Review: WWE 2K14

The big story in the production of this game was the shift from THQ to 2K Sports. Everyone thought that this change was going to be a huge uphill for the WWE video game series, but was it? I don’t think it was, but I don’t think it was a downhill either.

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As I always do when I first boot up a new wrestling game, I played a singles match as my favourite Diva on the roster – in this case it was Aksana, a video game debutante – going up against another debutante in Kaitlyn, I was expecting some pretty big things. Despite the cool entrances for the new Divas plus the looks, I wasn’t too impressed. The gameplay was pretty much the same as WWE13 with only one real new change (that I noticed anyway) which was the grapple-drag-and-lean shtick which is pretty cool. May I also just take this time and say that unless there is some easy way of doing it that I am not aware of yet, putting someone into a groggy position on the second rope in a 619-ready position is DIFFICULT.

One of the main modes and features of this game is the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode, where as a player, you go through every Wrestlemania since the first and play key matches from each of them. Just like WWE13’s Attitude Era mode, to unlock everything and make the most of your nostalgic experience, you have to do some key things throughout the match. For example, you will have to Sweet Chin Music Ric Flair three times at Wrestlemania 24 (and subsequently cry as the cutscene takes place). This mode is definitely a nice touch to the game and I found it very entertaining reliving all the old moments, even if they were a bit historically off (NOTE: Stephanie McMahon does get Rock Bottom’d at WM 2000).

One portion of the 30 Years mode is the “Streak Mode”, where you either Defend the Streak as the Undertaker in a slobberknocker, or Beat the Streak as a wrestler of your choice against the Undertaker. Beat the Streak was, dare I say, fantastic! As witnessed at every Wrestlemania the Deadman has participated in, you just can’t put the man down for the 3 count, no matter how hard you try. In the game, it is the exact same. As Ryback, I had to hit the Undertaker with at least 4 Meat Hooks and 4 Shell Shockeds before he would finally stay down – and this was after I rage-restarted about six times.

The roster in WWE2K14 was alright, however the big issue I had with was the notable omission of FAAAAANNNDAAAAANNGOOOOOOO. He was a big star of 2013 and won a match at Wrestlemania 29 against Chris Jericho, so you’d assume he’d be included. Nah. As a Diva fan, it’s also important to point out that they have gone down to the infamous “Seven Diva Rule” where only seven original Divas are included in the game, and two of them are Legends, leaving five current Divas. They also missed out on the Usos, sadface. I love them.

I haven’t dabbled that much in Universe Mode because I found that quite similar to WWE13’s Universe Mode as well, although the rivalry portion of this year’s mode is quite fun, even if you can only do 3 per show. Playing a Diva rivalry on Universe Mode is #totesamaze.

Creation is – I sound like a broken record – very, very similar to WWE13. Creation parts in Create-a-Superstar are pretty much the same with no new cool hairstyles or short skirts to add to your Diva. The only cool thing I liked about this game’s superstar creation is the “Social Name” part where you can put your CAW’s Twitter handle in their ring entrance. Other than that, not really impressed with any of the other creation modes. I do have to make mention of how much I love the “Top Diva” generic theme.

While I’m at sounding like a broken record, graphics are pretty similar as well. I mean, the same Lita and Stephanie McMahon models have been used. Really?

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Gameplay: 7.0/10
Graphics: 6.8/10
Creation: 6.6/10
Overall experience: 6.8/10

While I find it fun to play for a solid hour or so, I don’t see anything that will keep the casual gamer from sticking around for that long. It’s too similar to WWE13 to note any major improvements and I’m disappointed that the change to 2k Sports hasn’t had a major impact on game development. Hopefully, the DLC of Summer Rae and Fandango will change my mind because I luff them 4eva.

– 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