We have an interesting situation upon us. For everyone who has been watching American pro-wrestling for the past two decades, it’s obvious how it has changed for the worse for most hardcore followers. Reason being is that it’s aiming for PG most of the time. For people like me who have grown up with the WCW/NWO era and WWE’s Attitude era, I miss the old storylines which blur between reality and real-life conflicts. Also, the wrestling back then was definitely a lot better and more technical than today’s short matches. There are a few exceptions though. CM Punk, one of today’s top WWE wrestlers, is such an exception. He has shown a lot of talent in the ring and on the mic…reflecting the Attitude mid-90s era of WWE. He would’ve fit so well with the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. So everyone keeps asking, “What If?”. That’s where the brilliance of this promo video and upcoming videogame shine.
Wrestling games are definitely included in the rise and fall of the fandom for me. Nothing beats AKI’s n64 wrestling games; WCW/NWO World Tour, WCW/NWO Revenge, WWF No Mercy — man, the gameplay mechanics were simple to learn yet hard to master. The multiplayer was extremely addictive. I’ve fallen out with the Yukes-developed games…and believe me, I’ve tried a lot to like them…but I always end up disappointed. Flash forward to the recent revamp of the games, starting off with WWE ’12. I skipped on it, but heard a lot of good things. It truly tries to recapture some of the classic moments of videogames and wrestling, but I’ve always felt it was missing something. Well, WWE ’13 seems to know what is has been missing — the Attitude Era. Yeah; there’s a whole mode and roster of wrestlers dedicated to the old days when everything was cool. Additionally, pitting the old-school against the new-school is a brilliant way to grab an audience. This clash rarely happens in today’s real pro-wrestling as the Attitude wrestlers have moved on with their lives (with the exception of last year’s The Rock vs. John Cena). This video is simply brilliant from a marketing and actual WWE reality TV standpoints as it brings CM Punk and Stone Cold Steve Austin face-to-face to shoot at each other and talk about the “what ifs” of the game. They also manage to make the tension between them very life-like, yet not too over-the-top and cheesy like current WWE programming. It’s a balance that’s very delicate, subtle and extremely hard to attain…because this shoot promo shows that both of them respect each other, yet they don’t mind to shoot jabs at each other for the sake of promoting the game itself. In a word, brilliant. Simply brilliant. While it’s a huge oversight that current WWE TV programming did not take advantage of having a promo similar to this viral YouTube one (current WWE TV ratings are in an all-time low), I’m happy that gamers and videogames are actually getting the attention they deserve. It goes to show you that whoever’s in charge of marketing WWE’s games and online-related media outlets are a lot more competent than WWE’s current writers and bookers, including Vince McMahon himself.
After watching this promo, WWE ’13 has certainly gotten my attention. The TV writers would be stupid to skip out on the opportunity to make Stone Cold vs. CM Punk a reality after the awesome chemistry they’ve shown in this video.