Tuesday, January 15, 2013
So "Santa" brings my son a Playstation 3 for the holidays. Naturally, he also slides a copy of WWE '13 in his stocking. Surprisingly, I found a copy of WWE Legends of Wrestlemania in my stocking- The shock! How did that end up in there?
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I cherish the original era of Wrestlemania. What I wouldn't do for it to be 1985 all over again! And thanks to Playstation 3, I can live out my fantasies every night, roughly around 10pm - when my wife and kids call it a night. I can lock myself up into the "man-cave", jump into my imaginary Delorian, fire that bitch up to 88 mph, and BOOM - I'm back to my youth!
I'm not going to give you a review of the game. Come to think of it, I'd be kind of an asshole if I did, considering that it was released in 2009. What I want to share with you is my experience - not as a gamer, but as an avid fan of the era; a person who lived though what is now legendary history.
Perhaps I'm taking it too literal, but I have a problem reliving some of the greatest moments when some of the key participants are absent from the game, especially when some of the names chosen to be immortalized in this game either only appeared at a handful of Wrestlemanias, or their contribution to the legacy isn't really all that important - thus, questioning why they would be considered a "Legend" of Wrestlemania.
I realize that many of you are below the age demographic that I'm looking to reach with this rant. Most of you were introduced to the business during the Attitude era, and consider that the greatest era of all time - and arguably, you may be right from a business perspective. I look at the Attitude era now and can't get over that it was 15 years ago. And if you think that's a long time, then my focus on this "Legends" rant precedes that era by another 15 years. That's right! I'm going back to the beginning - 30 years ago. How many of you can say you actually remember that vividly? You're probably saying, "Here comes some rant from a grumpy old man." And to that I respond, "Fuck You! I'm doing it anyway! Respect your elders, shut that hole in your face, and learn something. Shit is about to get real!"
Here's a few names that are in the game that I happen to disagree with:
ARN ANDERSON - I love Arn as much as the next wrestling purist, and U have always been dying to select him as a character in a video game. Unfortunately, Arn isn't a Mania legend. He only appeared in on one and the highlight of his match was Rick Martel was the split of Strike Force on the other side of the ring.
BAM BAM BIGELOW -Initially, I couldn't remember a single Bam Bam match at Mania with the exception of his first round loss to One Man Gang in the title tournament at Mania IV. Then it dawned on me that he actually closed a Mania in a heavily publicized main event against NFL legend, Lawrence Taylor. We all know how that turned out, and it pretty much plagued the rest of his career. It's nice having him on the game, but NOT a Mania legend.
BRITISH BULLDOG - I didn't realize how many matches the Bulldog actually had at Wrestlemania as a singles competitor -none that I would probably want to watch again-, but I would have preferred to see him enshrined along with his partner Dynamite Kid as The British Bulldogs.
DUSTY RHODES - Dusty had one Mania match - a mixed tag with Sapphire as his partner. Nothing really worth remembering. He may be a legend of wrestling but NOT a legend of Wrestlemania. There is no purpose to having him in the game unless you are booking a fantasy dream match, to which I still say, I have never heard anybody come up with a dream match that pitted someone against Dusty Rhodes.
HUNTER HEARTS HELMSLEY - Before you get outraged, let me explain. "Hunter Hearst Helmsley" is NOT a Wrestlemania legend...Triple H is. Hunter introduced us to Sable and jobbed out to the Warrior at Mania 12. Triple H, even in 90's DX form should have been included rather than this flake with no history.
JIMMY "SUPERFLY" SNUKA - You can't say WWE legends without somebody mentioning Snuka. Never had a key match at Mania - with the exception of being numero uno on Undertaker's streak, nor did we ever get to see the infamous Superfly splash. It's great having Snuka as an option in fantasy warfare mode, but there are other's who deserved the spot more.
KAMALA - Surprisingly, another guy who never had a Wrestlemania match, at least until the gimmick battle royal at Mania 17, but really, that wasn't really a match. I love the option of having him in a video game, but referring to him as Mania legend is a pretty far stretch.
MICHAEL HAYES - This got the biggest "What The Fuck?" out of me. How is this even remotely possible? It's not like they even put him in as Doc Hendrix, but he's rammin' and jammin' like a Freebird. I don't ever recall being in a coma and missing the Wrestlemania where the Freebirds wrestled. I guess this is so I can relive that epic NWA encounter between Hayes and Dusty. Quick, pass me my controller!!!
Again, including these names didn't necessarily bother me, but it did leave me scratching my head. What did bother me, was the omission of wrestlers who are undoubtedly Mania legends:
RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE - How can you utter the word Wrestlemania and not immediately think of Macho? I understand that at the time he was blacklisted from the WWE and his name is taboo upon the lips of a McMahon. Savage is one of those rare breeds who inspired many to pursue their dreams in the wrestling business...including me. Students of the game, study his epic encounter with... oh yeah...
RICKY STEAMBOAT - Another name left off the legends list. How is that possible? But yet, they didn't forget to add Michael Fucking Hayes!
TITO SANTANA - This guy had the first ever Wrestlemania match. He's held multiple WWE championships, and has at least eight Wrestlemania's on his resume. No dice, huh?
PAUL ORNDORFF - Main event of the first Wrestlemania...not good enough? Look back at his legendary feuds with Hogan. Who do you think kept ol' red and yellow at the top of his game pre and post Mania?
DEMOLITION - You have the Legion of Doom in the game. What? You couldn't find a spot for two more guys with painted faces? You found a spot for Michael Hayes! Just out of pure curiosity, LOD is the ONLY actual tag team featured on the game. So, who am I supposed to pair them up against if there aren't any other teams? Demolition was the best tag team WWE had for a while, and a little Wrestlemania video game burn would have been a nice tribute.
EARTHQUAKE - Kamala made it. Bam Bam made it. Fucking Michael Hayes made it. No love for the Earthquake? Too many fat guys on the roster already? Got the tattooed one; The redneck prison guard one; The southern lisp one with a patch on his belly; the Japanese one by way of Samoa; and the token black one; but not room for one more? Oh well, at least we got Bundy! FIIIIIIIIIVE!
HAKU - You may ask "Why Haku?" I say, "Why not Haku?" First off, he was awesome...duh! King Haku, Islander Haku, lost the tag team titles with Andre at Mania 6 Haku... Haku kicks ass!
RAZOR RAMON - Did we forget the Wrestlemania 10 ladder match? Of course not, because HBK got on the game. So did Michael Hayes. But not the bad guy? Come on Chico, this guy should have been on the game. It's not like I was asking you to have a match where he has to drunkenly climb a ladder and try reaching for a bag of cocaine.
DON MURACO - Why Muraco? Because I want Muraco! Mr. Fuji is in the game, and I'm hoping there is an unlockable episode of Fuji Vice.
***UPDATE: I Need YOUR Help!!!***
After doing some research, I learned that the video game may have some unlockable characters, including a few names that I just mentioned - but I have yet to get any confirmation. Does anyone out there know about the hidden characters and how to get them? If so, I'm willing to offer a small reward!
Post your comments here on the site, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter with the info. If it proves to be true, I'll get in contact with you regarding getting the prize into your hands.
And for the record, all offers are off if I end up getting another variation of Michael Hayes!
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