Wrestling Reality: This Week In The WWE, Video Games, & More

WrestleZone


TNA debuted their initial video game outing this week and the reviews have been mixed. I haven’t had the chance to play the game yet, but it did allow me to take a bit of a walk down memory lane. For me, their are three wrestling video games that stand out above the pack. First, who didn’t love Pro Wrestling for original Nintendo? Fighter Hayabusa’s back brain kick and Starman’s flying forearm were freakin’ awesome. And who can forget Kin Corn Karn? Hahaha. Next would have to be Wrestlefest the arcade game. I can not even begin to tell you how long I’ve wanted to buy this coin-op and put it in my apartment. Not only did this game possess some pretty rare inclusions like LOD, Demolition, Sgt. Slaughter, Jake Roberts, Earthquake etc., but it did a top notch job of including both finishers and the Royal Rumble concept. Far and away the best wrestling game and engine ever to exist is No Mercy for N64. The move set, the create a character, the character options, and the gameplay are the best of any wrestling game. But even more importantly, I am literally unbeatable in a one on one match as my Create-A-Character version of myself. It once took 3 of the very best players I know over 1.5 hours of triple teaming me in a 4 way dance to eliminate me. One on one, I destroyed them all. I am issuing an open challenge…you name the wager…I am not to be beaten in that game.

Thinking back on the video games got me thinking about even more childhood wrestling memories. Let’s be honest here, we all wrestled our friends and siblings as kids. Now don’t even get on your high horses and start carrying on about how my articles shouldn’t condone this type of behavior and it’s not safe blah blah blah…I am stating the obvious. We all did it. So here are five memorable moments of my childhood wrestling career:

5) The Nitro Parties. Back in the day, I was invited to a party. Being like any warm-blooded teenager, of course I wasn’t gonna pass up the opportunity to go to a good party. Only thing is…when I arrived, things didn’t seem quite right. Here were a bunch of my HS’s most popular guys, only they were dressed as Scott Hall, Konnan, Ernest Miller, Sting (complete with a plunger serving as his baseball bat), Kidman, and so forth. Most shameful of all was one of the stars of the soccer team, who borrowed his mother’s bike shorts and leather jacket so he could dress as “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright. Mortifying. Okay, okay…maybe I am ever so slightly downplaying my whole role in all of this…so maybe I was a completely willing and knowing participant…err, um, anyway…back to the list.

4) The Home Videos. So yeah, you’re probably catching on by now that I was exactly an innocent bystander when it came to embarrassing myself in this manner. How else would you explain the video footage on me and several of my friends filming our own Titantron style entrance videos? Highlights included hitting an “X factor” on my friend through his family’s piano (whoops) and me being dropped from six feet in the air out of a torture rack and face first onto the ground. Right around this time frame, there was also the time that I enziguiri kicked my friend and he started speaking in tongues. Or there was the time when I did a “Self High Five” and crashed through my futon…it was never quite upright after that incident. Of course, there was the mixed gender match involving my close friend and his ex-girlfriend. Video footage exists of her putting him into a nerve hold while he writhes in pain, welling up with tears, yelling in the highest pitched voice known to man “awwwwww no, god, no, ahhhhhhhhhhh.”

Not to be outdone though was our hardcore battle royal. All manners of weaponry were allowed in this hour long home classic. While being shoved into some shrubbery, my buddy uttered the classic line, “I think I hear a snake.” Personally, I was eliminated after a botched spot off of the patio that involved a tree stump and not being able to walk for a few days. When my friend’s mom walked downstairs to find my head being slammed in a microwave door, with an entire bag of Cool Ranch Doritos exploded on the floor, all she could really say was, “I hope you guys are planning on vacuuming when you’re done.”

3) The Puppetmaster. Kids can be a little rough with their siblings. A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the greatest managers of all-time. Well, I should have included the baddest manager in my home wrestling league, The Puppetmaster. You see, I was The Puppetmaster. And I managed stuffed animals against my younger brother. The thing is though, these weren’t any old stuffed animals. I remember a Kermit the Frog which had hard plastic eye balls to peck with and a sharp cardboard mouth to bite with. And I would take control of these stuffed animal weapons of mass destruction and beat my brother with them. Gotta figure I was roughly 9 and he was 5, so this was probably the only time in my entire life that I had a size advantage over anybody, haha. So I would wrestle my brother, then put Kermit on top of him and hold him down, hence Kermit would get the win. My brother would accurately point out, “Kermit didn’t pin me, you did” – but it wasn’t my fault…the ref counted the fall!

2) The Tough Enough phase. What wrestling fan didn’t love watching Tough Enough to learn more about the behind the scenes training? So, bright idea…we’ll try it ourselves. First we re-created a workout that involved jumping over punching bags. We survived that one with only a few sprained ankles and once again, some very memorable video footage. So, we had to up the ante. We saw Hardcore Holly initiate the new trainees by giving them massive, open-hand chops. Naturally, we couldn’t resist. For FORTY FIVE straight minutes, my two friends and I stood in a triangle and took turns walloping each other…it would only end when two men quit. Nobody ever quit. Instead, we had hand prints on us for well over a week…the aforementioned ex girlfriend started crying when she saw my friend’s welts…and the funny thing is, we had never been happier. The chops became a ritual amongst the boys…in fact, we celebrated New Year’s with some midnight chops once and even dished some out immediately prior to my friend’s wedding ceremony (we even got the videographer in on the action). The absolute pinnacle of this came when Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, and Samoa Joe stripped another friend of mine topless in a bar at his bachelor party and chopped the ever-lovin’ nonsense out of him. Amazing. Please note, you’d have to be a complete idiot to do this willing…and yes, I do know what that makes me.

1) The Career Ender. Sure, almost all of my friends loved wrestling growing up. We were a group that would go to house shows as birthday parties (I got to slap five with Duke “The Dumpster” Droese one time). But we had one friend who had pro wrestling running through his veins. He was destined to become a pro wrestler and he spent his days dreaming of his ultimate career in wrestling. I think he may have even gone to school wearing a lucha mask (he denies this, but I swear it’s true). Nonetheless, all signs were pointing towards him becoming a wrestler – he worked out, he had all the wrestling knowledge in the world, and he had a beard by age 13. So, one night he challenged me and another guy to a 3 way dance. However, this time there were no pre-scripted spots or holding back as friends normally do, this was an all out brawl. Participant #1 was eliminated after taking a head first dive into the metal grating on the frame of a couch…there was a definite chance he was severely injured, so we did what any good friend would do…we rolled him to the side and kept fighting. Don’t worry, he was fine.

So the stage was set…the would-be pro wrestler versus me. He had me by a good amount of size and strength, but I was crafty. He was undoubtedly beating me handily…but he was getting frustrated that he had yet to put me away. So, he tried to end me by charging at me full force with a spear of sorts…and that’s when it happened. I side-stepped him and used his momentum to push him over and immediately took his back and locked on a dragon sleeper/camel clutch combo. And he tapped! And just like that, in those 10 seconds – I took away his dream, haha. He had be submitted by his undersized, amateur friend…how could he ever turn pro? So he did the only thing he could do…he hung his head in shame and sent himself upstairs to pensively watch an episode of Seinfeld with my mom. I’m certain he’s reading this article right now and will take exception to this tale…I give him under an hour from the time this article is posted before he yells at me…but it was worth it to re-tell my tale of underdog glory!

Back onto the “real” world of wrestling, it was yet another winning week for the WWE. There are so many horrible things about the current product that I barely know where to begin, so let me just spew out some miscellaneous tidbits. It seems like what once was old is now new again in the WWE. Did we not see this storyline already with Jamie Noble? Subbing in Layla for Michelle McCool does not make it new. Also, it seems like the creative team figures that most fans are too young to remember The Killer Bee’s “masked confusion.” See, the Bees used to crawl under the ring, don masks, and switch places so that the revitalized man could get into the match without making a tag. Looks like we are repeating this with Brie Bella and her twin sister, only the WWE is doing such a poor job of explaining this that it barely makes sense unless you are a mind-reader. In yet another gimmick repeat, why oh why are they simply dredging up the same old tired act for R Truth? After all, it was so successful the first time when they fired him. And “What’s Up” is a great catchphrase for him too…not!

That new talent initiative is going a long way to further ruin the product. First of all, aren’t they doing a great job developing Scotty Goldman, Ryan Braddock, Gavin Spears etc.? It’s the return of an old phenomenon we like to call JTTS or Jobber to the Stars. A “known” wrestler who spends their days doing job after job. Getting a win over a JTTS is bigger than squashing a total unknown, just don’t expect them to ever get a win themselves. In more talent initiative greatness, what in the world was Jack Swagger’s gimmick supposed to be? He had a poop-eating grin on the entire time. Maybe it’s the return of self help DDP? And “The All-American American” – what the heck kind of nickname is that? His debut match was purely awful. How dead was the crowd for the babyface Colon Brothers? Not good. Plus, we now have three guys with the same “unique” afro – Carlito, Ortiz, and Manu…guess it’s not so unique after all.

Then there are the storylines that flat out don’t make sense. I’d like to think of myself as a fairly bright guy, but seriously, does the Kane/Mysterio storyline make sense to anybody? I am beyond lost. It’s so evident that they are just making it up as they go along and trying to bide their time while they figure it out…just dreadful. How about the Jesse/Festus moving company? Huh? It was completely out of nowhere and completely unexplained. My guess is that it’s going to be like the time DX mailed the Spirit Squad back to OVW and we will never see poor Kenny Dykstra ever again. Or perhaps they kidnapped him a la the Ministry and he’s going to come back as Viscera. Either way, it was beyond odd and confusing. Anyone remember that big Lance Cade push that everyone was raving about a few months ago? Yeah, I didn’t think so. He’s nearly as important as Bam Neely.

Alright, that’s enough venting for now. I gotta say, it was a lot of fun thinking back on my home wrestling memories…and trust me, there are dozens more where that came from. I’m sure you guys have some classics too – I’d love to hear all of your crazy tales on the message board, so let’s hear ’em.

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