off the trails of UFC.
So how does a ‘real’ fighter transition back to ‘fake fighting?’ Well, you make your return and pop the face of the company in the mouth, busting his lip open. Whether this was intentional or accidental isn’t the point. The point is that something that LOOKED real happened. In a worked-shoot sort of way, Brock Lesnar just may be correct in his claims of bringing ‘legitimacy’ back to WWE. So, his match with John Cena will be an ‘Extreme Rules’ match. I expect this to be brutal in a good way, but I do hope they don’t go too overboard. The hardcore gimmick will allow this match to be a brawl rather than a wrestling match, which will fit nicely for Lesnar, given his evolved ‘fighting’ background. My pick: Brock Lesnar wins. Read more
Flashback: WWE No Mercy 2005 featuring Eddie Guerrero’s final PPV appearance
Thinking of killing some time while waiting for some video editing work to finish processing, I popped in a random WWE DVD. I can’t recall having seen this one before as I wasn’t following wrestling from 2003-2005 and just hadn’t gotten around to watching the actual DVD, even years later.
A very eery intro to an Eddie Guerrero-headlined event
The show starts off with a now-chilling introduction video package featuring two feuds: Eddie Guerrero vs Batista & Undertaker vs Randy Orton. Eddie Guerrero. Now, before I get into this, let me say that the one 2005 pay-per-view I have watched (other thanWrestleMania 21 & Royal Rumble 2005, of course) was ECW One Night Stand 2005. I always thought that Eddie Guerrero had a bit of a ‘vacant’ look about him, like he wasn’t himself and never would be again. Hindsight’s 20/20, and perhaps it was just the character he was trying to play. A few months later, though, this same look was present in this video package that turned out to serve as hype for what would be his final pay-per-view match. Coincidentally, this event was on Eddie Guerrero’s birthday.
In this video, a promo was referenced where Eddie Guerrero talked about his addictions and problems, which was probably as off-putting then as the Kevin Nash/Scott Hall match at Halloween Havoc was in 1998. Now, it’s even more uncomfortable to see. Shortly after this, the hype for the Undertaker/Randy Orton angle begins. Their match for this event was a casket match. Now WWE had no idea they’d be losing an active member of their roster within less than a month, and even if they did, I can’t say I’d expect them to not still hold a casket match. Afterall, they held THREE in 2008, less than a year after the Benoit Family died.
Anywho… Wrestling. Where was I? Read more
My thoughts before the 2012 WWE Royal Rumble
It’s finally every wrestling fan’s favorite time of the year, the beginning of the ‘Road to WrestleMania.’ I for one am especially looking forward to this year’s Royal Rumble for a few reasons. This year, WWE has announced that ‘every’ WWE wrestler is eligible for the Royal Rumble. Will this include existing champions? Could the WWE Champion hypothetically win a shot against the World Heavyweight Champion?
A lot of things seem to be revisited in some way this year. In the 2011 Royal Rumble, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan kicked things off right, exciting the crowd, one stiff move after another. William Regal added to the excitement, taking brutal kicks to the chest from Bryan, showing as always that Regal’s British balls are bigger than yours. Fast forward to 2012: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are WWE’s main event titleholders and are in high-profile storylines, as they should be. The Miz, who was defending WWE Champion at the 2011 event, is now the #1 entrant. Dolph Ziggler reprises his role as a main event title contender, but this time for the WWE Championship.
I expect to see the rebuilding process start on Sunday for The Miz. Believe me, he’ll have a strong showing. He won’t win it, but I expect a good 20-25 minutes for him. His heat has fizzled out but there’s no way they won’t have a plan in mind for last year’s WrestleMania headliner at this year’s big show. Read more