The Definitive Ranking of the Avengers

“Avengers: Assemble!”

The Marvel Avengers video game has dropped recently and it has sparked a passionate reaction from fans; whether it was positive or negative, fans had a lot to say about the game that has been keeping people talking for years!

Captain America may be standing at the front, but is he the top Avenger?

After playing through the exceptional campaign, plus clocking up hours and hours of gameplay through the multiplayer war table, I can safely say that I’ve experienced a fair amount of gameplay as each character thus far (even if I have my favourites).

There has been a lot of debate over who is the most useful character of the six Avengers available for use, so here are my rankings for the best Avengers to use when battling A.I.M and Monica Rappacini’s skank face.

#6
Iron Man

One of the more disappointing things about this game is playing as Iron Man. I was looking forward to it: he’s got cool gadgets, he’s funny, he can fly and shoot funky missiles and lasers, and he’s voiced by Nolan North for crying out loud. Except the flying mechanics are what drops Mr. Stark to the bottom of the list. The flying mechanism in the game is flawed, and when you want to sprint as Iron Man, instead of just running fast, he slowly glides. While his projectile attacks are efficient, his melee combat is weak compared to his teammates, and that is something I can’t forgive.

#5
Ms. Marvel

While being cute and relatable to most of the video gamers out there, Ms. Marvel’s super flexibility make her quite hard to control when battling robots. Her projectile attack of stretching out her arm in a punch isn’t the most reliable form of offence either; although I will say her Embiggen ability is probably one of the best abilities in the game.

#4
Captain America

The appointed leader of the Avengers should be higher on the list if you really think about it, but his slightly-above-average fighting style cripple his ability to be in the top three. His best feature is his shield (to the surprise of none) which means his defence is easily the best of the team. However, with a strong defence comes a fairly weak offence, and besides his ability to throw his shield to ricochet between countless amounts of robots, his attacks leave a little to be desired. Cap is also the hardest to carefully ease around the map as he can’t fly (a la Thor and Iron Man), can’t grapple onto higher ledges (a la Black Widow and Ms. Marvel) and isn’t a giant green gamma monster capable of jumping easil to high places (a la Hulk… were you expecting someone else?)

#3
Hulk

Someone who I wasn’t expecting to enjoy playing as but ended up really loving was Hulk. His brute strength coupled up with his love to “smash” *sexual pun not intended* makes him super fun to play as, especially when you grab someone and either start slamming them onto the floor, or even use them as a weapon as you swing them into other enemies. I also enjoyed that he wasn’t made OP like he probably is considered by the comics standard. His major downfall is his projectile attacking (throwing boulders) and his relatively tame special abilities.

#2
Thor

While Iron Man’s flying ability was whack, Thor was much easier to control since he didn’t slowly glide when put into sprint mode. His melee ability is very strong with or without Mjolnir, and his ability to use Mjolnir in his projectile attack, but then to pin that enemy to the wall while you beat the tar out of them with your fists is iconic. His special abilities compliment the team and his strengths well, even though I still don’t quite get how effective his Bitfrost ability is… maybe I’m not using it properly.

#1
Black Widow

Admittedly, there is slight bias here because Natasha is my favourite Avenger, but the Black Widow trumps the rest of the Avengers in terms of overall ability. She is super quick to speed around the map and use her Widow’s Line grapple to zip around high places easily and also zoom into battle by latching onto an enemy; her melee ability is top notch with her quick and effective strikes and Widow’s Bite; her projectile attacks with three different types of guns are also super effective when you know how to use them properly; and her invisibility team effect is probably the best passive ability of the bunch. Her gameplay style isn’t hard to wrap your head around if you’re a casual gamer, and once you’ve mastered the Widow, you can conquer the world.

There you have it. The only one without any special powers or enhanced abilities is the best one of the group. Don’t blame me – I didn’t make the rules.

– by The Black Widow

The Black Widow’s Bucket List

In celebration of my 22nd birthday, I’ve decided to publish my personal bucket list.

Before I had never really thought of having a bucket list. I thought my life was pretty great and didn’t really feel the need to go extreme and jump out of a plane or bungee jump off a bridge in New Zealand, but then I stopped to think of all the things I haven’t done.

How cute is this movie though?!

How cute is this movie though?!

I haven’t gone travelling (which will be rectified later this year).
I haven’t even left this country.
I haven’t been hiking at night.
I haven’t been part of an animal rights liberation protest.
I haven’t stepped foot in a wrestling ring.
I haven’t fulfilled my wildest fantasies.

So by the time I pass on – and if my palm is to be believed, I’m dying pretty early – I want to have accomplished at least 80% of this bucket list.

Alas, here we are:

The Black Widow’s Bucket List
[x] Attend a wrestling class and make a Beautiful People style entrance.
[x] Go skydiving, regardless of how much I hate heights.
[x] Attend an animal rights liberation protest, with my own sign.
[x] Go hiking at night.
[x] Travel across Europe by myself (and hopefully not be that naive traveller who gets their things stolen)
[x] Fill a Ute bed wtih pillows and blankets and sleep out under the stars.
[x] Abseiling, also despite my fear of heights.
[x] Perform a flash-mob like pole dancing routine OUTTA NOWHERE.
[x] Cycle through Central Park.
[x] Go (country) star hunting in Nashville.
[x] Go on a trip with a fake persona and back story and make it last for the entire duration.
[x] Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
[x] Organise and host a charity fundraiser for the local firehouse.
[x] Go on a hot air balloon ride… despite my fear of heights.
[x] Mud wrestle.
[x] Publish a novel.
[x] Go on a blind date.
[x] Take up capoeira.
[x] Live in a different country for at least six months.
[x] Fly first class.
[x] Dress up as the Bella Twins for a costume party (another person required).
[x] Tell Katy Perry she sucks.
[x] Change the world.

I encourage everyone to start their own bucket list and see what kind of whacky and crazy things they can come up with. A life not lived is not a life I want to live.

– by The Black Widow

The Black Widow’s Bite of Life

Don’t let the heading fool you – this isn’t about the actual spider black widow (or me, for that matter).  No, this is in reference to the Black Widow of the WWE, AKA AJ Lee.

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Don’t get caught in the Black Widow’s web…

Many wrestling critics have praised the crazy-ass woman for resurrecting the WWE women’s division and, to an extent, I have to agree with them; AJ Lee is probably the most over Diva since, I’d say, Kelly Kelly, and both women were popular with the crowd for two very different reasons. Kelly was the beautiful girl-next-door underdog that you couldn’t help but to root for (unless you’re an IWC troll) while AJ is just great at her craft and no matter heel or face, she will always be appreciated. It doesn’t hurt that she’s so down-to-earth and lovely out-of-character.

Women’s wrestling, especially in WWE, had been in a period of stale for a while. The fans were sick of seeing Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix at every PPV and it seemed as if creative had no fresh ideas for the smart, sexy and powerful women. And then AJ was knocked out cold by the Big Show. This was, in my opinion, when the Rise of AJ begun.

AJ began to show personality and flare when tensions between her and then on-screen boyfriend Daniel Bryan began to rise. Nekk minnit, she’s steamrolled over him, CM Punk, Kane, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and is now the Divas Champion and will probably break Maryse’s previous record for longest title reign with the Divas Championship.

Throughout her course of failed relationships and bad slut puns courtesy of Jerry Lawler, AJ was pushed to the stars, and she took the ball and ran with it. She has pulled off what would be a difficult character for your every day woman to successfully capture and made it almost a second skin to herself, and she’s shown that she is a damn good wrestler at the same time, creating some solid storylines and matches with the likes of Kaitlyn and Natalya.

Oh, and do you hear the pops she gets when she simply tags into a match? Incredible.

AJ is definitely the Diva of today, but is she the “sole” reason why the Divas division of today is as great as it is?

Yes and no.

With all due respect to Miss Lee, if WWE focused all of the attention they gave to her as they did to, say, Aksana, I’d guess that even Aksana would be as over as AJ Lee is. Aksana has a great character going for her at the moment and she has shown that she has enough charisma and personality to make it on her own, but what she didn’t have to push her to that next Diva level is the amount of push and air time that AJ had. So, in a sense, the success of AJ was bound to happen.

However, the Divas of WWE have been getting a lot more attention and a lot less ignorant “piss break” comments because of the hype the name “AJ Lee” carries. She is probably one of the few women in the WWE today that have a firmly established character that isn’t “happy babyface gal” or “snobby bitch heel”. That reason alone is why Miss AJ will probably hold the record for longest reign as Divas Champion. People tune in to see AJ and, dare I say, a lot less would tune in to see the Funkadactyls.

AJ Lee is currently sitting atop the mountain that is the WWE’s womens division, yes, but with new young and upcoming Divas like Paige and Summer Rae, I’d like to see her try and keep her throne away from the claws of these hungry Divas.

If I may say; AJ, watch out for Summer Rae. She’s over as hell and she hasn’t even hit her peak in WWE yet.

– by The Black Widow

Tap Out! The Top 10 Submission Moves

I’ve been sitting at college talking with my friend Jack about wrestling and I was trying to convince him to let me put him in the Black Widow, a modified octopus stretch-style submission move made famous by the current crazy-ass Divas Champion, AJ Lee. This led me to thinking… “what are some of the great submission moves in wrasslin’ history?”

Alas, here I am listing them. Nothing more SolSat than a top list! NOTE: For all the wrestling purists that may read this, if I am not listing the “original” user of the submission, don’t shoot me. I am just naming the first person or people that comes to my head.

10. Inverted Muta lock by Melina, Emma, AJ Styles, etc.1303922675460_f

The first time I saw this baby was when Melina debuted it in a match against Maria as a new finisher in 2007. I’m always wowed with Melina’s offense but this one took the cake. In what is, basically, a flashier-looking STF, when one executes this submission perfectly, the opponent’s legs cannot move, making it even more effective. I would know, I put this one on my friends all the time.
9. Anaconda Vice by CM Punk
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I’m one of “those” CM Punk fans who think that anything he does is gold, but even with my bias aside, the Anaconda Vice is one sick submission hold. Originally a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo compression choke, Punk has used this baby as his primary finisher in the beginnings of his WWE career before using it sparingly after the introduction of the GTS.
8. Black Widow by AJ Lee
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I don’t know makes this submission more exciting (and deadly) to watch: the way AJ transitions into it with a headscissor whirlybird, the crazy-white-girl face she makes when she’s sinched it in, or the fact that she’s screaming “TAAAPP OOOOUUTT” when it’s in. Either way, I am not a big AJ fan but I am definitely a big Black Widow fan.
7. The Von Erich Claw by the Von Erich Family
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The Iron claw was perhaps made most famous by the Fritz Von Erich and his children (and grandchildren). What looks like just a simple head-squeeze, if done by someone with hands as large as the late Kerry Von Erich, this hold could possibly harm you to a very grievous extent. My favourite version of the claw? Lacey’s, of course.
6. Texas Cloverleaf by Dean Malenko
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Dean Malenko is probably my favourite wrestling technician, and the Texas Cloverleaf is one of the reasons why. Originally just called the “cloverleaf” hold, innovated by Dory Funk Jr., it was Mr. Malenko who popularised the submission move before passing it down to the likes of Sheamus and ODB. It’s also noteworthy to mention that Malenko is a favourite because he was featured a bit in one of my most favourite WWE feuds ever – Terri Runnels vs. the Kat.
5. Pin Up Strong by Natalya and Beth Phoenix
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I can’t even begin to explain what this submission technically is. It’s like a modified surfboard type submission but with the legs locked kind of thing… either way, this nifty little move which I am assuming was invented by Natalya was used by the Divas of Doom for a short period of time. It hasn’t been since since the era of DOD and I am assuming it’s because it “looked too deadly for a Diva to do.”
4. LeBell Lock (Yes!/No! Lock) by Daniel Bryan
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Popularised by a famous wrestler whose name I am legitimately terrified to say or write, it is now the trademark finisher submission move for Daniel Bryan, or Bryan Danielson, as it were. Let’s face it, though, anything Daniel Bryan does looks amazing. so it’s no surprise that the Yes/No/Maybe Lock looks as deadly as it does.
3. Figure Four Leg Lock by Ric Flair and the Miz
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Made famous by the legendary Ric Flair, I will always remember how painful this leg lock is when my brother put it on me when I was about 7 and I screamed at him to get off because it was legitimately killing. In an effort to gain sympathy for the natural-heel-turning-face Miz, Ric Flair passed down his signature submission to the brash Cleveland native and thus, the legend of the Figure Four Leg Lock remains!
2. Lion Tamer (Walls of Jericho) by Chris Jericho
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A simple yet effective submission move, the Lion Tamer is probably coloquially described as a “more intense version of the Boston crab.” Chris Jericho has a way of contorting his opponent’s bodies in such gruesome ways that even I, a flexible ex-dancer, cringe. When he puts his knee on the back of his opponent’s head when locking in the Walls of Jericho, tap out. It’s game over.
1. Sharpshooter by everyone who has ever trained in the Hart Dungeon, The Rock, etc.
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As synonymous as the Von Erich Claw is to the Von Erichs, the Sharpshooter is synonymous with the other most popular wrestling family, the Harts. It acts as an heirloom of sorts as it has been passed down the generations and is currently used by Natalya Neidhart and her husband, Tyson Kidd. This is my favourite submission mainly because of the reaction it gets when locked in – as soon as those legs are crossed, the crowd goes wild.Aaaaaand Bobsuruncle. My back hurts just looking at those pictures. I need to go lie down. If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation, just lock in one of these bad boys and you’ll be sweet. Take care!– by The Black Widow