WWE 13

This past weekend I was in Los Angeles, California for the 25th anniversary of WWE Summer Slam.  But more importantly, I was there with some other members of the WWE Games Community to check out WWE ’13 for the very first time.
Unlike last year however, we didn’t get nearly as much time with the game like we did the year before.  So I sincerely apologize ahead of time if some information you all are looking for is not present here, myself and the rest of the community did the best we could with the time we had.  So let’s not waste any more time shall we? Let’s get right to it!
As I’m sure all of you watched live over the weekend, the roster reveal for WWE ’13 was simply massive! The biggest roster in WWE Games history, but THQ wasn’t willing to stop there.  Cory Ledesma noted during the press event that with the inclusion of DLC characters, WWE ’13’s final roster number would be over one hundred! That’s right folks, over 100 superstars, divas, and legends will make up WWE ’13 once DLC is all said and done…Are you ready? You should be!
When it comes to gameplay, those of you familiar with the control schemes and gameplay from WWE ’12 will feel right at home when you pick up a controller to play WWE ’13.  While the basic gameplay mechanics of last year feel the same, the amount of polish and new animations that have been added will be very evident to any hardcore WWE Games player.  
The entire experience feels much smoother than last year, with moves connecting every time exactly how they’re supposed to.  Which was a very big complaint among fans with WWE ’12 so it was very refreshing to see things like that get taken care of in this year’s game.

One of the new match types making its long awaited return this WWE Games this year is the Special Referee Match.  But don't think its all fun and games as the referee this time, if you step out of line too many times...None other than Johnny Ace himself will come out with a new referee and eject you from the match (voice over work and all).  So make sure you're a fair referee, or you might be wished well in your future endeavors.
Besides that, only a couple things bothered me while playing some exhibition, regarding things such as move sets and the presence, or lack thereof for the newly touted feature for WWE ’13 “WWE Live”.  While I was guaranteed that the build we were playing was far from final and that my complaints wouldn’t be a problem later on (It only had a handful of playable superstars and divas in it) I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with how it was presented to me, the crowd noise just wasn’t that impressive to me at all. But my opinion of “WWE Live” changed in a big way when I experienced it inside the crown jewel of WWE ’13 (so far) Attitude Era Mode.

While my time with the mode was short I couldn’t help but be impressed with the sound of the crowd and the commentary in this mode.  When I first heard about and imagined what WWE Live would be like, this was it.  It truly blew me away by just how good everything sounded.  Each match I played reminded me a lot of the “Jordan Moments” in NBA 2K11, where you would have certain objectives to complete in the match before picking up the victory.
You don’t wish to complete the objectives? That’s cool, just go ahead and win the match.  But if you want to unlock more than 100 of the games unlockables this year I think you’ll want to take on as many of the match objectives as possible.  The ones I saw were fairly simple to do and I enjoyed the challenge of being able to pull them off.
I really can’t wait to get my hands on the entire Attitude Era mode to see all of the great moments and matches they have included into this mode.  One thing that certainly peaks my interest is the fact that the final chapter of Attitude Era mode is simply “WrestleMania XV”. 
So I wonder which matches from that pay per view we will be experiencing in WWE ’13, if you need a refresher course…with the roster as it stands, these are the matches that are possible to recreate in WWE ’13!

Which of these matches will be included in Attitude Era mode still remain to be seen, but all are most certainly possible.  I would have to believe that any important moment regarding these eight superstars over the course of those two years will be included in some way shape or form inside of this mode.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I was ever this excited for a story mode like feature in WWE Games.
The last thing I was able to check out was the only creation mode that was available to us in this build, none other than the vastly improved “Create an Arena” mode.  As you all can recall last year we were able to change the basically the ring and all that surrounded it last year leaving many wishing for more customization throughout the rest of the arena, well fear not WWE Games fans because THQ listened and delivered in a BIG way!
Not only is everything we loved from last year back, but they have added a TON of improvements! Starting with the stage itself, there are several pre made stages ranging from old Raw and Smackdown sets to a lot of old classic WWE pay per views, as well as some others that I think were made up just for this mode. 
From there you can edit them anyway you like.  Not a big fan of the lightning bolts during the Raw on Spike TV era of WWE TV, get rid of them! Want your own design on the stage or the ramp? Go for it! It’s completely up to you.  It certainly looked like everything about the stage was completely customizable and I wish I would have had more time to look through it all but what I saw was extremely impressive.
It’s not just the stage you can edit either but the actual arena itself.  Want your arena to be in a very small venue (like Ring of Honor) you can totally do that here.  How about a HUGE outdoors stadium? Of course you can! Knock yourself out; the choice is up to you!
You even get to select what type of crowd you want in your arena, from the modern crowd of today to the Attitude era crowd from yesteryear, it’s completely up to you!
The ideas and possibilities for my own created arenas were running through my head non-stop while I was looking through this mode and I’m sure if you’re a big creation fan like me you are very excited right now at the wide arrange of possibilities this mode is going to bring to the table this year.
To think there are so many things left to be revealed, Universe 3.0…the rest of the creation suites…online features and modes…and who knows what other surprises THQ has up their sleeves for us to reveal between now and October 30th.
Walking away from WWE ’13 this weekend was hard to do.  And now the very long wait from now till October 30th begins, I saw someone ask Cory Ledesma this week on Twitter to create a time machine, I won’t lie…that sounds like a pretty great idea right about now!
This weekend I will throw up answers from the questions you guys asked me last weekend to try and get answered regarding WWE ’13.  Keep in mind, if I don’t answer your question it’s simply because I don’t have the answer, not that I’m ignoring it or choosing not to answer.

Finally....The Rock is no longer WWE Champion

Results and Review of WWE Wrestlemania 29

Tonight was the Super Bowl of pro wrestling, a pro wrestling holiday, and the showcase of the immortals. Wrestlemania 29 kicked off with an hour long preshow. The pre-show featured the Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett defending the title against The Miz. This was a great match that should have been on the main card. These two are definitely main event caliber performers who should be in the World Title picture. The Miz won the title to end the pre-show headed into Wrestlemania.

The first match of the night was The Shield taking on the team of Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show. The opening match was fast pace. The Shield paid their dues in this match. Towards the end of the match Sheamus and Orton refused to tag in Big Show which ended up costing them. After The Shield left Big Show knocked out both Orton and Sheamus and walked to the back.

A lot of people didn't have high hopes for Ryback and Mark Henry. It wasn't a bad match but it wasn't an epic match either. It is very hard to have a great match with two big men that are powerhouses. It was better than Goldberg vs. Lesnar but not better than Warrior vs. Hogan. Mark Henry won the match but Ryback gave Henry the Shell Shock.

The first title match of the evening was Team Hell No defending their titles against Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. Langston had a great debut and showed what a true powerhouse should be. Ziggler and Bryan are two of the best in ring performers that WWE has and they had good sequences every time they were in the ring together. Kane and Langston also had good sequences. In the end, Daniel Bryan paid homage to Chris Benoit and Dynamite Kid by doing a diving headbutt to win the match.

I am going to blunt about this next match. Fandango who use to wrestle as Johnny Curtis had no business being on Wrestlemania. This was by far was one of the worst Wrestlemania matches that I've ever seen in my life. When I think of Y2J I think of his Wrestlemania matches with CM Punk, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. I will be erasing this one from memory bank and if Jericho was smart he would too. How the hell do you put Fandango over after a match like that?

After that disaster of a match we were treated to a great story and a great technical wrestling match. Del Rio and Swagger really the upper card going. I thought these two did a great job telling their story and getting both Zeb and Ricardo involved. There were a lot of counters but in the end Del Rio made Swagger tap to the cross arm-breaker.

The match of the night was CM Punk vs. The Undertaker. There was so much symbolism in this match. The fact that Punk was wearing Undertakers colors of grey, purple and black. Also watching Paul Heyman clutch the urn and talk to the urn was a little creepy. This match was such a great body of work. Undertaker proved he can still go and Punk looked very strong in this match. In the end, despite CM Punk's awesome performance The Undertaker came out with a victory and extended his streak to 21-0. If this was Undertakers last match then he went out on a high note. CM Punk is still the performer on the roster and this match proved why.

Triple H and Brock Lesnar took it to another level tonight then they did at Summerslam. Having Shawn Michaels involved in the match really added to the drama of it. A lot of people haven't liked the last few matches Triple H has had because they have been slow paced. Triple H knows how to tell a story. He is very slow and methodical in his style. Triple H brought his best to the table as did Lesnar but the final result ended with Triple H giving the pedigree to Brock Lesnar on the steel steps.

The Main Event was redemption vs. greatness and each man got what they wanted out of it. This match was a lot better then their first encounter at Wrestlemania. The Rock walked into the match as WWE Champion and John Cena the determined challenger. I honestly am not a huge fan of either person but it made more business sense for John Cena to regain the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 29. I love the ending and the show of respect both men had for each other. The final image going off the air was Cena at the end of the ramp holding the prestigious WWE Championship in the air.

I would give Wrestlemania 29 7.5 of out 10. The under-card was not as good as it could have been. Fandango vs. Chris Jericho made the whole under-card look terrible. I was also unhappy that WWE wasted about 20 minutes worth of video packages and a performance by Diddy. In those 20 minutes you could have had the 8 person mixed tag that got nixed and a spot for the United States Champion Antonio Cesaro.

The main card was excellent and fun to watch. It's great to see the art of a classic pro wrestling match coming back to the forefront. At Wrestlemania 29 everything was left in the ring. Legends were made, careers were immortalized and heroes came home. The Rock fulfilled his greatness and passed the torch to John Cena which allowed for Cena's redemption.

Wrestlemania 29 came home and gave home a pretty decent show. Next year Wrestlemania 30 will be held on April 6, 2014 at the Superdome in New Orleans. It will be 30 years in the making. Until then, enjoy what you saw this year because Wrestlemania 29 had a lot of memorable moments.

Should the Sports Media Be More Sensitive?

On Sunday, Kevin Ware of the Louisville Cardinals Mens Basketball team suffered a compound fracture in his knee. Hours after this injury many sports media outlets and social media sites began playing the clip over and over. There has been arguments about this throughout the last few days.

One side says when an athlete signs on to play a sport whether it be college or profession, paid or non-paid they are giving up the right to privacy. When an athlete signs a contract to play a sport when a school signs a contract to have their games broadcasted they are signing a waiver to use any footage during a game. Athletes are celebrities and always in the public eye so people who watch them want to know everything that goes on with them. This is one side of a very sensitive topic.

The other side of this is people are saying that the media shouldn't being showing the pain and misfortune of someone else just to gain ratings. If Kevin Ware's injury ends his college career and any potential NBA career he could have had, is it right to keep replaying the injury and reminding him of what he lost? Lets use some examples of the past.

In the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt Sr. died on the last lap of the race. Is it fair to Dale Earnhardt Jr. to have to keep watching the clip of his dads crash over and over again. I see videos on YouTube all the time of soccer players collapsing and dying on the field. Should that type of video be open for the public? I give ESPN credit. They have not shown clips of the injury to Kevin Ware, just like they never showed videos of other athletes being seriously injured or dying while playing their sport. Yesterday, images surfaced of Kevin Ware's injury that were taken up close before the training staff covered it with a towel. I kept asking myself, whats the point of this? I believe in creating controversy because of my opinions on sports but I would never create it at the misfortune of someones injury.

Many are saying Kevin Ware is in the public eye because it is the March Madness tournament so it's okay to use. WWE Superstar Owen Hart was in the public eye when he fell to his death at a pay-per-view in 1999 so should WWE replay the footage of him falling to his death? Doesn't sound right does it? Late last year Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack on a live edition of Monday Night Raw. The night Jerry Lawler returned from his heart attack they showed exclusive footage of him being put on oxygen and the medical staff trying to bring him back to life. If Lawler would have died, would they have shown the footage? CM Punk who has been WWE's top bad guy has been at the center of some pretty controversial segments which have included mocking Lawlers heart attack and playing into Paul Bearers death. Is their certain line that needs to be drawn in the WWE and sports media? Is their some things that shouldn't be shown or exposed?

 A lot of people say that being a celebrity forces them to give up their right to privacy but last I checked celebrities are human beings and their misfortunes shouldn't be exploited for increased ratings, readership or viewership. I understand that the media like myself has a job to do but there are more appropriate ways of covering a story.

Finally in all sincerity I do hope Kevin Ware does have a successful recovery and comes back to have a wonderful college career and hopefully an NBA career. The media should be more sensitive and sympathetic to those like Kevin Ware who are in pain and unsure of their future. He is a human being just myself and anyone else reads this article.