RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #37 (MAY 27TH 1996) – “THE OUTSIDER” SCOTT HALL INVADES WCW NITRO

Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.

maxresdefault

It is entirely possible that the episode of WCW Nitro I’m about to review could be the most famous episode of WCW Nitro ever. It was easily one of the most historically significant episodes in wrestling history. It was the first two-hour episode of Monday Nitro which is significant in its own right. Along with that, we had one of the most game-changing angles in not only the Monday Night Wars but in the history of wrestling. In the first hour, we saw the debut of a wrestler that started a “war” and it just felt like a switch was turned in my brain about this show.

We’ve reviewed episodes of Nitro where The Dungeon of Doom tried to destroy Hulkamania, The Giant was cutting goofy promos about eating people and it was just as much as corny as the “golden age” of the WWF. That’s not to say that the last 36 episodes have been terrible or makes wrestling embarrassing to watch, but it felt like a completely different ball-game compared to what’s going to be in store for us. As soon as a certain angle took place, it just felt like a different show.

With that being said… this was such a horrible wrestling show. A lot of the one hour episodes of Nitro have been at least decent and obviously only watching one hour is an advantage. We got another hour of wrestling but even still, this show had some of the most dirt worst wrestling you’ve ever seen. We got three matches in a row which felt like the worst back-to-back combination of matches in a wrestling show throughout the ages. Everything else felt like it was just there… with the obvious exception of a certain angle.

While we’re on the subject of that angle, even that angle didn’t age well in terms of the quality. It seemed to just come out of nowhere and if it weren’t for the significance of it and who was involved at the time, this segment would not be revered as legendary as it has been over the years.

Let’s get to this review…

 

Date: May 27th 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Macon, Georgia

Rating: 2.8

Commentators (First Hour): Tony Schiavonie and Larry Zbyszko

Commentators (Second Hour): Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan

tumblr_nc7yo9VoFU1tlazt9o1_1280

Yes, you read that correctly. We are in the era of multiple announcers across one episode of wrestling. Tony Schiavonie called the first hour with Larry Zbyszko and the usual commentary team of Bischoff and Heenan called the second hour.

As convoluted as this may sounds, this was a more practical use of certain announcers. If you watch RAW or even certain pay-per-views, the announcers are calling three hour or even five hours of wrestling without any breaks in-between. Therefore, they get exhausted throughout the show and the fire is just not there for the big main-event matches later on.

The four announcers here for Nitro were all excitable for the hour they had to call and they had a lot more life to them. At least this, for now, prevented the tiring of announcers over the course of the show.

 

“American Males” Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs vs Ric Flair and Arn Anderson w/Woman and Miss Elizabeth

Steve-Mongo-McMichael-Eric-Bischoff-Ric-Flair-WCW-Monday-Nitro-10-9-1995.jpg

A very basic but effective little tag team match. However, this was not quite as effective as Miss Elizabeth was at blowing me away with her green dress as she came down with Ric Flair. She looked absolutely stunning walking down to the ring with the Nature Boy.

Larry Zybsko buried NFL players on commentary for some reason, which is a weird way to promote two NFL players battling Ric Flair and Arn Anderson in a big tag team match at the next pay-per-view. We’ll get to that later.

This was very much a battle between quick youngsters versus methodical, dirty veterans. Ric and Arn double-teamed Riggs on the outside. Ric and Arn punched them, chopped them and poked at them all over the place. The American Males took over. Bagwell ran wild on Flair as it broke into a four way. American Males clapped with the crowd as the faces had the heels on the rope.

Ric grabbed a champagne bottle from his table but eventually got back into the ring. Arn missed a clothesline and hit the ring post a.ka. “the pole” according to Larry. Bagwell punched his way out of the heels’ corner.

Flair caught Riggs’ legs on the apron and Arn took advantage. Tony and Larry enjoyed champagne I guess Flair poured out for them. The heels got the heat as Bagwell desperately wanted to interject himself into the match.

Riggs hit an enziguri to Arn, sending him outside. Riggs crawled to Bagwell as Ric and the referee had one of the all-time great shoving matches! Ric sold like crazy for referees pushing him down which was excellent to see.

Bagwell got the hot tag and ran wild. Bagwell did a small package but Arn turned the small package over but then Riggs turned it over again on Flair. Bagwell hit a fisherman suplex. Bagwell covered Flair but Woman gauged his eyes. Arn hit the DDT and Ric rolled himself into the cover for the win, literally just resting his arm on Bagwell!

I thought this was… OK. It was very basic and they did everything right and the fans were definitely into it. The American Males I still found to be very limited to what they can do and Flair and Arn did all they could to get a good match out of these two. Maybe I was hoping for something a little bit better. Regardless, I can still see that the four men worked hard out there so this gets a thumbs up.

 

Mean Gene interviewed the heels after the match. Arn told Kevin Greene and Steve “Mongo” McMichael that he never met a football player that he couldn’t walk over. He didn’t respect anyone that had to wear protective gear. He said in this sport it was man to man and hand to hand. Ric said while they were playing football, he’d been making up lost time with Debra (Mongo’s wife). Ric called Miss Elizabeth their sugar mommy with Savage’s money.

They showed Greene and Mongo working out and preparing for The Great American Bash. I hope I never wear what these two were wearing to the gym. Despite their fashion sense, they were still looking jacked and bulky. Not gonna like. A heads up, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson were set to face Kevin Greene and Steve “Mongo” McMichael at The Great American Bash. At least, that’s the billed match at the moment.

 

Scott Hall Debuts In WCW

19960527_hall-fb2ee78d75de4a6523116a4866a5b245-696x392.jpg

As soon as I saw The Mauler and Steve Doll come down for “a match”, I figured this was “the match” that would lead to the big angle previously alluded to earlier. Even if it wasn’t, WCW were in the middle of a wrestling war and they had these two guys out there for a wrestling match in the first hour?

The announcers said Randy Savage had been banned from any WCW televised event. I wrote a bunch of spots these two did but really, none of it mattered. During the match, the fans started to buzz and turn around. A tall dude in a sleeveless blue denim jacket walked around near the seats, which is hard to miss in its own right. In the midst of this crowd, a big dude made is way down to the ring. Of course, walking across the fans and over the guard rail is in fact… Razor Ramon.

It was like time had stood still. This was the WWF’s “Razor Ramon” in the eyes of the fans at the time. He didn’t say he was Razor Ramon but the people knew who he was. They only knew of this guy as Razor Ramon and so him appearing at a WCW show and asking for a mic it was mind-blowing to see for them. He grabbed the microphone as the action just stops. There was no finish to the match

I’ve just found a transcript of the entire promo this guy cut on a Fox Sports article. I did try to take down as much as I could about the promo but here it is in full:

“You people, you know who I am. But you don’t know why I’m here. Where is billionaire Ted? Where is the Nacho Man? That punk can’t even get in the building. Me? I go where ever I want, whenever I want. And where oh where is Scheme Gene? Cause I got a scoop for you. When that Ken doll look-a-like, when that weather man wannabe comes out here later tonight, I got a challenge for him, for billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man and for anybody else in WCW. You want to go to war? You want a war? You’re gonna get one.”

This man leaves with security and… I will talk more about the premise of this entire angle later on in the review. Suffice to say, “Razor Ramon” a.k.a Scott Hall showing up on Nitro was a pretty damn big deal at the time. With that being said, if we’re being honest… this felt so underwhelming watching it 23 years later or so!

This dude just came through past security and he just cut a below-average promo at best and let. He just interrupted a random match and cut a weird promo, where he mumbled all over the place and even repeated the line about wanting a war. He took a long time getting to the point that he was bringing a war.

With that being said as well, even though it was hard for Hall to get to the point, this worked as a means of keeping the fans guessing. He never mentioned the WWF although that was the premise of the angle. It was actually really clever with the way they had a “WWF” invasion angle without actually having the WWF. Hall was just a guy coming over the barricade, known to be coming from the WWF, invading WCW and being an “outsider” and it was effective in making people question what was going on. It blurred the lines between reality and fiction for a lot of fans in a way that hadn’t been done effectively for years by either the WWF or WCW.

Bischoff tried to do “insider” references during these Nitros and he tried the Brian Pillman angle from Uncensored but Hall coming down and declaring a war while the announcers are not referencing him at all was effective at the time. Say what you will about the promo but it did work in getting people talking.

I do love that after this big angle with Scott Hall, Tony Schiavonie can’t help but ask what happened to the match!

 

Sgt, Pittman w/Teddy Long vs Diamond Dallas Page

hqdefault (6).jpg

Remember when DDP was the #1  contender for the WCW World Heavyweight a week ago? He won the Slamboree battle bowl battle royal, he overcame 31 other wrestlers to earn this shot and the title shot was stripped away from him, unfairly if you think about it. After all of this, on this episode, he was just breezy. To be fair to DDP, The Shark randomly got a WCW title match this week on the grounds that The Giant chokeslammed him previously so I guess title matches weren’t that hard to come by.

DDP did the worst push-ups in the world… which actually fit his gimmick! Pittman showed him up with a one armed push up. DDP knocked himself loopy with a headbutt and fell out of the ring. DDP was tied up in the television cable again. DDP hit a jawbreaker on the rope to take control of the match.

Then we got the geek of the week moment from the w/c May 27th 1996. Pittman went for Code Red armbar “upside down.” DDP grabbed Pittman’s manager Teddy Long on the outside and just grabbed him, which led to no harm to Teddy Long. Pittman looked at Long, and DDP took advantage with a Diamond Cutter for the pin. Pittman came off like a complete geek with this finish. There’s nothing like a distraction finish to bury a babyface any worse.

GEEK OF THE WEEK – Sgt. Craig Pittman for distracting himself by looking at his manager after nothing happened to him.

 

They showed a highlight video package of the Randy Savage going crazy storyline.

 

Mean Gene interviewed The Shark. Mean Gene mentioned he’s no longer with the Dungeon of Doom. I guess The Giant chokeslammed Shark during a previous angle on Saturday Night and he got kicked out of the group, which actually led to a Giant vs Shark WCW title match later on which we’ll get to it.

Shark cut a promo about he almost ended Hulkamania and he was gonna hurt Taskmaster by winning the WCW title.

 

They showed another video package of Hulk Hogan hanging around with celebrities like George Foreman, Shaq, Dennis Rodman and Kevin Greene. They talked about Hogan raising money for charity with Sugar Ray Leonard too.

———————————————————————————————————-

That was the end of the first hour. If you looked at just the first hour of the show, this show wouldn’t seem so bad. Then we got the second hour which had to be the worst hour of wrestling I’ve ever seen. We got five more matches and the next three matches were some of the dirt-worst wrestling in the history of wrestling. This felt like the longest hour of my life.

 

The Giant © w/Jimmy Hart vs The Shark for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

maxresdefault (5).jpg

I love how Eric Bischoff jumped on commentary and he talked about how they weren’t going to dignify Scott Hall’s appearance but then proceeded to spend the entire second hour of the show constantly bringing it up. Bischoff even told Hall to come down at the end of the second hour, basically promoting another appearance at the end of the show.

I had a weird desire to watch this match but this was an absolute nothing match. I’m pretty sure that The Giant vs Loch Ness had to have been better than this match. Maybe I’m over exaggerating, but this was such a dull monster battle. At least the Loch Ness match was shorter.

Shark jumped Giant but Giant fired back with a big headbutt. The Shark tried to knock down Giant but Giant wouldn’t budge. Giant hit a big clothesline. Giant forced all of his weight on the stomach on Shark by standing on him. Shark punched away at Giant but was unable to lift the big man. Giant scoop slammed Shark.

Shark gouged at the eyes of Giant. Shark pulled off a clothesline from the middle rope, just barely. Shark got his hands on Jimmy which led to Giant taking advantage and chokeslamming Shark for the pin. Previously, The Giant’s title matches were somewhat interesting and in some cases good but this one was just boring. A boring big man match that just set the tone for the second hour.

Big Bubba came down to cut Shark’s hair.

 

 

Lex Luger © vs Maxx for the WCW Television Championship

maxresdefault (6).jpg

Maxx, previously Max Muscle, was back on Nitro. The announcers talk about Maxx’s haircut. Eric goes: “nice haircut Max” and Bobby, without missing a beat, said: “yeah, if you’re going to the chair.” In their defence, that was a bad haircut Maxx was sporting. It was some weird Mohawk he had going on which thankful never caught on.

Thankfully, these types of matches never caught on in wrestling either.

Luger ran wild with clotheslines and Maxx cut him off with a powerslam. Maxx got the heat. If you liked clotheslines, then this match was the match for you. These guys could do absolutely nothing. Clotheslines, forearms, punches, powerslams. It was pretty much four or five moves on repeat and this just kept going on and on and on. A wrestling website I found listed this match as going 5 minutes and 45 seconds. I felt for sure this was 5 hours long. Luger got Maxx up but eventually locked on the Torture Rack for the win and the fans went nuts.

Speaking of which, when was the last time we saw a torture rack on Nitro? It feels like forever since Luger has just been in tag team matches with Sting.

Either way, this match was god awful and went longer than it had any right to be. Luger should have hit a few clotheslines, locked on the Torture Rack and won. Instead, we got 5 minutes of god awful wrestling and then Luger struggled to get Maxx up on his shoulders for the finish. A HUGE THUMBS DOWN.

 

Mean Gene interviewed Lex Luger. Luger said he didn’t make the matches but nobody wanted The Giant more than the Total Package. They showed The Giant chokeslam from 2 weeks ago. He talked about how Giant didn’t try to win a match, as he just wanted to take Luger out but he was still standing. He wanted every big man WCW had before he got The Giant. If these matches were anything like the Maxx match, I’d rather they didn’t give Lex these matches!

 

Hardwork Bobby Walker vs Brad Amrstrrong

hqdefault (7).jpg

The quality of the last two matches were pretty bad. In the defence of those matches, you could at least expect a below par match out of the likes of the still-green Giant and Lex Luger. This next match was even worse and sad part was that it had nothing to do with Brad Armstrong.

This Hardwork Bobby Walker was so atrocious during this match. Literally every “spot” he attempted during this match was screwed up and every single time, it was his fault. Brad did an monkey flip and Bobby was meant to land on his feet but he stumbled. Hardwork tried a crossbody from the top but lost his footing. When they realised Hardwork could not be trusted to do any actual moves, they wrestled on the floor for about 10 hours. Walker tried a small package and a backslide for near falls.

Walker couldn’t do a lucha libe crossbody without losing his footing. It was like a Rey Fenix-like spot where he would jump from the middle rope to the top rope and then do a dive but he screwed that up. Then Walker hit a crappy looking blockbuster for the win. I wrote that “this was shit” and that is being generous. This was the second worst match I’ve seen so far in this WCW Nitro series. This was a -3 star match worse than the horrific tag team match from Slamboree I gave -2.5 stars. Remember when I reviewed Eddie Guerrero vs Ric Flair last week and it was better than anything on WCW SlamboreeWCW Slamboree? Well this match was WORSE than everything on WCW Slamboree and think of the ground that covers.

I’m going to mention this very briefly as this is a sensitive topic to a lot of people. Hardwork Bobby Walker was part of a lawsuit where he and a bunch of other wrestlers filed a lawsuit against WCW for racial discrimination. Walker claimed that his Caucasian opponents were told to make him look bad and that he’d never win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Apparently these wrestlers were set to make African American wrestlers look “loud, obnoxious, pompous and shiftless.”

I’m not going to discuss racial discrimination as I’m not qualified to speak about it on so many levels. With that being said, clearly Walker did not watch this match before saying all of this. He mentioned that his “opponents” were out to make him look bad. He was in there with Brad Armstrong, who is Caucasian, and Brad was not responsible in any way for the spots screwed up in his match. That’s not even my opinion, that is pure fact. A lot of the spots where Walker coming off the top rope or doing something acrobatic, and it was down to HIM to make the spot look good. He messed it up. It wasn’t like Brad Armstrong used the force to make Walker slip. He was nowhere near these spots Walker was messing up.

I’m not going to say wrestlers were or weren’t acting discriminatory against Walker, but the idea that he believed other people were making him look bad is laughable if you watch this match. He made himself look bad in this match. As far as racial discrimination, that’s not for me to talk about.

Apparently when the WWF bought out WCW they came to a settlement with Walker and co. but my verdict on this match was Walker was guilty of crimes against wrestling in this match. He was so horrible. Minus 3 stars but this was honestly the worst match in WCW Nitro history so far. Not quite on the level of the Doomsday Cage match.

 

 

Lord Steven Regal vs Alex Wright

lord-steven-regal-alex-wright-wcw1.png

This match wasn’t particular good but it felt like Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada compared to the last three matches. Wright took over for a bit. Wright did a dive to the outside as they cut to a break. Regal locked in a headlock and wore down Wright. Wright slammed Regal down for a belly-to-belly suplex.

Wright and Regal kicked and uppercut each other throughout the match, smashing away at each other. Not much to talk about with this match but eventually Regal dropped Wright on his head from the top turnbuckle. Regal pinned him with a bridge for the win.

Mean Gene interviewed Regal. Regal talked about Giant and Savage. He talked about taking out Belfast Bruiser. Regal said he’s not going anywhere and he should have his say around here. Regal made a challenge to the franchise Sting and if he won, he wanted a shot at the champion.. He said he wanted a shot at that “face painted clown.”

 

Sting vs His Good Buddy Scott Steiner

x1080 (1).jpg

The announcers constantly mentioned that Sting was facing “his good buddy” Scott Steiner in the main-event. Steiner took Sting down with an arm drag. Sting responded with a big hip toss. Scott did a big Gorilla Press to Sting. Sting went up high in the air as he delivered a big dropkick to Steiner.

Scott hit a tiger powerbomb and a belly to belly suplex. Scott hit a double axe handle from the top rope. Sting gave Scott a big boot as Bobby Heenan howled with laughter! Scott slammed him with a belly to belly suplex. Scott locked on the STF and an armbar onto the Stinger.

I loved the spot where Scott went for a suplex but Sting reversed into a Scorpion Death Drop. It went down smoothly as Sting turned things around. Sting fired back with a Stinger splash but when he went for another one, he missed. Scott dropped Sting with a dragon suplex.

Lex Luger came down to cheer for Sting and Rick Steiner, in the worst shorts known to man, came out to cheer on Scott. Rick was out in a big, extra-large tie dye shirt and grey cap and striped shorts, which could have actually been his ring attire underneath now that I think about it. Either way, it was not a good look for Rick. 

Scott hit an high-angle slam from the top rope. Sting locked on the Scorpion Deathlock but Scott got the rope. Sting reversed a tombstone piledriver into one of his own for a near fall. Sting went for a big splash in the ring but Scott got the knees up.

Sting suplexed Scott over the top rope but Scott landed on his feet, went for his own suplex on the floor but Luger broke that up. Rick went after Luger. A big brawl broke out between the tag teams and the match was thrown out. The babyface wrestlers tried to break everybody up.

This match was not bad and it parts was actually decent, but it was a victim of the rest of the matches on this show. Vince Russo has a theory that people don’t want to watch long wrestling matches on a television show. If you watch a lot of WWF Attitude Era stuff, a lot of the matches are short as in his eyes, crash TV angles were all the rage at the time. I don’t necessarily believe that theory but if you watch the way the show went down, we got a bunch of boring nothing matches that nobody cared about. After that, we get a long main-event MATCH at the end of a two-hour wrestling show and it just did nothing for me as a viewer. It was just a match and it ended in a typical disqualification.

Maybe in my brain, I think I conditioned myself to except a shorter match than they delivered. If you remember last week’s main-event, The Giant vs Arn Anderson, that lasted about four minutes or so.

052716-WWE-Scott-Hall-WCW-Nitro-Outsiders-NWO.vresize.1200.630.high.0.jpg

Scott Hall came back out and interrupted Eric Bischoff with a microphone. He said Bischoff had a big mouth and “we’re” sick of it. Bischoff constantly asked “whose we?” during this segment. Hall said: “This is where the big boys play? What a joke. Tell billionaire Ted and get three of his very best.” He named-dropped the Nacho Man or the Stinger. He told Bischoff to get anybody they want because they are taking over. He repeated the war line from earlier and they wanted to war it out in the ring where it mattered. Not on mircophones, newspapers, dirtsheets, he said let’s do it in the ring where it matters. He said they were taking over as Bischoff and Bobby looked flustered to end the show.

The closing promo I think was a little better, as at least it gave his ramblings a little direction. He mentioned a six-man tag team match, which you all know where this ended up going but the fans were still in the dark about who Hall’s two other men were in that trio. They just saw it as possibly WCW vs WWF in a match, which was big enough for them. It was left up for speculation and they had about 6-8 weeks to promote the big six man tag team match and build anticipation for “war” in WCW.

I do want to give credit to Eric Bischoff credit here. Every single week on Nitro, Bischoff had been taking shots at the WWF. I, obviously knowing the outcome of the Monday Night Wars, have questioned every single time he took shots at the WWF. It would eventually backfire on him many years later which we’ll get to when we make it to 1999 in this series. However, his shots had a storyline purpose because of this promo.

Scott Hall from the big bad WWF, after hearing all of Bischoff’s jokes and digs at the WWF, basically told him we’re sick of it. Bischoff had put his foot in his mouth as it was put-up or shut-up. This was blurring lines in reality again and when a “WWF” guy decided to take action, Bischoff’s suddenly all shaken up by it at the end of the show. I loved that aspect of this storyline.

DeNlPxsVAAE6Eqf.jpg

That was the show. It was without a doubt the worst Nitro we’ve seen so far. It feels a bit unfair to dub the first two hour Nitro the worst Nitro but it wasn’t like either hour was particularly great. It started with a decent tag team match but was filled with such horrible matches up and down the card. Even the historic angles weren’t that interesting to watch upon a rewatch many years later.

Either way, it is a completely new direction for the company in the storyline and it very much shakes up the business going forward.

 

WCW Nitro Reading Order

UFC ON FOX: DOS SANTOS VS MIOCIC – DOS SANTOS WINS WAR WITH STIPE MIOCIC

Stipe Miocic vs Junior Dos Santos

Junior Dos Santos won an incredible UFC Heavyweight Title eliminator at UFC on Fox, overcoming Stipe Miocic via unanimous decision in a fantastic battle.

Joe Rogan described the contest a fight for the number one contendership, with both Dos Santos and Miocic high in the Heavyweight rankings.

Both fighters went blow for blow, for heavy shots from the get go in the round.

The second round seemed to only just go to Miocic with him connecting with some big time punches and Dos Santos missing the big hits.

But this was no doubt a war and round three proved to be a crucial one for Dos Santos

A huge hit by Dos Santos in the third round floored Miocic, giving him the confidence and the abillity to hit a few more hard shots to Miocic.

Early in the fourth round, Miocic went low with a kick to temporarily stop the fight

This followed up with Miocic getting some offense back in with him having him on the floor at one point, but Dos Santos got back up quickly.

Dos Santos came back with some heavy shots and Miocic hit a few of his own.

A nice takedown by Dos Santos a minute from the end of the round got him some huge point, but a nice switch from Miocic prevented Dos Santos from finishing it!

By the fifth and final round, it was a simple case of hit for hit.

The two top heavyweights gave everything they had to floor the other, with a couple of hits from both men almost ending the match.

The fight ended with both men still on their feet, as were the crowd who gave them a well-deserved applause.

The fight was awarded to Dos Santos via unanimous decision, making him a huge candidate to be next in line for a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review – The Mightiest Heroes Of The DC Universe Duke It Out In Netherealm Studios’ Latest Creation

HAWKGIRL AND THE FLASH: Two of 24 characters duking it out for supremacy in Injustice

HAWKGIRL AND THE FLASH: Two of 24 characters duking it out for supremacy in Injustice

 

Injustice: Gods Among Us is the newest creation by the mad scientists behind the Mortal Kombat series, and is one of few fighting games around to include superheroes in the roster. Built on the foundations laid for the 2011 release of Mortal Kombat, the game puts superhero up against superhero as the DC Universe’s finest are brought together to do battle. But is the game an injustice to fighting games everywhere or has it come to save the day?

Superman establishes a new world order following the destruction of Metropolis and the death of pregnant wife Lois Lane at the hands of The Joker. And to kick off the regime, Superman murders the Joker right in front of the villain’s long-time nemesis Batman. Refusing to stand for Superman’s newly-found brutality, Batman begins an insurgency to battle Superman’s regime and enlists the help of a Justice League from an alternative reality to stop Superman’s reign of terror for good.

NetherRealm Studios have done a great job with the writing of the story. They’ve found a great way to get these superheroes clashing with one another and the cinematics used in the story-mode look stunning. However, with the structure of the story in story mode it’s easy to get lost, especially when alternate realities are involved.

The voice-acting in general is pretty good. A lot of the voice-actors played as the characters before in previous DC popular culture. Kevin Conroy is once again featured as Batman, a role he’s constantly played in the old DC animated television shows and the extremely popular Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games.

There is a wide-variety of characters from the incredibly popular Superman and Batman to the unfamiliar heroes like Hawkgirl and Raven, given the players a lot of heroes and villains to choose from, as well as characters to be released as downloadable content like Batgirl and the bounty hunter Lobo.

NetherRealm also brought in a great deal of interactivity between their free iOS release of the game and the console version, giving players a chance to unlock costumes for the console version by playing on the iOS version and vice versa.

With this feature, the amount of alternate costumes for each character is insane. With the costumes available in game, downloadable content to be released in the future and the costumes unlocked in the iOS version, you get a lot of costumes to choose from for each character. For example, Batman himself has 7 costumes, and that’s without counting the soon-to-be-released downloadable content.

Unsurprisingly, the game does feature a lot of aspects of Mortal Kombat in its gameplay. But that’s not really a bad thing, as the Mortal Kombat style of gameplay really suits the superheroes of the DC universe.

To make this game as distinctive from every other fighter game, a lot of environmental interactivity has been put in the game, giving the players a chance to use the objects surrounding and move into different territories of the stage during fights with amazingly put together cut scenes. While a lot of these cut scenes may seem over the top, it makes the game a lot more fun and unpredictable, and makes this game more than your average 2D fighting game.

Also, there’s the S.T.A.R.S. labs challenge mode which provides something gamers a break from the fighting. Featuring a grand total of 240 missions, it gives players more of a reason to keep playing and provides them a chance to explore the DC universe even further, with a number of non-playable characters like Two-Face and Trigon being featured in the missions.

Overall, I think this is a very fun game to play. NetherRealm Studios have paid a great homage to the DC Universe, and has made incredibly use of the DC licence to provide amazing detail comic books fans everywhere will adore. And even if you’re not a comic book fan, you’ll still have a great time playing this game. Whether you’re bringing friends over to play or if you’re playing online, Injustice is a game that will give everyone playing a great time.

WWE Extreme Rules 2013 Review – Things Go To The Extreme At WWE’s Battleground

BROCK LESNAR AND TRIPLE H: The Game brings the fight to Lesnar before the match even starts

BROCK LESNAR AND TRIPLE H: The Game brings the fight to Lesnar before the match even starts

 

Hey WWE Fans, I am “Macho Man” Thomas Robinson. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

Reason I mentioned the Macho Man is because today marks two years since the “Macho Man” Randy Savage died and I’ve got to pay tribute to the man in some fashion. R.I.P. to Macho Man Randy Savage. What a legend he was, and a great worker and a tremendous talker. And he had so much charisma. And through controversy he built a legacy that will never be forgetten by the wrestling community.

Anyway, Extreme Rules took place last night, and it was a HELL of an event. Seriously enjoyed this event, and there was some great action, as well as some shocking moments match after match. This event really was EXTREME!

 

Chris Jericho gets revenge on Fandango

Chris Jericho FINALLY got a victory over Fandango in the opening match of the night. However, the match was sloppy. I mean, REALLY sloppy. There seemed to be some many botches in this match (mostly because of Fandango) that it’s hard to give the match any credit. Fandango even messed up a roll-up spot. The match looked so out of place and it was a shocking way to start the show. However, if there was 1 thing which saved the match from being a total disaster, it would have to be the ending. A nice sunset flip near the end by Fandango which built the foundations for the finish, which saw Chris Jericho hit the Codebreaker… IN MID-AIR. It looked quality, and it got the crowd buzzing. That ending may have saved this match from being a total dud.

 

The Shield Wins A Title #1: Dean Ambrose wins the US Championship

In a very slick match with a great spots during the match, Dean Ambrose gained The Shield their first title by capturing the US Championship from Kofi Kingston. Yes. And The Shield’s plans for dominating the WWE have started well. Dean Ambrose is definitely the best choice out of the 3 to go for the singles titles. Deano can go in the ring. His Double Underhook Suplex to Kofi off the top rope was something special. It’s the sort off stuff you see at Backyard Wrestling promotions and in the Indies. Something you really don’t see WWE do often is have a guy do that sort of move of the top rope, as they are so protective of their talent (no like that’s a bad thing obvious. You don’t want people get hurt). They won’t even let do CM Punk do the Pepsi Plunge (then again that might be due to Triple H not letting Punk do his finisher off the top rope, not necessarily because it’s dangerous). Regardless, it was a sweet match. Kinda wished it went on longer (it only lasted 6 minutes), but it was still decent.

 

The Celtic Warrior Topples The World’s Strongest Man In A Strap Match

Now I am not one that enjoys these sorts of match. Bull Rope matches, Strap matches, Samoan Strap matches. These matches always turn out to be dreadful in some way or form. Especially when you’ve got two big men like Mark Henry and Sheamus competing. And this match was BORING as hell. In my eyes, anyway. The fans were buzzing about this match for some reason, and were into it a lot. I’ll give the match credit in which the innovative ways to win the match were displayed. There were some innovative tactics used by both men. However, Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, and tagged the 4th post for the win. I wasn’t that interested into the match, and I hate the rules of the match. I also don’t think Mark Henry should have lost in the manner that he did. But then again, Sheamus hasn’t had a PPV victory since Hell In A Cell, so a victory here gets momentum for him. As for Mark, I guess its back to square one.

 

Before we get on to the next fight, there was a hell of a cat-fight between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn in the back. Serious intensity in that scrap, and I seriously wonder why these two weren’t given a PPV match. This may turn out to be a really good feud for the Divas Title if WWE play their cards right. Sure, Kaitlyn is not a great wrestler, but the same can’t be said for AJ. Miss Lee is really good in the ring, and being real-life friends could help them click in the ring. The best of friends in WWE tend to have the best of rivalries. Take Triple H and Shawn Michaels’ rivalry from 2002 to 2004.

 

Alberto Del Rio makes Jack Swagger Utters The Words “I Quit” in a controversial I Quit Match To Become Next In Line for a World Title Shot

Before the match began, Zeb Colter (Jack Swagger’s manager) cut a stellar promo which the crowd ruined so badly with the WHAT chants. Seriously guys. Stone Cold Steve Austin is not even an active wrestler anymore. CUT OUT THE WHAT CHANTS! WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? They’ve gotten so old. This promo was followed by Lillian’s Garcia sounding sexy as hell speaking Spanish while introducing Ricardo Rodriguez (Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring-announcer).

The match between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger lasted around the same amount of time as their Wrestlemania match and was a really fast paced match. And the pace of the match is always a key factor for me when I judge whether a match is good or not. However, I have a serious problem with the ending.

Firstly, when Jack Swagger locked in the Ankle Lock on Del Rio, Zeb Colter threw in Ricardo Rodriguez’s towel for Del Rio and the referee obviously thought that Ricardo threw it and ended the match. However, after a video replay the match was restarted. And afterwards, Del Rio slapped on the Cross-Armbreaker and Jack said “I Quit” way too quickly in my opinion.

The main problem I have though is the fact that the match can apparently end with someone’s manager throwing in the towel for them. I know that’s not how the match actually ended and I Quit matches have ended in towel throwings before, but I just think the rule is absurd. The ONLY way the match is supposed to end is with someone saying I QUIT. The match is called an I Quit match, not a “Whoever’s Manager Throws In A Towel Loses” Match. There should only be ONE WAY to win. And that is having your opponent say I QUIT. Regardless, the match was still a slick match despite that ending. I wish Del Rio and Swagger can get more than 10 minutes for once. These two are really good in the ring and they should be given at least 1 20 minute match, as they could produce something.

 

The Shield Wins A Title #2: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns Wins The Tag Titles – BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD

BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD! In a pretty short tornado tag team match, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins gave The Shield their second piece of gold with a victory over Team Hell-No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) for the tag teams. It wasn’t a bad match, but it only lasted like 7 minutes. Compared to the epic matches The Shield have had before on PPVs this one felt under-whelming. This should have been given at least 15 minutes. And it’s was an anti-climatic way for the Tag Title reign of Daniel Bryan and Kane to end.

245 days as Tag Team Champions and it ended in a 7 minute match. They’ve done a great service as Tag Team Champions, but all good things must come to an end. Does this mean that they’ll split off into singles action? Maybe. I mean they are not dependent on one another. I mean Daniel Bryan is still incredibly over, and Kane’s popularity has rose again after putting the mask back on. If this is the end for Team Hell-No, it’s been great having them as a team. But all The Shield members now have gold! Superb. And things are now looking up for The Shield as they will continue to conquer the WWE. BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!

 

The Viper Slays The Giant With The Return Of The Punt Kick

This Extreme Rules match between Randy Orton and Big Show was really enjoyable. The match wasn’t too slow paced match, and it was a lot better than I thought it’d be. I thought it’d be a tad boring, but the fans were into it, I was into it. And Orton and Big Show put on a great match. I’m surprised, considering most of the matches I see Big Show in normally put me to sleep. And him vs Orton would be a match you’d normally don’t want to see. But this was good. A lot of weapon usage, including Kendo Sticks, Chairs and Ladders. And we saw the return of Randy Orton’s “Punt Kick” which I’m pretty sure was banned a couple of years ago. Randy Orton got a hell of a pop entering too. The hometown hero Orton got a hell of a reaction. It appears things went great at Extreme Rules all around for The Viper. Good match.

 

John Cena and Ryback Fight To A NO CONTEST in the Last Man Standing Match

The match between John Cena and Ryback was a lot better than I thought it’d be. Considering how limited these guys are in the ring, they put on one of the better last man standing matches I’ve seen as of late. There were some really good spots too. There was Ryback’s fall-away slam to Cena through the table laid on the turn-buckle, which I though looked sick. We had John Cena giving Ryback a powerbomb which impressed me greatly. I know he’s done powerbombs before, but this was delivered to a man that’s nearly 300lbs (that’s 20 stone). That was insane, and another tremendous feat of strength by Cena – love him or hate him.

We had 3 different tables spots during the match, and John Cena even speared Ryback through the barricade (which I think is being so over-done nowadays). The match ended when Ryback drove Cena through the wall of the stage, causing all kinds of explosions. The match was ended… via a no contest. WTF? Why did it end in a no contest? The referee should have at least counted them both down or something. Why did it end like this? It was a great last man standing match, don’t get me wrong, but surely it should have ended in a double count out at least. I guess they’ll be a rematch at Payback (yes, that’s the name of the next WWE PPV. Couldn’t have thought up of a better name than Payback?).

 

Brock Lesnar Defeats Triple H Inside The Cage To Win Their Year-Long War

The rubber match between Brock Lesnar and Triple H was an OK cage match. The match showed-off a lot of intensity, especially with the beginning when Triple H jumped Brock Lesnar during his entrance. When Triple H skips his own entrance, you know shits going to go down!

The match was REALLY slow-paced but it was a good for what it was. An all out battle between The Cerebal Assassin and The Beast at St. Louis. I was honestly surprised by how it ended. I was surprised that Brock Lesnar won via pinfall rather than escaping the cage. Sure, Paul Heyman being involved was as predictable as Brock Lesnar screaming like a gorilla. But I didn’t think Lesnar would win off the Paul Heyman assist. A low blow, a sledgehammer shot and an F5 was what it took to put Triple H away.And at Extreme Rules, nearly 1 year after the feud began, the feud ends with Lesnar.

The real question now is… what’s next for Lesnar? A rematch with John Cena? A confrontation with Heyman’s other client CM Punk? A rematch with The Great One? The possibilities are endless for Brock and what happens with him now will be surely interesting.

 

 

OVERALL, I enjoyed the PPV. A slow start, especially with Jericho and Fandango, but I loved a majority of the matches. The latter end of the card was great and the other matches had a lot of things going for them. Loved the WWE title match, loved Show vs Orton, and I love that Brock Lesnar won the war against Triple H. Now the Wrestlemania party is over and with Lesnar, Jericho and Triple H possibly gone for the time being after this, it’ll be interesting to see the direction of WWE. The Shield have titles, Ryback destroyed John Cena, Team Hell-No may be done, and several feuds coming to an end, WWE have the huge task of avoiding a repeat of last year’s really bad spell after Wrestlemania. So far its going OK, but with big time players gone, WWE need to be cautious.

Injustice: Gods Among Us – The Game I’m Most Looking Forward To In 2013

SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: Is it me, or do these two scrap an awful lot?

SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: Is it me, or do these two scrap an awful lot?

What is up, guys. Tom Robinson here. Before I get started, I’ve been getting a considerable views on my blog this week, and I am very thankful of those who have checked out what my blog has to offer. On Tuesday, I successfully achieved 100 blog views in 1 single day, which is an incredible accomplishment for me, and guys, thank you for bumping up the views. But today, I’m doing something a little different. This ain’t a WWE or UFC blog post today. It’s not even related to sports. We’re taking a little venture into the world of gaming, and the world of comic books. As I will discuss Netherealm Studio’s newest creation…

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US!

The Mad Scientists behind Mortal Kombat have struck again, with another fighting game dedicated to the DC superhero realm. Injustice: Gods Among Us puts the mightiest of superheroes and supervillians against each other in the battle for supremacy in the DC universe.

Story

The Joker makes his way to Metropolis and sets off a bomb which kills millions of people. Even Superman’s PREGNANT WIFE Lois Lane! The Man Of Steel gets ultra-pissed and interrupts Batman’s interrogation of The Joker, and takes it upon himself to punch a whole through Joker’s heart, and kill him… right in front of The Joker’s arch-nemesis, The Batman. Superman then imposes a though new world order to take extreme measures to those that cause harm. Of course, not everyone is liking this new regime. One particular being THE GOD-DAMN Batman! Batman gets a resistance force together to try and take down Superman’s regime as a Super-human Civil War commences.

It’s a clever way to give the superheroes of the DC universe  an excuse to fight each other, and having Superman kill Joker IN FRONT of Batman is an incredibly powerful but epic touch (this happens in the comic book mini-series and hopefully will be shown in the game). But this storyline is so similar to Marvel’s “Civil War” storyline arc in the comic-books. Either the writer’s were being lazy or simply COULD NOT find any other way to get the likes of Batman scrapping with the likes of Superman. It’s hard to pit hero vs hero, even in the comic book. It’d take a lot for The Flash to take a swing at Green Lantern, unless there was a legitimate explaination. What I do like is the decision to have Harley Quinn join the resistance, as Batman asking for the villain’s help is incredibly rare considering how Batman has difficulties to trust his fellow heroes, let alone villains. So Netherealm Studios have done pretty good in the story department, and it’ll be interesting to see what goes down when the game releases.

Gameplay

As expected, Injustice builds on the foundations laid out by Mortal Kombat, and of course, similarities are noticeable. Some of the characters in the characters in the game do utilize a few moves from characters from the Mortal Kombat universe, and a few of the characters borrow moves from their past experiences from Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, the crossover released in 2008 before Midway Games were bought by Warner Bros. But other than that, the guys who were in MK vs DC fight totally different in Injustice, with just about all of them having new stances, and new ways to punish people. Bringing interactivity in with the environment around them (like cars) is a pretty cool idea, as it pushes it away from the standard fighter, by having things like Superman throwing cars, and Batman exploding things by firing projectiles. It also makes the game a hell of a lot more fun. Also, the transitions from different parts of the stage do look really cool. Seeing Solomon Grundy punch The Flash through dozens of buildings in Metropolis looks really impressive. However, some of the these transitions do make some of the characters look ridiculously over-powered. I mean, in this clip below about 55 seconds in, The Joker’s punch to Lex Luthor is somehow SO effective it is able to send him hurling through a building. And somehow he survived a satellite laser beam strike called in by Luthor. Video Games – Gives The Laws Of Physics A Middle Finger!

The Roster

So far, 19 characters have been announced, with fairly good balance of heroes and villains. We have the usual suspects, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash. Other Justice League usuals like Green Lantern and Aquaman join the fray, and some lesser-known heroes like Shazam (or Captain Marvel if you choose not to abide by Copyright laws),  Cyborg and Nightwing. They even included Green Arrow and Hawkgirl – two superheroes whose inclusions make me so happy, as they are two really cool characters. Hawkgirl, especially, is a really cool addition, as she has rarely had any attention in DC popular media, with the exception of the Justice League and JLU TV series’. There are plenty of villains to get your hands on with a lot of well-known villains like Sinestro, Bane, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke and Catwoman. Solomon Grundy is also a interesting addition and it’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the Injustice storyline. But then again, he shows a lot of similarities with Bane, as they are both muscle-heads and it’s hard to get two powerhouses to differentiate in move styles. Of course, there’s Lex Luthor in his battle suit and The Joker, who’s not voiced by Mark Hamill, which has enraged the Batman internet community. However, this Joker is actually not that bad of a choice, and The Joker is a hard part to play considering how your work will always be judged against the work of Mark Hamill. The design work, on the whole, is generally well done. A lot of the characters, especially Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl, have been given pretty cool costumes.However, there are some exclusions from the game which I’m rather disappointed with. The Red Hood and Martian Manhunter in particular are two characters who would work brilliantly in this game.

DLC

Pre-Order DLC Bonuses include the “Red Son Pack” at GAME, a pack influenced by the “Red Son” arc, and includes new costumes for Superman, Wonder Woman and Solomon Grundy along with 20 new missions (which look suspiciously similar to the Mortal Kombat mini games from the 2011 release). It’s a rather intriguing pack, and the missions do look very interesting. America’s Best Buy are offering a costume based of the “Blackest Night” storyline, and also a bunch of cool zombie costumes, which are OK in my book. I mean, who doesn’t love zombies? And finally, Wal-Mart are offering 3 costumes based off Arkham City, one for Batman, Joker and Catwoman, which is the pack that stands out for me, as Arkham City is probably one of my favourite games of all time. And it makes sense, since Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman in Arkham City, is the voice Batman in Injustice. Now, you guys in the US are spoiled for choice (I can’t say the same for us Brits though), so it’s a good variety of options to go with. However, I expect all these to be available to everyone in time, and I doubt that they’ll leave the DLC at just that. And it’s a shame not one of the packs have a bonus character as a pre-order bonus, and I do hope a lot of DLC characters are on the horizon.

Graphics/Presentation

The Graphics look incredible. They really pulled out all the stops to make this game as jaw-droppingly beautiful as possible, with the stage transitions looking stunning, and scenes like Superman flying someone into space, and slamming them back down to earth are sensational. But then again, it’s hard to expect anything less, since Netherealm are a part of Warner Brothers. However, I’m struggling to see how this game is not going to get lag with all this crazy ass action going on. I do hope Netherealm have worked on their online problems from Mortal Kombat,

As fighting game enthusiast, this is a game I’m very much highly-anticipating. This looks and plays well, and is a lot more different then your average fighter, with a decent storyline. As a comic book fan, this is game which I think will be really cool, considering the great-variety of characters involved, and the elements of the DC universe being brought into video-game-form. So on paper, this is a match made in heaven, and on April 19th (the release date for Europe), the creators of Mortal Kombat get another chance to show that superheroes and fighting games, two of my greatest loves, can co-exist.