Jerry Lawler picks his favorites for the new Legend vs. Superstar mode.
The last time IGN saw WWE All Stars (THQ's arcadey wrestling game where grapplers look like action figures and moves defy gravity), Fantasy Warfare was what stood out. This mode takes a WWE Legend and a current WWE Superstar, pits them against one another, and has the player decide who is the greatest. That might not sound too impressive as the whole point of WWE All Stars is having great ones face off against each other, but each Fantasy Warfare pairing has an angle. The Greatest Big Man, Most Charismatic, etc. Better yet, each of these pairings is bundled with footage from the WWE archives that supports the created feud.
It's cool stuff, but until you get your hands on the game in a few weeks, the "what if" arguments will continue. To help make the wait easier -- and to showcase a few of the matches -- IGN grabbed the one and only Jerry "The King Lawler to give us some expert insight on the competitors who are set to square off in the squared circle.
Take it away, King.
There's no other way to say it — I'm excited for WWE All Stars.
I've had the privilege of being a part of WWE for nearly two decades and a part of the great WWE video games all these years. I was part of the first Raw game on Super Nintendo and SEGA Genesis back in the day as the silent announcers at the table with Vince McMahon (no voiceovers in those days). I've been a part of the playable roster, and part of the announce team for the SmackDown vs. Raw series over the years. But this is the most fun and exciting game I've seen THQ and WWE release to date.
I was actually pumped for this game even before I saw the game itself — before I saw the awesome graphics and larger-than-life action. Just the concept of Fantasy Warfare, matching up the greatest WWE Superstars and Legends of all-time against each other in these big dream matches got me excited. Then, when I saw that I would not only be a part of the roster, but teaming up with J.R. on commentary again was icing on the cake. Just from looking at the lines before I got into the booth, I knew we had something special.
IGN and THQ asked yours truly to talk about the Fantasy Warfare feature in WWE All Stars. When they asked, I immediately thought of my favorite match I ever called, one I thought we would never see – The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8. Two giant Superstars from two generations, in one ring, just like the game. You never dreamed it would take place, but it did. And it was so special.
That's what this game, and Fantasy Warfare in particular, is about. You can have those matches any time you want to have them. Even guys further apart than The Rock and Hulk Hogan can be in the same ring. Guys like Andre against Big Show, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. John Morrison. Matches that could never happen in real life, you now have at your fingertips. You can decide who is the "Greatest Big Man," or the "Biggest Superstar." Talk about dream matches. So many possibilities, so many combinations — it's mind boggling.
I have the unique advantage of having been in the ring with nearly all the Superstars and Legends on the WWE All Stars roster. I have had the privilege and honor (with some help of perfect timing and career longevity) of being in the ring with this epic roster, having started my career in the early '70s and being an active performer up to this day. Because of this, I think I've got some unique perspectives on some of these greatest matchups that haven't happened… until now. Let's have a look...
Biggest Superstar: John Cena vs. Hulk Hogan
Here's a match we will never get to see in real life, but it will definitely be a favorite among the players. The Immortal Hulk Hogan, arguably the most well-known and famous Superstar of all-time, against John Cena, the most famous and biggest star today. As an overall package, these guys are pretty even, which is what makes it such a great match. They define the term "mega stars." Having been in the ring with both guys, Cena definitely has the edge in terms of technical ability, as he has a greater arsenal and repetoire. But Hogan had some very well-known moves that work well for him. When he hit the big leg drop, you knew that match was over. But, if I had to pick, if Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Hogan, the match would be his.
Greatest Big Man: Big Show vs. Andre the Giant
It would be incredible to see these guys face-to-face in the middle of the ring. When you see Big Show, you think, "this is the world's largest athlete." How could anybody figure out a way to defeat him? But I knew Andre the Giant personally and have been in the ring with him before. And until you've faced him face-to-chest and heard that bell ring, there was never, ever a more imposing competitor than Andre the Giant. All the respect in the world to Big Show, but even he would have been hard-pressed to hang with Andre. Andre has the size and strength advantage at 7-foot-4 and 525 pounds. He was so massive and strong, he could lift a car or punt a guy out of the ring -- like you can do in this game. Big Show would have an advantage in agility, but I would have to personally go with Andre the Giant in this battle. But in WWE All Stars, the outcome is up to you!
Greatest Warrior: Ultimate Warrior vs. Sheamus
Man, that is quite a name to live up to — Ultimate Warrior. But when you say the words "Ultimate Warrior," that's what comes to mind. The rope shaking, the music, the painted face, the intensity – it's what everybody knows. And for Sheamus to come along and claim that he's the greatest warrior of all-time, well, that's pretty brash. But to be honest, he backs it up. I've never seen anyone that has come as far and as fast as the "Celtic Warrior" in WWE. He won the WWE Championship in his first six months in the company, and I've personally have felt the wrath of the big Brogue Kick. If he hits that on anyone, including Warrior, it's lights out. Both have their key signature moves, but if Sheamus ever laid that kick upside his head, I think Warrior would be handing the Greatest Warrior mantle to Sheamus.
Superior Lifestyle: Stone Cold vs. CM Punk
You don't get two guys who are more polar opposites than this. There's something to be said about the lifestyle that CM Punk adheres to – it's a good thing. It's worked for me, and I believe that's why I've had a career that has endured for so many decades. I can honestly say I've never tasted any alcohol — not a sip. I've never had a cigarette or tried any drugs in my lifetime. It's worked well for me. But I just question Punk's logic and motivations as to why he chooses his lifestyle and how he imposes it on other people. He's always acting like he's holier than thou.
Stone Cold Steve Austin on the other hand… well, he's thirsty all the time. He told me once, "If I had all the money I spent on beer in my life, I'd turn around and spend it again." He's got a balanced diet, and that means a beer in each hand. This week on Monday Night Raw, he made his triumphant return to WWE, and I was trying to count how many beers they threw to him after he gave the returning JBL that Stone Cold Stunner. I lost count. You know, that's worked for him. I'm not saying anyone should emulate Steve's lifestyle, but if you want to emulate someone's success in the ring, you would certainly want to be as successful as Stone Cold, even moreso than CM Punk.
Perfectly Awesome: Mr. Perfect vs. The Miz
From my own point of view, the two biggest title matches of my career were with The Miz in recent months and with Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, back in 1988. My matches with The Miz were my first shots for the WWE Championship, and they took place in a TLC match on Raw and in a match on pay-per-view at the Elimination Chamber.
I also battled Curt Hennig for the AWA Championship in 1988 in Memphis and won that match. I've had first-hand experience with both of these self-absorbed egomaniacs. If you examine history, there have been some guys who have really thought a lot of themselves, but these two are on top of the list. If there was anybody who ever carried on a great love affair with themselves, these two are the epitome. But who loved themselves the most? With both Miz and Perfect, if you weren't talking about them, they weren't listening. No time for anybody else. So, what we have here is a clash of egos, and one of the most fun matches to watch. For either of these Superstars to lose to the other would be the epitome of defeat. It would be the end of their careers, their egos are that large. That said, this is one of the greatest matches featured in WWE All Stars.
Most Charismatic: Macho Man vs. John Morrison
A very important part of a Superstar's persona is the way he looks. The outward appearance. You have one opportunity to make a first impression, and when it comes to huge first impressions, the first two that come to mind are Savage and Morrison.
Randy Savage, when the music hit, and he came out with the sparking robes and the crazy, outlandish cowboy hat, wild sunglasses, and the rest — it was an immediate attention-getter. He was so flamboyant and colorful. He astounded you before you ever got in the ring. It was so much fun to watch him do his entrance even before it was time to get business done after the bell rung. Every week, it was something different. You never knew what look to expect.
One of the most memorable matches in my career was against Randy Savage at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky in the 1980s. I had an intense rivalry against Randy, his father Angelo, and his brother Lanny, over the stomping grounds. Finally, it got to a point where the territory wasn't big enough for both of us. Who was gonna stay, and who was gonna go? Well, we packed 22,000 seats in a Loser Leaves Town Match, and I came out on top. However, it was one of the toughest and hardest-fought matches I ever had in my career. He got business done when it came time.
Today, John Morrison carries the torch. I can't imagine how much money he has to spend on his wardrobe on the way to the ring. But it doesn't end there. Then, there is his diamond-studded ring gear, which only he pulls off. I mean, when you see him make his entrance, I still don't know how he does it. But, all of a sudden, he goes into slow-motion and that long, flowing hair starts blowing in the wind. It's an eye-popping sight, to be sure.
Once they pull off the flashy robes and all the entrance gear, the flashiness doesn't stop. They have the most breathtaking moves of their respective generations. Is there anything that compares with the parkour-styled offense of Morrison and the patended Starship Pain? But then, you think of the image of Savage standing on the top rope, poised looking down at an opponent, then leaping and coming down with the huge elbow. These guys don't let the fans down. They still sparkle and shine when the bell rings.
I can't say which persona I enjoy more, but the two are in my top few personas of all time.
What do you think of the King's picks? Who do you think would win these pairings? Let us know in the comments below