Tag Archive: Vince McMahon

WWE Legend Stone Cold Steve Austin is turning WWE 2K16 into WWE 2K 3:16.

Stone Cold Steve Austin, a six-time WWE Champion, three-time Royal Rumble winner, and 2009 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame will officially grace the cover of WWE 2K16 this year. Looking to raise some hell in video game form, the official announcement came via trailer this morning showcasing Stone Cold digging up a key aspect of his past, the Smoking Skulls WWE Championship belt.

Austin was one of WWE’s most celebrated superstars during the Attitude Era of the late 90s, cementing his status as an icon with classic rivalries against Bret “The Hitman” Hart, The Rock, and especially WWE CEO Vince McMahon.

WWE 2K16 will be available for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, and PS3 on October 27.

A not-so-Royal Rumble

It’s been a difficult transition from current-gen hardware to next-gen for a lot of the yearly sports franchises, but these titles seem to fall into one of two categories. Some series are taking the challenge head-on, while others are trying desperately not to rock the boat, with hopes of riding out whatever wave of momentum they’ve built up over the last seven years to survive their final current-gen entry.

WWE 2K14 falls in the latter category. Even taking events like a huge publisher change into consideration, it feels like the franchise is just ready for current-gen to be over and done with and is biding its time.

It’s not that WWE 2K14 is a bad experience. I still had a lot of fun with this year’s version of WWE’s annual gaming series, but a lot of its features and ideas seem stale, with little innovation in any of its modes. The same glitches and AI shortcomings that seem to pester the game year in and year out persist—Extreme Rules matches remaining counterfests where wrestlers just keep ripping whatever weapon they have out of each other’s hands and doing no real damage, players seeming to meld through the ropes instead of climbing over them, or character models looking like they’re floating off the mat when you go for the pin.

A perfect example of the lackadaisical approach taken to this year’s game is the WWE Universe mode. This option is so outdated that it still lists the Wednesday-night show as WWE Superstars, even though it’s now WWE Main Event and Superstars has been relegated to an Internet-only show on Friday nights. The only real addition to the mode this year is the Rivalry feature, where you can change storylines to force wrestlers to face each other—with varying stipulations—week in and week out. It’s really just a small customization feature that doesn’t do much for the experience as a whole–and serves to add more clutter to a user interface that’s already in desperate need of an overhaul.

Sure, it’s still interesting to create a character—or take control of one of your favorites—and put them through the paces of a year in the WWE and see if you can become top dog. But how about we expand this into NXT, the WWE’s developmental promotion? You could start as a rookie and really work your way up or learn new moves through a mentor, just like on the show. This could give us a chance to tell a much longer, more detailed story than we could before. And can we at least get the schedule of shows right? Yes, we can create our own, but let’s at least start from an accurate default.

While on the subject of creating things, I do have to say that while nothing’s really changed with the character, entrance, moveset, or arena-creator modes, nothing really had to, either. I can’t imagine these being any better than they already are, besides perhaps offering more options with greater detail. Hopefully, that will come with some of the added horsepower next year. The WWE series is known for having one of the best creator suites in the industry—and that, at the very least, remains in pristine condition.

Something that has seen some changes, however, is the story mode. Last year told the tale of the Attitude Era, while this year brings us 30 Years of WrestleMania. The major focus of this mode revolves around reliving 46 epic matches from three decades of the most dominant brand in wrestling, trying to pull off the same iconic moments that made these matches classics to begin with: Hogan bodyslamming Andre at Wrestlemania III, Stone Cold Steve Austin refusing to tap to Bret Hart in WrestleMania 13 (one of my personal favorites), all the way up to John Cena versus The Rock from just last year.

Hardcore wrestling fans will be able to recognize this is just an extension of last year’s mode, but instead of focusing on one specific time period (which also happens to be the shortest chapter here to prevent too much crossover), it draws from the WWE’s long history. It also conjures up a lot of memories of 2009’s WWE’s Legends of WrestleMania game—mostly early on—in regards to the matches chosen and the objectives given. It was like déjà vu; I had this constant feeling I’d already played half the mode before I even started it. However, it’s still tremendously fun to relive so many vintage moments, and it serves as a great learning tool for younger wrestling fans—or a trip down memory lane for older ones.

But there’s a lot more to 30 Years of Wrestlemania than just reliving the best matches of yesteryear. Another option in the mode is challenging “The Streak.” Here, you’re presented with two choices: Defeat the legendary Undertaker at WrestleMania, where his AI’s been amped up to near-impossible levels to offer you the truest test of your wrestling skills, or play as the Undertaker in the ultimate Gauntlet match against the entire WWE roster.

The Gauntlet match choice sounds much tougher than it is, though. Most combatants don’t really start to put up a fight until you’ve eliminated at least 25 guys, and the Undertaker recovers his health after every five. A score is assigned in either option, giving the entire mode a very arcade-like feel; it’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the simulation-heavy game. But unless you become obsessed with bettering your score, this mode sorely lacks any replay value. Even a difficult Undertaker can be countered after you learn his timing, and the Gauntlet match can take close to an hour for each runthrough of the roster, which is far too long for anything to be deemed truly “arcadey.”

WWE 2K14 is a decent entry into the series, but it lacks any changes that could help the franchise stay completely fresh and fun; this feels like a mailed-in effort before the advent of next-gen. The customization options we’ve come to know and love are still here to complement the most robust roster of old-school and current wrestlers yet. It just feels like the overall presentation and WWE Universe mode need to see the same spit-and-polish effort that goes into story mode every year.

Developer: Yuke’s/Visual Concepts • Publisher: 2K Sports • ESRB: T – Teen • Release Date: 10.29.13
30 Years of WrestleMania will be a fun stroll down memory lane for older, more diehard WWE fans. Otherwise, WWE 2K14 feels like a mailed-in effort before next-gen hits, especially as the WWE Universe mode starts to show its age.
The Good 30 Years of WrestleMania is a great follow up to last year’s Attitude Era mode.
The Bad WWE Universe mode is starting to show its age; same glitches we see every year.
The Ugly Mae Young. Just because.
WWE 2K14 is available on Xbox 360 and PS3. Primary version reviewed was for Xbox 360.

Before we get into how AJ Lee did as GM (aside from look amazing in her power suit, although I definitely prefer the plaid two-piece), I need to talk about the San Fernando Valley Screw Job. This is basically what happens when a cable service provider (Time Warner) has a monopoly over a particular area of the country, (where I live in the valley), and whose service goes out constantly. I watch maybe five shows on TV, with Monday Night RAW being one of them, and to lose nearly 60 minutes of this show for no good reason drives me nuts. So despite their best efforts to clearly sabotage The Sleeper Hold this week on EGMNOW.com, I will continue onward with the two hours of the show I was able to see, plus piece together via illegal YouTube clips.

Main Plot Overview: The road to Summerslam continued to heat up last night as John Cena and the Big Show squared off at the command of AJ to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship. CM Punk came down for the main event and joined Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole on commentary, which he dominated with his expert analysis and quick wit, before being bowled over by Big Show and Cena when the fight carried outside the ring.

In his rage, Punk interfered with the match and took both men down and due to the disqualification proclaimed there was no number one contender because both men were losers. AJ quickly squashed this unofficial ruling though and deemed them both winners and therefore the WWE Championship match at Summerslam was now a triple threat match between Punk, Cena, and Big Show, which was expected. The only question now is whether they can continue this three way feud all the way to Royal Rumble in order to have a Fatal 4-Way match with The Rock involved.

In other news that will definitely shake-up Smackdown on Friday nights, and thankfully help with the awful broadcast team there, Booker T has been named Smackdown’s new GM according to WWE.com.

Match of the Night: After confronting AJ Lee in her office, Daniel Bryan wanted some answers for her leaving him at the altar. AJ explained that she knew Daniel was full of it after seeing insane asylum orderlies backstage, thinking Daniel was going to have her committed once they were legally wed. So AJ was going to have Daniel take on Sheamus that night in a non-title match, with the WWE Universe deciding the stipulation. And we wanted to see a street fight.

By no means was this the best street fight you’re likely to see from the WWE. But the liberal use of kendo sticks, the steel steps, and a chair wedged between turnbuckles helped to liven up what was a very tight match technically from both men. No surprise, Sheamus emerged victorious as he pummeled Daniel Bryan and then laid him out on the steel steps in the ring with a Brogue Kick for the victory.

Another contender for this was the Jericho/Christian vs Ziggler/Miz tag match, but unfortunately my cable provider was nowhere to be seen and so I missed it and I can only call them as I see them folks. Kind of like an easily distracted WWE referee.

Promo of the Night: The night got off to a bang as CM Punk came to the ring to defend his actions last week on RAW when he clotheslined The Rock. Punk specifically called out Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler for saying Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe when he did that.

So Punk got right in Lawler’s face and sat Indian style on the announce table right in front of Jerry and explained that RAW should end every episode on the WWE Champion because it is the most prestigious belt in the business and therefore whoever holds it should hold the WWE Universe in his hand. Punk never turned his back on anyone. He was simply putting The Rock in his place for trying to steal the spotlight that Punk clearly earned. And I have to agree with him there. The show should end every night on the WWE Champ instead of John Cena and whatever ridiculous feud he’s stuck in that night. And it should definitely not end on The Rock will most likely lose at the Royal Rumble as he is clearly not ready to do RAW on a weekly basis.

So, this severe tongue lashing from Punk, directed right at Jerry Lawler, and the subsequent calling out by the Big Show, which just led to AJ making the main event announcement of the evening, was clearly the promo of the night.

Shocker of the Night: The only reason why this was Shocker of the Night was because for once Brodus Clay got jobbed instead of doing it to someone else. Damian Sandow came down to the ring, proclaiming himself a martyr, sacrificed for the people by DX the previous week and so in an attempt to bring culture back to the WWE Universe, he was going to start with Brodus and ridiculous dance-off he was having with Vickie Guerrero.

Honestly, I’m glad something stopped Vickie because she continued to be one of the most annoying figures in the WWE. But I would’ve preferred if Sandow and Clay had an actual match instead of Sandow sucker punching Brodus and then working the big man’s ‘injured’ knee. Maybe we will get that fight later on down the road, but as it was for last night, I was definitely surprised to see that Sandow wasn’t getting jobbed by Clay, but sort of did it the other way around.

Cheap Pop of the Night: The one-man band Heath Slater came out and talked about getting his WWE career back on track. Instead of facing off against a legend though, he faced off against a Legend Killer. That’s right, the crowd went crazy when Randy Orton made his return to RAW and quickly hit all his signature moves, much like the legends did in previous weeks on Slater, and finished off the one-man band with a thunderous RKO. Not only was it an easy win for Randy and a chance to get him back in front of the WWE Universe, but it definitely got the crowd fired up and earned out Cheap Pop of the Night.

It was RAW’s 1000th episode, and unfortunately the WWE still can’t find a way to work some solid wrestling into the show even at three hours long now. Although I understand that it was a bit of a celebration, and hopefully things will pick up a bit next week, I can’t forgive the blatant extra advertising and time wasted pandering to the WWE Universe. As a whole, those of us who grew up in the ‘Attitude Era’ had a few extra laughs and it was nice to see legends like Bret Hart again. All in all though, this was a monumental waste of time and I fear for the future of Monday Night RAW’s ability to entertain us.

Main Plot Overview: The big shake-up in the main plot of the show was The Rock re-inserting himself into the WWE Championship picture, proclaiming he has been promised a title match at The Royal Rumble in January. Of course, with that still being six months away, the title can change hands several times potentially, with the first time being that night with John Cena cashing in his MITB contract.

Not surprisingly though, the match was interfered with by The Big Show and Cena became the first man to ever win his MITB contract title match, but not the title as a title cannot change hands via outside interference. The most infuriating thing about this match though was the sad attempt by WWE to possibly turn CM Punk heel, as he did what everyone else in the world would do and tried to capitalize on the opportunity afforded him by The Big Show. It’s not good for a face to win like a heel though, so this move likely means Punk is turning his back again on the people, especially after he clotheslined The Rock during his People’s Elbow on The Big Show.

Match of the Night: In three hours of programming, the WWE put on two good matches. The first was a 6-man tag match between Sheamus/Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio and Jericho/Dolph Ziggler/Alberto Del Rio. The match of the night though was the other good match in Christian vs The Miz for the IC belt.

Marking the 66th time the title was defended on MNR (average one defense every 15 weeks on the show), Christian came out with a flurry against the Miz, quickly taking to the air and hitting moves like missile dropkicks and crossbodies. But Miz would counter often and Christian would be unable to hit The Kill Switch. Instead, the Miz would finally get his chance and would take advantage, hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale and capturing the IC belt.

This was significant not only due to a major belt changing hands, but because this completes the career Triple Crown for the Miz who was a former WWE and US Champion. It also shows WWE’s commitment to insert the Miz right back into some decent storylines after some time away by giving him this storied mid-tier belt.

Promo of the Night: After the failed wedding of Daniel Bryan and AJ (more on that shortly), Daniel Bryan threw a tantrum of epic proportions. And CM Punk came down to the ring to gloat. Daniel Bryan didn’t take too kindly to this and proceeded to proclaim himself the greatest of all-time.

The Rock then had issue with this and came down to the ring to not only tell the people about The Royal Rumble, but to put Daniel Bryan in his place. After putting together a rhyme about how Daniel Bryan looks like something out of Lord of the Rings and is nothing but a glorified Oompa Loompa, the Rock gave Daniel Bryan a present. A Rock Bottom. Seeing the Rock rattle off an old-school promo like that was very enjoyable and so it is no surprise to see The Rock take home something he would have often back in his heyday, and that is The Promo of the Night. 

Shocker of the Night: Shortly before Daniel Bryan’s tantrum, he was the happiest guy in the world, as he was about to marry AJ (a lucky guy indeed). But like most weddings staged in a WWE ring, all was not well. And so the shocker came when we found out when AJ was saying ‘yes’ to someone else. Specifically, Mr. McMahon. But as Mr. McMahon explained to Daniel Bryan, it was a business proposition she was agreeing to. AJ was to be the new GM of MNR, to which I broke out with a ‘yes’ chant of my own! Our lovely geek goddess then proceeded to skip around the ring in her usual care-free demeanor as Daniel Bryan, with special guest reverend Slick, were left standing in shock in the middle of the ring. This is one of the few reasons I can’t wait for RAW episode 1001 now. 

Cheap Pop of the Night: The night started off with a bang as promised, as DX came out to the ring to kick things off. I was a bit disappointed though because it was only HHH and HBK and I remember when DX was actually a much larger stable than these two WWE mainstays. But I should learn not to doubt DX as they always have something up their degenerate sleeves and after some humorous banter between HBK and HHH, almost all the rest of the crew came out. X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn, in a military jeep, came rolling out to ringside and the gang was back together and for the first time in a while, I legitimately cheered at the TV while watching MNR. And it only got better as they hit all their catch phrases and even embarrassed Damien Sandow, who is definitely turning heads as a heel and passed his initiation as one after he was promptly disposed of by DX.