Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 59 - WWF No Mercy

WWF No Mercy on N64 is fondly remembered by many as the best wrestling game ever. It was definitely one of the first actual good wrestling games, for sure, with decent visuals that actually looked like the real wrestlers and presentation that was as close as we'd ever had to the real thing on TV. Is it our favorite wrestling game? No. No no no noooooo. Not even close. In fact, Eric kind of hates it. But here it is anyway with WWF No Mercy on Day 59 of Eric Vs. 365. Instead of talking about the game itself, though, today's blog talks about how to fix real world wrestling. Read on for more.

Why do I hate No Mercy? Because it's ugly and slow and clunky and boring while the SmackDown series was fast and arcade-y and exciting. I just liked SmackDown better back in the day. I don't like the other AKI wrestling games either, so it isn't just a No Mercy thing. No Mercy hasn't aged particularly well, either, and I always laugh to myself when I see people longing for the days when "wrestling games were good". Personally, I'd take (almost) any SmackDown / WWE2K game over No Mercy. But that's just me.

Let's talk about something that we can all agree on instead - the current WWE product on TV sucks and it has for a while. It got that way because of a lot of reasons - trying to be more "real" to chase the UFC audience, toning down the sex and violence to be more family friendly, taking creative control away from the wrestlers, bad writers = bad stories, utterly failing to create new characters, stubbornly refusing to stop pushing dudes no one likes, making it so wins and losses don't matter, etc. I can go on and on and on. Until Vince dies or quits, none of this is going to change any time soon.

How would I fix pro wrestling if given the chance? I would lean into the fake BS nonsense carney-ness of it all, that's how. News Flash - Pro Wrestling is fake, and at this point everyone knows this. People watch because they enjoy the physical action itself, of course, but they also watch BECAUSE of the stories and characters and drama. The wrestling itself is as good as it has probably ever been currently, but everything else is lacking. Even if the matches are great, no one wants to see John Smith against Smith Johnson.

Every wrestler these days is just a Bob Everyman with no personality and the stories are always very short term and shallow with nothing to get you invested into the bland white bread buff dudes the company is stuffed with. What we need is more crazy over the top actual characters like the WWF had back in the day. We need more Undertaker, Kane, Mankind, Raven, Sting - type characters. Or larger than life personalities like The Rock, Stone Cold, Goldberg, Jericho, etc. We need guys that are magnetic and awe inspiring or who are just so damn evil or unlikable you can't help but watch. I'll say it again: I want crazy characters, not normal buff dudes.

Unfortunately, even when WWE has actual characters they totally blow it. The Wyatt Family and Finn Balor come to mind, but I'm sure there are others. The problem is that the writing is just absolutely terrible and ruins every good thing that could possibly happen.

So, to sum up - 
- Make actual characters
- Hire better writers
- ???
- Profit