Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Time to Play the Game

I've been playing a lot of Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 lately. I run raw in General Manager mode. One of my struggles is to keep my roster up-to-date with WWE's current offering. I don't go through the trouble of creating guys that aren't there, but I do release guys that the WWE has actually released. The reason that this is a struggle is because anyone who is not on your brand is not yours to release and make unavailable. I have done a pretty good job however. Currently the only active wrestler on the game who has been released in real life is the recently released Chris Masters.

I assume that when WrestleMania occurs for the umpteenth time, I can acquire him and send him back to whence he came. I just completed another Royal Rumble. The Great Khali picked up the victory, but rather than beating 29 other men, he defeated 26. Why? Well, with WWE releasing so many guys in the past year, There just aren't enough guys to fill out the Rumble.

Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 came out yesterday, and as of this writing, I do not own it. The only thing I know for sure is that in the time between the last game and this one, WWE has gotten rid of a number of their SvR 2007 roster members. Aren't these guys supposed to be the cream of WWE's crop?

Well, if that's true, WWE should be in a lot worse shape than they are now. After all, these aren't just the scrubs that are no longer there. Former World Champions like Big Show, Booker T, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam are among those who have departed since the last edition of the popular game. I would add JBL and Mick Foley to those names. JBL is no longer an active wrestler, and while I question Foley's addition as a regular roster member last year, it is without doubt that he hasn't stepped in the ring for a match anytime recently.

William Regal is another superstar who like JBL has strong WWE ties, but no longer serves a regular active in-ring role.

After these guys the biggest releases come from the Women's division. It's nothing impressive to be a former Women's Champion. Almost every WWE diva can lay claim to that title. Not every diva can claim to be Trish Stratus or Lita however. These two women revolutionized WWE women's wrestling.

The rest of the releases are made up of a lot of guys who frankly never really would have meant much. The only member of the list that I could have ever imagined with a World Title reign would have been Chris Masters. Unfortunately, he was unable to deal with the pressures of his gimmick in relation to the WWE Wellness Policy.

The other guys who have left WWE television include Daivari, Joey Mercury, Kid Kash, Paul Burchill, Psicosis, and Vito.

With rumors that Carlito may be the next on his way out the door, the prospects of me filling a Royal Rumble ring on SvR 2007 looks even bleaker.

The outlook for SvR 2008 isn't much better. Chris Masters, King Booker, JTG, Marquis Cor Von, The Sandman, Shad and Sabu have already been released and the game just came out. Again, William Regal is serving in a non-wrestling role. Who knows who will still be around by the 2009 edition? By the time I pick it up for Christmas, I may already be unable to have a true Royal Rumble.

That's ok with me though. I have a ways to go with Smackdown vs. Raw 07. After all, my video game is about the only place in wrestling that can boast a hot tag team division. DX, The Brothers of Destruction, Finlay and Regal, and Cade and Murdoch aren't too shabby. Add occasional appearances from Rated-RKO, Umaga and the Great Khali, and John Cena and Batista, and you'd swear it was 1989 when it comes to the depth of tag teams who are actually over.

For those who are curious, my full roster currently consists of Batista, Edge, Finlay, Khali, Cena, Nitro and Melina, Kane, Ken Kennedy, Lance Cade, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Trevor Murdoch, Triple H, Umaga, The Undertaker, and William Regal. Yeah, I know. I'm stacked!

So if the World were perfect and WWE released Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 tommorow, who should be on the active roster?

Last years game included 44 active wrestlers. Assuming that the game is continually getting better, let's add six.

1. Shelton Benjamin
2. Lance Cade
3. Carlito
4. Charlie Haas
5. Jeff Hardy
6. Brian Kendrick
7. Mr. Kennedy
8. Santino Marella
9. Paul London
10. Shawn Michaels
11. Trevor Murdoch
12. Randy Orton
13. Cody Rhodes
14. Snitsky
15. Triple H
16. Umaga
17. Chris Jericho (Unlockable)
18. John Cena
19. Bobby Lashley
20. DH Smith
21. Val Venis
22. Batista
23. Deuce
24. Domino
25. Kenny Dykstra
26. Finlay
27. The Great Khali
28. Matt Hardy
29. Mark Henry
30. Kane
31. Rey Mysterio
32. Jamie Noble
33. Chuck Palumbo
34. MVP
35. The Undertaker
36. Jimmy Wang Yang
37. Edge
38. Ric Flair
39. Chavo Guerrero
40. Gregory Helms
41. Big Daddy V
42. Elijah Burke
43. CM Punk
44. Tommy Dreamer
45. John Morrison
46. The Miz
47. The Boogeyman
48. Stevie Richards
49. Matt Striker
50. Kevin Thorn

The last game included seven divas. If we can get the number up to ten, WWE should include:

1. Jillian Hall
2. Mickie James
3. Maria
4. Melina
5. Beth Phoenix
6. Candice Michelle
7. Michelle McCool
8. Victoria
9. Torrie Wilson
10. Kelly Kelly

The last game included 16 legends. Let's bump to 20:

1. Hulk Hogan
2. Randy Savage
3. Bret Hart
4. Steve Austin
5. The Rock
6. Arn Anderson
7. Ricky Steamboat
8. Ted Dibiase
9. Barry Windham
10. Andre the Giant
11. The Ultimate Warrior
12. Jake "The Snake" Roberts
13. Vader
14. Yokozuna
15. Mr. Perfect
16. Ax
17. Smash
18. Sid
19. Owen Hart
20. Razor Ramon

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