The Internet Wrestling Community (IWC), aka wrestling fans in general, usually celebrate the month leading up to WrestleMania by posting up on forums and complaining about the current WrestleMania card and booking their own dream WrestleMania. It’s nothing but an exercise in futility. Then again, being a wrestling fan usually is. So instead of booking a card that I feel WWE should’ve put together for this year’s WrestleMania and disappointing myself further, I figured I’d book a completely fictitious WrestleMania card inspired by wrestling characters from different pop culture mediums (film, comic books, and video games), starting with video games.
Only wrestlers who appeared in non-wrestling video games are being booked. Sorry, no Star Man vs. AKI Man fantasy matches here.
10. El Diablo (Sega Soccer Slam) vs. Masked Muscle (Super Punch-Out)
A wrestling match specifically built around the two most basic moves: punching and kicking. This match involves two-sport luchadores who dabble in the two other sports Mexicans are really good at: soccer and boxing. Naturally, the loser of this match will have to retire from wrestling and stick to their side sport. Adios!
9. Hawlucha (Pokemon X and Y) vs. Rawk Hawk (Super Paper Mario)
The battle of the RPGs! These two feathered foes will no doubt have a tough time trying to outwit each other as they literally take turns beating each other up. And that’s about as many references I can come up with about these two things I know nothing about, but apparently has been a real-life online fantasy match-up among the Super Mario and Pokemon faithful. Rated E for everyone.
8. Ramon (King of Fighters) vs. Angel de La Muerte (Saints Row: The Third)
The second luchador match on the card, in which one of them looks like a long-lost Hardy Boyz brother and the other sounds like Hulk Hogan and constantly butchers his own name. Ramon will have to step up his 2-D fighting game style to compete with Angel’s hardcore style, especially if some fan happens to throw him a chainsaw.
7. Max Thunder (Streets of Rage) vs. Juan Aguacate (Guacamelee)
These two grapplers are battling it out for side-scrolling, beat-em up supremacy. Will the no-nonsense Max Thunder overpower the mystical grace of Juan Aguacate with a Thunder Body Slam, or will the once-dead luchador rise to the challenge and Rooster Uppercut his way to victory?
6. Wolf Hawkfield (Virtua Fighter) vs. Tizoc/Griffon Mask (King of Fighters)
Now we’re getting to matches featuring wrestlers from actual fighting games. These noble wrestlers devote themselves to great causes outside the ring (nature and needy children). Inside, however, they’re all about competition. Tizoc isn’t your average Mexican luchador, and is a giant bird-man who can lift his opponents to exaggerated heights and drop them on their head. Being Canadian, Wolf Hawkfield has mastered the art of wrestling, and not just the technical aspect, but the power moves that have made guys like Brock Lesnar famous. How long will it take for these good-natured wrestlers to lose their cool and beat the crap out of each other for their WrestleMania moment?
5. Bass Armstrong (Dead or Alive) vs. Raiden/Big Bear (King of Fighters)
A straight-up hoss fight. Bass’ over-protective dad gimmick doesn’t mean he should be taken lightly. Even with Raiden’s careless attitude towards his opponents, he’s going to have a hell of a time trying to toss Bass around like some Saturday morning jabroni. Raiden has the weight advantage, but Bass is still a big dude. If they can withstand each other’s attacks, then it will all come to down to timing and who tires out first.
4. El Blaze (Virtua Fighter) vs. El Fuerte (Street Fighter)
These two high-flying, Rey Mysterio-based luchadores will have no choice but to compete in a mask versus mask, lucha de apuestas. As the two quickest luchadores in fighting games, El Blaze and El Fuerte are the most evenly matched wrestlers on this card. But their greatest enemies are themselves. El Fuerte will have to take his mind off of his culinary pipe dreams to keep El Blaze down, and the brash El Blaze will have to check his cockiness at ringside in order to take El Fuerte seriously. It could be anyone’s match.
3. Rainbow Mika (Street Fighter) & Jaycee (Tekken) vs. Tina Armstrong & La Mariposa (Dead or Alive)
I know I’m falling into the same practice as the WWE in the way they have handled most of their Divas’ matches at past WrestleManias by lumping them all together in one match, but hear me out. Tag team wrestling plays a major role in these characters’ fighting backgrounds. Aside from an ass-based offense, in Street Fighter V, Rainbow Mika is known for having Yamato Nadeshiko help her perform double team attacks. Jaycee made her debut in Tekken Tag Team Tournament 2 as Julia Chang’s alter ego, and La Mariposa comes to Tina Armstrong’s aid at the end of her story in Dead or Alive 4. So putting them all in a tag team match makes perfect sense. The winning team will either be the one comprised of the wrestlers who specialize in tag team wrestling, or the ones who have actually worked together as a team. Maybe I should’ve just booked this as a Fatal Four-Way Match instead.
2. King II (Tekken) vs. Killbane (Saints Row: The Third)
King II basically followed in his predecessor’s footsteps by continuing to support the orphanage he grew up in, with his earnings from fighting and wrestling. He’s proven to be merciful to even his most hated enemy, but Killbane is far worse than Craig Marduk ever was. The hot-headed leader of The Luchadores and The Syndicate is quick to get violent and kill anyone who stands in his way. If King can contain Killbane inside the ring then there’s a good chance he can put him away. If the Luchadores show up then King is going to need a lot more backup than just Craig Marduk if he hopes to beat Killbane.
1. Zangief (Street Fighter) vs. Mike Haggar (Final Fight)
The hossiest of fights. The ultimate video game, fictional wrestling character, showdown. This fantasy match-up has been debated among gaming nerds for the longest time. Yet, Capcom still hasn’t given us a game in which Haggar and Zangief have both appeared in as playable characters. Talk about a build-up. Granted, Haggar did appear in an actual wrestling game (Saturday Night Slam Masters), but he’s still more famous as the bare-knuckle brawling, Metro City Mayor from Final Fight. And Zangief is the first character that comes to mind during talks of greatest video game wrestling characters (and by talks I mean online posts). This is the video game equivalent of Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (not Alex vs. Hugo Andore). It’s time the gaming world finds out whose spinning piledriver is the best.
Also, enjoy this life-like rendering of this match-up.