Born André René Roussimoff and coming in at 7-foot-4, 477-pounds, Andre the Giant was a man who was both literally and metaphorically larger than life. Now, HBO Sports, WWE and the Bill Simmons Media Group have released the trailer for Andre The Giant, a documentary film examining the life and career of one of the most beloved legends in WWF WWE history.
As we come to the end of this cinematic year, we have a chance to reflect and to look at what awesome movies came out and what are still to come in 2016. 2015 was certainly a great year for one thing, the mash-up movie.
The WWE’s charismatic, star-studded roster has finally entered next gen. Several years and installments of official WWE branded wrestling games have led up to this highly anticipated moment. Longtime game developer Yuke’s has partnered with the basketball sim geniuses at Visual Concepts to properly bring WWE’s 2015 sequel to the Xbox One and PS4. Unfortunately, WWE 2K15’s overall content package is slimmed down tremendously in several areas, which makes it feel like an incomplete and disappointing entry in the series.
From first glance, it’s easy to see just how incredible the game looks. The Xbox One and PS4’s versions of this “wrassler” looks impressive. Some of the models sported in-game look completely identical to their real-world counterparts, and the arenas look just as awesome. It’s pretty easy to spot which ones were given the next-gen visual overhaul and see which Superstars had their previous game models simply ported over. Some of the roster members (John Cena, Randy Orton) look incredible, while a few wrestlers (CM Punk, some of the Divas) don’t look as clean and realistic as everyone else. WWE 2K’s legacy issues (body parts getting entangled with each other during awkward move exchanges) are still present, sadly.
The audio department excels and falters in several areas. The in-game soundtrack is a huge step down from WWE 2K14. Losing the option to jam out to wrestling themes and original tunes is a major letdown. The curated tracks provided by John Cena aren’t very plentiful and to be quite honest, most of them aren’t very good. You’ll likely grow tired with them after just a few play sessions. The commentary has to be commended for its notable improvements. Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler went out of their way to record better lines and freshen up their vocal exchanges. Their commentary really shines during the classic feud moments seen in Showcase Mode.
WWE 2K15’s gameplay is familiar, but a few new mechanics both aid and hurt the gameplay at times. The grapple system is a nice addition that replicates the flow of action seen at the start of real wrestling bouts. It feels good to get into a heated grapple exchange with a fellow player and become the victor. These moments lead to players getting an advantage over the opponent and put their technical wrestlers skill on full display. The stamina system is cool in theory. As matches go longer, Superstars begin to move slower and reflect their damaged conditions on-screen. These mid-to-end match mechanics become quite the bore, though. Wrestlers begin moving at a snail’s pace, which kills the action mighty fast. The novelty of hitting a finisher and pulling off a fatigue filled pin wears off just as fast.
Two of the major modes included in this new iteration includes MyCareer Mode and Showcase Mode. MyCareer takes your created wrestler on a journey that starts from WWE’s training camp and finishes on the biggest stage of them all as far as wrestling is concerned. Things start out well as you enter the NXT training camp and fight your way through fellow up and comers. This mode loses its luster quickly due to a number of factors – repetitive matches, text-heavy moments with rivals, a painfully slow build to improving your Superstar and uninteresting story lines. The potential for MyCareer being great is there, but the flawed execution will surely disappoint you.
Showcase Mode also showcased the potential to be a huge, positive addition to the series. Two major rivalries (John Cena vs. CM Punk and Shawn Michael vs. Triple H) are included. Similar to last year’s 30 Years of WrestleMania mode, you’ll take control of certain wrestlers and complete match specific goals during key moments of a storied feud. The attention to detail this mode sports must be applauded. The extra cutscenes, real life footage and cool unlockable items make this mode more of a joy. However, it’s hard to completely love this mode. Only two rivalries are playable and the incredible suite of legends seen in WWE 2K14 are missing this year. Having the option to play legendary rivalries such as Steve Austin vs. The Rock or Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels is an issue that’s tough to overlook for hardcore wrestling fans.
WWE 2K15’s customization options are decent, but they also come with some glaring omissions. Story designer, customized championship and even the option to create your own Divas have been taken out. The option to transport real-world images into the game via your console’s camera is a very cool option. Pulling modern logos from your favorite wrestlers new gear and porting them onto your created Superstars keeps your custom roster up to date. It’s still saddening to see that you only have the option to create 25 wrestlers instead of 100 this time, though.
WWE 2K15 will elicit a long sigh from longtime followers of the series. Most of the incredible content sported in WWE 2K14 are cut out completely from this new-gen sequel, some Superstars don’t look as good as their counterparts, the roster is depleted and the two most talked about modes are plagued by annoying problems. WWE 2K15 looks next-gen, but it completely feels like a last-gen step back for the entire franchise…
WWE Survivor Series 2013 is officially in the books. Survivor Series has been a marquee event in WWE programming since the company began it’s journey into the realm of Pay-per-view entertainment. With so many years of historic moment from the show, fans were counting on WWE to deliver in what was considered an “underbooked” event. World Wrestling Entertainment did just that tonight.
The show featured three title fights as well as a tag match between the emerging Wyatt family and the always popular CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. However the show stayed true to its roots incorporating two traditional survivor series format matches.
The Usos/Mysterio/Rhodes brothers vs. The Real Americans/Shield
This match was a good match as we you would probably assume it would be. Over the last month or so, everything the Rhodes touch has turned gold (pun intended). That’s not to say they haven’t received help from others. The Shield have done something I have not seen anyone do in a long time, stay relevant and interesting since their debut. Not to mention despite the repeated attempts of cheap heat from manager Zeb Colter, The Real Americans are hot. People love to watch these guys go, myself included, so essentially WWE threw all their best into one big match, and it delivered.
The match seen Ambrose DQ’ed and ejected early leaving a four on five scenario and eventually the entire team was eliminated until only Shield powerhouse Roman Reigns was left standing. Reigns hit spear after spear essentially destroying the entire team by himself. At the end of the match Mysterio left Reigns set up for the patented 619, only to have Reigns come off the ropes and damn near break Rey in half with a spear from hell. Rumors have been circulating that Roman is potentially in line for a huge singles push and tonight may have been the first step.
Match Rating: A
Big E (c) Vs. Curtis Axel
This match was certainly an attempt to ride the moment from last weeks RAW, where Big E Langston defeated Axel to win the title. The match took place early on the card and was a decent contest. Both of these guys are young and still crafting their own style and in a few years I think they both could be big names. However now it’s hard to really get into their matches. Even during Axel’s feud with Punk he still is battling to really get over.
The match was entertaining at least, you really didn’t know what to expect. Axel hit a perfect plex on Big E and it seemed the match was done until the straps came down and Langstong delivered a big ending and got the three count.
Match Rating: C+
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan Vs. The Wyatt family
I would venture to say of all the matches on the card fans were into this one maybe the most. The Wyatts are another young team trying to get over, Punk and Bryan are always entertaining and Bray Wyatt is flat-out awesome. The match had a lot of the typical Punk/Bryan high-octane stuff. Both were singled out at different points by the Wyatts and battled out of it. Probably the highlight of the match was Punk going up top to deliver a big elbow drop to Rowen in the ring and instead flew outside the ring taking out an unsuspecting Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper.
The match ended with Bryan taking one member out with a flying knee while Punk hit the GTS. Although the match was good, it was definitely predictable, especially the ending. I don’t think anyone is gonna buy the guy who out right beat John Cena several months ago, or the longest reigning WWE champion of the modern era, to be beaten by two young up and coming guys. My real issue here is the story. No one is explaining anything behind the angle and it’d be nice to have had some build up on why the match was even happening. It’s possible this is all just to get the Wyatts over but some story telling would be nice.
Match Rating B-
John Cena (c) Vs. Alberto Del Rio
I know it’s rough but we had to see a rematch. The Del Rio/Cena feud had to go at least two PPV’s to sell the angle. The fact is there is no one to challenge Cena for the strap, and by winning the title Cena has exposed the ugly truth that the WHC belt has become a joke. We now see that big names haven’t been holding the title prior to Cena because the routine guys we’d see challenge for it would never hang with Cena in a match. Guys like Sheamus, Del Rio, Barrett, the list goes on, they aren’t in Cenas class. So how can you have any feuds over this title. Well many said him winning the belt was the best thing that’s happened to the belt in a long time, and later on I’ll explain why.
The match was pretty good given the circumstances. Both Cena and Del Rio threw their finishers at one another and we saw repeated kick outs and submission breaks. Eventually Cena was able to deliver a AA and pin Del Rio to retain the title.
Match Rating: B+
Over the night we seen Randy Orton parading through the backstage area bantering and politicking for any kind of help he could get in his match with Big Show tonight. He had several confrontations with the Authority and was continuously reassured he would receive no help. Prior to his match John Cena was shown with a doctor assuring the Authority that his arm was fine and we were not privy to whatever it is they were discussing before the camera started rolling. Orton walked in and Cena exited.
Randy Orton (c) Vs. Big Show
This match was impossible to hype. Big show has been watered down by WWE practically since the day he signed his first WWE contract. So needless to say no one really seen Show taking this match. The real story was the rift that had developed with Orton and the Authority as of late. The match itself was not great. Fans were letting out boring chants throughout the majority of the contest and half the match was Orton running away.
After the referee was taken out in a collision the two battled outside the ring without ever really breaking a rule, which was odd. The two went into the crowd briefly before Big Show delivered the KO punch (worst finisher ever). Randy was tossed into the ring and as Show was reentering Triple H’s music hit and distracted him long enough for Orton to RKO Show for a three count. The match itself was a D rating, and as Triple H walked down to the ring I could feel the Ghost of PPV’s past lurking in as you could almost feel the fans getting ready to erupt in disapproval. However the most unlikely of heroes would save the day.
Match Rating: D
John Cenas music hit as Orton celebrated in the ring. Cena walked right through The Authority along with Kane, even stopping between Hunter and Stephanie to hold the WHC belt above his head. He got in the ring and held the title up at Orton and the two went into a stare down flaunting their titles back and forth as The Authority just clapped and watched.
As I stated before, WWE has no choice now but to Acknowledge that there is no contenders for the WHC, and potentially that the roster has become too small for two major titles. I’m not entirely sure what is about to happen, but it’s one of two things that will please fans enormously. A, John Cena is getting ready for a heel turn and teased it tonight, or B we’re about to witness a title unification that is WAY overdue. One way or another, this poses a very interesting story line for RAW, as well as the rumor of the return of Vince McMahon.
The show also seen the cast of Total Divas beat AJ Lees team in a Survivor series format match. Ryback called out a challenger from the back and was beat by a returning Mark Henry. And Miz defeated Kofi Kingston in the Pre Show.