Pyrr Ranks ALL 84 Year 1 VGCW Wrestlers

Guest novel article by pyrrhickong. Originally posted on the VGCW Forums, though I added my own comments and images. Used with permission.

vgcw_donkey_kong_slams_protoman

Watch VGCW, you heathens.

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So now that End Game 5 has finally finished, I just want to say this: I really do love VGCW. It rekindled that old admiration for hilarious, over-the-top pro wrestling I had as a kid, introduced me to several new series that I would’ve not thought of looking into, and is just damn fun and pretty to look at. I came into watching VGCW on the November 20th (or 21st… whichever one Eggman was champion for) broadcast, and have stuck by it ever since. So I want to give back to this thing that I’ve enjoyed greatly, and writing seems to be the only way to do it now that ’13 will no longer be used (because clearly VGCW needed my fabulous characters such as Kinzo Ushiromiya, Mr. Wilson, Vaas Montegro, and Stubbs the Zombie).

Therefore, I’ve gone down the list of everyone on the ‘Wrestlers’ page of the wiki and have ranked all 84 wrestlers who have wrestled in the VGCW. This’ll include the rumble-only entrants at the start, Ron Burgandy, Mr. McMahon, Donte and even The Green Thunder. It will not, however, include the following:

-WWE Wrestlers. I don’t care how much Jay Uso wants to be in VGCW, I don’t want to rank him.

-Alternate Forms other than Mr. L. All of Ash Ketchum’s stuff will be counted toward Red, Majin and Super Saiyan Vegeta will be counted toward Vegeta, etc.

-WVGCW Wrestlers. I just don’t watch the show enough to get as concrete of an opinion of it as I’d like. BRYN does a fine job and it’s always fun to see the show, with writing and plotting definitely to rival Bazza, but Elizabeth stole Naoto’s spot as Chie’s tag partner, and that can’t be forgiven.

-SNST Wrestlers. Kind of the same boat as WVGCW, only I have less to go on. This also means that Sagat, Sonic, and Octodad won’t have their SNST feats considered for these rankings, no matter how gotta go fast.

As for the rankings themselves, this is entirely personal opinion. This is a combination of mic skills, how fun they are to see wrestle, what they did for the VGCW, chat reactions, and how Bazza handles the character. This isn’t a “who is the best wrestler”, because we all know it’s Morton Koopa Jr. It’s also not “which wrestlers are my absolute favorite”, because the box in the side clearly indicates my love for Donkey Kong, but I can tell you right now he ain’t topping this list. This is taking VGCW as an entity on its own, without outside influence or nostalgia, and just enjoying the ride along with the chat, Bazza, and everyone else. I hope to have this thing finished before the next VGCW match next week, so there’s a lot to get through and let’s get started.

 

84. Cole MacGrath

Commander Shepard was a pretty easy CAW to make, and it shows with his generic-ness. There’s really very little to say about Niko Bellic here other than the fact that he gets little reaction from anyone and just… kinda exists. Rather glad that Arkham City Robin was removed from the roster, though I guess it’s better to say ‘I forgot you exist’ than ‘I hate you’.

naruto_queer_socialist83. Naruto Uzumaki

Yeah, this is… sure a guy that existed. Naruto is a special kind of forgettable just in the fact that very few people actually really like the guy. He is the epitome of ‘filler character’ and it’s just a good thing he was taken out before he could actually do anything. Kratos got a lot of heat, but that’s because he’s just kinda boring and ALWAYS ANGRY. Naruto could have been despised and just an annoyance to everyone. Small blessings.

82. Dr. Doom

I do wish Doom had a better CAW, as he could’ve been fun to have when we got into the PROTTU era. Imagine Doom being the one on the mic, while every time he loses he declares ‘it was only a doombot, the real Dr. Doom is still undefeated!’ Doom is just a damn fun character and he’s really down here for wasted potential, being uninteresting, and looking ugly. And really, being ugly is a sin worthy of death in this VGCW world. Just ask Proto Man. vgcw_too_soon

[Someone should make a better Doom CAW and have him be Morrigan’s manager. –Lee]

81. Agent 47

I guess what puts 47 over his competition is that his CAW is nice and clean. He is clearly a bald guy who is either Hitman or either the film or Smallville version of Lex Luthor. I suppose his biggest flaw is not being Lex Luthor and depriving the world of a glorious Luthor/Doom tag team. Also I guess not having a bar code on the back of his head is disappointing or whatever.

geno80. Geno

Here we go, Geno. I know it’s a bit of a crime to put a wrestler who got so much time on the mic underneath a few of those of the ‘rumble only’ era, but Geno’s name has really become synonymous with ‘big disappointment’. Ever since Snake was introduced as part of Season 4, the patriot absolutely dominated Geno’s time on the mic, with Geno essentially being there as ‘that guy for Snake to talk to’, and one time ‘that guy for Bowser to insult’. And it’s not like the chat didn’t give their damndest to care about Geno – TOO LEWD and GENO WHIRL 9999 were tossed around frantically in order to make Geno worth giving a damn about, and it just… amounted to nothing. Even in Geno’s hyped debut, I remember people guessing it was Geno but hoping, deep in their hearts, that Buzz Lightyear would come in and save us from Woody instead. And really, that whole match was the Demon Woody show; Geno just happened to be the guy chosen to put the beast down. G-Dorf and Bowser managed to take down the monster, I think they would’ve gotten just as big of a pop.

But the guy’s biggest crime is that he’s just boring to watch. Geno has the terrible flaws of 1. being a logical and sane person and 2. being a hero. Generally a cold, conniving villain can still be fun if applied to the plot correctly, but Geno essentially had nowhere to go past his admittedly pretty cool design just on the fact that he really couldn’t be THAT sarcastic of an ass to anyone because, oh yeah, he’s a somewhat gullible good guy. His moveset isn’t all that thrilling to watch, and Geno Whirl just never seemed like all that effective of a finisher. Add in the fact that his eyes make him look perpetually bored while doing it and there’s just very little excitement for the little doll. It’s difficult for me to name a character on-roster that wouldn’t have been more fun to see on VAMPHOUND than Geno, MAYBE Ryo aside (but he’s got the whole VENGEANCE thing so vgcw_I_dunno ). When the best thing people can say about you is making a joke about how no one cares about you in order to hype up vgcw_yolo , it’s time to be shown the door. Geno’s had one foot out of it since the middle of Season 4.

79. Max Payne

Uh… he gave Phoenix a tag team partner so that’s good I guess? Honestly I remember so little about him, I was shocked to remember ‘oh yeah he WAS Phoenix’s tag partner’. I always remember Ghost Trick as Phoenix’s tag team. And I suppose the fact that I mention Phoenix more than this guy says a lot about his staying power. That said, he had a pretty neat tag intro with Phoenix, and he wasn’t TERRIBLE to watch fight.

78. Wesker

Wesker needed another character from his series in order to carry him. Despite lasting a lot longer than Leon, Wesker was almost always a ‘filler’ character, and it really showed that Bazza didn’t know much about him or what to do with him. Wesker has a lot to work with with all the YOU CAN’T HIDE FOREVER and SEVEN MINUTES and CHRIIIIIIIS, but he really needs Leon or CHRIIIIS or Barry to work off of, and with the exception of maybe Barry (who would be hard to recognize), none of them would be particularly interesting in the VGCW. That just left Wesker as a guy with sunglasses and a kind of vanilla moveset. Maybe it would’ve been cool to see him in a tag team with Liquid? We’ll never know, but Team LIKE MY SUNGLASSES will be in the bottom of my heart. Also him beating Ralph was a crime.

locke_cole77. Locke Cole

Locke definitely existed, but the issue was that he was clearly the weak link of The Returners. He was always ‘that guy that Sabin tags with and oh God please tag Sabin back in’. Fans of The Returners weren’t really fans of The Returners; they were fans of Sabin. Locke quickly found himself regulated to the sidelines, and that’s absolutely fine. Dude’s a damn good character and honestly the CAW isn’t THAT bad, but his charisma really didn’t get a chance to show and he wasn’t a good enough or interesting-to-watch wrestler to give him more than that one convo with Sabin of mic time. Maybe if he had some more of Ezio’s moves or something…

76. Dante

Dante was a wrestler who should’ve been better than he was and was given WAY too many chances to contend due to how cool the character himself was. VGCW showed little of Classic Dante’s flair and was honestly pretty much a bore to watch, only occasionally doing something pretty cool and stylish. While his Nocturne theme is probably the best he’s gonna get for theme music, the start of it was also this slow crawl that kinda just bored you, making his entrance a lot less hype than it should’ve been. And really, each time that Dante would come into a contender’s match, I’d be rooting against him, hoping that one of the other guys (unless like Ezio or someone was there) would take him out and we could move on. Neither of his designs were particularly pretty; his MVC3 look would’ve probably been a better base than DMC1 or DMC4 or whatever he was modeled after, the trench coat looked like snakeskin either way. He didn’t become so much an exciting part of the roster as he became an annoyance. And I just remember the chat, each time he appeared, going ‘DANTE’ and occasionally ‘THIS PARTY’S GETTING CRAZY’ and then just kind of… petering out and waiting for the next guy to show up.

75. Batman

I remember seeing a stream and I recall Batman’s stats were a perfect 100. That gives me some ire toward the guy. He’s literally only this “high” because, dammit, he’s Batman. It’s hard to put being Batman against Batman; being Batman is kind of a natural advantage over most other people. There’s just a happy novelty when you make the sentence ‘X is FIGHTING BATMAN’; there’s just this happy feeling that makes you interested. So good job at being Batman, Batman.

74. Kazuya Mishima

When your most redeeming quality is “wore a purple suit that one time”, it’s time to give it up. Kazuya… honestly it’s a good CAW, but the guy is essentially Kratos 2.0 in that his only real quality is RAGE. He had a good series with Haggar, but that was really carried by Haggar letting the guy come close, then demolishing him. Kazuya himself doesn’t do anything, and frankly, there are better Tekken reps (Paul even has some damn Paul Phoenix hair in the CAW maker specifically for Paul Phoenix I mean what else could it be?!), even if King and Heihachi would be a bitch to make. Kazuya’s theme is kinda low-key and not really exciting or intimidating. He’s really one of the lower-key wrestlers, and we can do better with fighting game representation. Shao Kahn, anyone? Bang Shishigami? Fulgore?

tf2_scout_horse73. Scout

Scout is an easy write-up because he was very much carried by Pyro through his career. Scout was the Egoraptor to Pyro’s JonTron; neither were particularly good, but JonTron and Pyro could pull wins out of their asses like no other back in the day, whereas Ego and Scout just kinda sat there and wished they were as cool as their partners. I guess that his name was ‘Sunshine’ was pretty funny?

72. Red Ranger

Red Ranger is the ultimate proof that you can have no character and no one caring for you, but if your theme music is the fucking Power Rangers theme, people will like you. GO GO POWER RANGERS being echoed through the chat is a pretty magical feeling that’s really only captured by Sonic’s songs (FASTEST THING ALIIIVE lighting up the chat last night was fantastic). There is nothing to say about Red Ranger – it was an okay CAW of a character not a lot of people liked, should’ve been green/white ranger – other than that his theme music is amazing.

71. Leon S. Kennedy

Leon’s up here for personal reasons for me: he was my introduction to VGCW. It’s the weirdest wrestler to get introduced to this through, but yeah. Was just browsing some topics on the old internet, and someone posted ‘DUDE LEON KENNEDY JUST THREW OUT THREE PEOPLE IN A ROYAL RUMBLE111!!!11!!’ I tuned in promptly to see Leon get thrown out of said rumble, and had a hearty laugh. Then kept watching. His CAW was pretty bad (mainly for not being RE4 Leon, because no matter how you look at it, RE2 Leon is ugly), and without RE4 he had nowhere to go. Jensen seems to have taken the role that Leon would’ve taken personality-wise, anyway, so it’s not a big loss. Just want to thank Leon for introducing me to VGCW. Now he can be forgotten all over again.

earthbound_ness_coat_hanger70. Ness

THE EYES, BOO. GO FOR THE EYES.

69. Sephiroth

Sephiroth was actually pretty fun early on. He was a character I remember a lot of the chat hating, and every time he scored an elimination close to the end of a Royal Rumble, people would call for his head. I also recall him being one of the first times Bazza tried to sync music to a character’s moves, though that may be shoddy memory on my part. In any case, he looked absolutely horrible and ridiculous, his giant forehead and EDGEiness making him look like an absolute monster. It was nice to have a guy in the early days to root against, but that’s all he was – a guy in the early days to root against. Nice that he left before he Nomura’d up the company.

68. Donte

But man, if there was anyone who could generate hatred at the tip of the hat whose name wasn’t “Grump” or “Not So Grump”, it was this mofo right here. Donte wasn’t exactly the best wrestler, but he had a flashy enough moveset and was fun to watch. But man oh man the seething hatred this guy would get. It’s not nearly as effective now that his game is out, but this guy had such a charm to him. The Dante Vs Donte match ending as it did was the best possible result, just so this guy could soak up all that hate and establish his cooler older brother as an awful wrestler.

castlevania_comic_wtf67. Simon Belmont

All there really is to say is that his finisher was pretty awesome-looking. The issue with Simon was that his CAW was butt-ugly and, frankly, people just don’t give a crap about Simon Belmont. I think we’ve managed to prove that the main character in a series doesn’t always give the most popular wrestler, and Simon fits that bill to a T. If you really want a Belmont, Richter or Julius would probably work better than Conan did. His match with Dracula is by far his high point, and that’s because he LOST that fight and it was one of the few matches where Dracula actually did something. Good for him to put Dracula over, and that’s entirely why he’s even remotely likable.

66. Egoraptor

Now don’t get me wrong: I actually LIKE the Grumps as wrestlers. Or that is to say, I like ONE of the Grumps as a wrestler. Ego never did it for me; he always just had this personality of ‘smug asshole’ and each tag match with him turned into ‘for the love of god, tag Jon in, TAG JON IN’. I’m glad that Ego was able to get his first win on Not So Grump, but his appeal was entirely in the hilarity of TOO SOON and how damn good his theme song actually was. Ego is a hard heel to like because he got no mic time and very, VERY rarely lasted long enough to execute even so much as a signature. He pretty much existed to be wailed on, and that doesn’t make him funny. Hell, even if you put in someone like Glass Joe, making him so weak compared to everyone else that he can accomplish nothing isn’t all that funny. Until he finally beat Jon, Ego seemed to be a very boring individual in the ring just because there were a lot more interesting jobbers out there just due to the fact that they actually last long enough that what they could do in-ring could be considered ‘a wrestling match’. Low-durability wonders like Luigi or Octodad or Red still get in there, do major damage, put on a show that’s generally pretty enjoyable. Ego? Nah, Ego’s pretty terrible in all regards.

shenmue_action_figure65. Ryo Hazuki

One of the most consistent things I remember about Ryo was that it took forever for anyone to find the specific remix that Bazza used of the Shenmue theme, and that he got killed by Donkey Kong casually walking over to him and punching him in the face. Oh, and that one time his team could’ve beaten Wario Ware, but then he saved Waluigi at the last second and cost Segata a hard-earned victory. All of this is well and good, but it and SAILORS are all that Ryo has. Even in his victory against Phoenix Wright, I don’t think many of us saw anything particularly impressive from his moveset, it was more ‘oh he beat Phoenix. Okay’. This is a guy who REALLY needed plot to stay interesting, and one that didn’t get any because, well, his character isn’t interesting. Segata kind of carried his team, both in departments of heart and strength, and will do just fine flying solo in the future.

64. Kratos

Kratos has the wonderful honor of being a 17 minute champion, and that is absolutely hilarious. His ‘reign’ is so perfectly emblematic of the Little McMahon saga, as was the crowd’s hatred for a character that didn’t have a ton of memes attached to him DARING to do well and take down a more beloved character. Kratos is perfectly emblematic of rage in his games, and that’s the exact reaction the crowd got from him. He was a pretty damn good-looking CAW as well, so his sudden spat of hatred for winning a contested rumble was a shame; guy could’ve possibly potentially gone somewhere if he didn’t show up for EVERYONE to want him to go NOWHERE. The same would later happen with Dan, but by then Dan was so well-established in the VGCW and was actually LIKED before he became the asshole Heel we all love to root against he was too deep into it. Kratos just kind of got the short end of things because he tried to be an asshole early.

63. Pyro

Magic. That’s pretty much all that can be said about Pyro, and all that can be done about her. It’s not that he’s not an interesting character, but it’s that she really is limited by her source material. Essentially all you have is ‘this bitch likes setting things on fire, and he’s a sociopathic manchild who can’t actually talk’. Now it’s possible to do mute characters – DK and Red, for instance, do it well, as did Mario in his heyday. But Pyro… has his intro. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all she has. As a wrestler, he fluctuates between ‘low midcard’ and ‘jobber’ fairly easily, and just can’t garner the popularity necessary to break into the big time. She’s asking to be partnered with Heavy or Spy or Saxton Hale, and hopefully added roster space will give The Pyro something to work with, but he’s pretty ‘just there’ right now.

62. Mega Man

Mega Man shared a wonderful distinction with The Hulk in that Bazza had special sound clips for whenever they would be eliminated from rumbles. I’ll go on and elaborate more when I get to Hulk (which won’t take long), but hearing the Mega Man death sound whenever Mega Man would lose a rumble was a small joy, always brought a smile to my face. Past that, Megs was a fun guy to have around, honestly liked his look a bit better than Proto Man’s, but Proto Man had hilarious glitches that made him worth keeping around. I do believe Mega Man could’ve been a better face character if he’d lasted to the PROTTU era, having a STRONG SENSE OF JUSTICE and whatnot. At the very least, would’ve been better than Geno for taking down the big black bat!

61. Ezio Auditore

I think the issues with Ezio begin and end with his face. His moveset is actually very well-crafted, the guy performs well at rumbles, his design is instantly recognizable, his outfit is very good, his theme isn’t bad (Venice Rooftops is something you really can’t go wrong with), and his in-game personality is actually pretty fun and has a lot to work with. But when you look at the guy under the hood’s face, you see… some asshole. For his build, Ezio should be more in line with his Assassin’s Creed 2 look, which is a bit rugged, but has a lot of ‘pretty boy’ charm ala Flynn Rider or Westley from The Princess Bride. But our Ezio looks angry, rugged, reminds me a lot of a GTA thug, and it doesn’t work with the character. All of the charm that Ezio actually possesses really fades away the instant his ugly mug is looked at. As a character, both of the Elite Two are pretty forgettable, especially after Raph’s title reign ended. If Ezio had any skill on the mic, he could’ve been a pretty a-grade Heel, or maybe a heel looking for redemption, but he just chose to stay in the shadows instead. If the guy showed a little more charisma, I honestly believe he could’ve been fun. Though it looks unlikely that he’ll stay around, I’d think redesigning him to his older, Revelations look, with a larger build and more of a ‘sarcastic old man’ vibe, could make him work.

hulk_rainbow60. The Hulk

The Hulk is up here for one reason and one reason alone: his elimination music from Royal Rumbles made me laugh. Hard. For those who don’t remember, every time The Hulk was thrown out of a Royal Rumble, Bazza would play that sad walking away song from The Incredible Hulk, and it would be so heartbreakingly hilarious. This is one of my favorite things that Bazza did that doesn’t happen a lot any more: custom songs for victory or loss. I remember DK occasionally had a remix of the DKC Bonus Room theme, and Geno had the ‘level up’ music from SMRPG, and then ‘World’s Greatest’ when Vegeta actually won a match for once, but adding music to accent a big win or a crushing defeat really does make the moment all the sweeter. Most character themes are action-oriented, very grandiose, are hilarious vocal tracks, or are Flint’s theme, and while a lot of these do work for celebration music, there are definitely other tracks that could be used in a lot of cases. I’m just waiting for the day that Arino wins a belt and ‘Last Continue’ plays over the entire arena, or Flint winning a big match and some version of the Theme of Love plays. Music can really make a character memorable, and I really do appreciate effort going into little things to accent and improve the quality. Hulk was just the first time I laughed at VGCW, and it was one of the best laughs I’ve had.

59. Piccolo

Yeah, if Piccolo had stuck around, I think he would’ve gotten a ton of fans. He had the perfect storm – the daily dose, green and purple, abridged series jokes about Yoshi, and a goofy-ass CAW that, while not great, was clearly identifiable as Piccolo. Vegeta and Piccolo’s unabridged sex tape scandal was also pretty much amazing. In the ring, Piccolo didn’t do all that much, and I can understand cutting down the DBZ characters to the best possible trio we could’ve gotten, but I can imagine Piccolo with absolutely mad mic skills. He’s just another in a longer list of characters who ‘didn’t get into anything early and their CAW being ugly and series being over-represented caught up with them’. A shame, but we can’t all be GREEN AND PURPLE, so that’s a moral victory I guess.

tingle_don't_steal_them58. Tingle

Tingle’s been reliable for two things: PS3 crashes and being disturbing. For those two things, the guy is pretty good. However, out of everyone currently on the active roster, the little 35-year old fairy is one of the more forgettable entrants. Tingle is a guy who desperately needs a tag partner or an angle or SOMETHING to stay relevant. The sheer fact that TINGLE is WRESTLING is hilarious, but the shock value has worn off. I mean, just look at the little guy’s topic in our wrestler discussion; for an active wrestler who’s been around since Season 2, his topic is positively shrimpy! There’s a lot of good jokes to be made with Tingle, but he needs to be able to work off of people in order to be interesting. Tingle likely has great hidden power inside of him; he managed to beat Groose in his debut, and we all know how much of a monster the Groosinator has turned out to be. Get him to hire a bodyguard like in Rosy Rupeeland, make him a master of gimmick matches like First Blood or Steel Cage or Ladder, just do SOMETHING with him. Thomas always makes a good splash when he enters, but after that the novelty starts to break down.

57. Ron Burgundy

I like guest stars. We should have more of them. Having funny movie and comics characters stop by to wrestle the midcard in ‘just for fun’ matches is fun, and let’s us throw things like the million Two Best Friends Play CAWs that are hovering around in (I think everyone was pretty okay with MegaRan, too). It’ll at least be more interesting when we start thinning out WWE Superstars to be in VGCW Vs WWE matches. Ron Burgundy himself… is Ron Burgundy. I would have killed for a plot segment with him afterward, but what we got was everyone singing SKYYYY ROCKETS IN FLIIIGHT, and that’s completely okay by me.

[Will Ferrell sucks. — Lee]

56. Raphael

Raph’s been a good Heel. Not a great heel, but a good one. 1000 Years of Pizza was a very fun time, with Eggman’s consecutive challenges to Raph’s reign actually being really fun to see. However, that bit of history is marred by Eggman’s recent performances being crap and Ganon’s loss to Octodad, which makes me feel that Raph’s actual value as champion was inflated due to a fluke Ganon loss and beating Base Phoenix and Solid Shit. This reflects a lot more in his tag performances, where he’s very underwhelming. His theme being a remix of the TMNT theme is his strongest point, because a guitar version of the TMNT theme is ungodly levels of hype, and his CAW design is actually really nice to look at. But I’m not going to miss the guy when he’s gone. It was a fantastic move buying off the champ into The Elite Four, but after Bazza’s reign and his championship ended at pretty much the same time, Raph kind of fell into relative obscurity. He doesn’t get boo’d in the same way Ezio does; it’s there, but there’s a lot of PIZZA thrown around kind of half-heartedly. Looking at the grumps’ intro, with Ego first and JonTron second, JonTron gets a HUGE crowd reaction, first of boos then of eches. Raph’s doesn’t last nearly as long, despite him being just about as relevant as Jon post-Season 2. That’s just a lack of appeal. But he was a decent enough villain for his time.

55. Liquid Snake

A lot of characters have good reasons for being taken out. A lot of them are really unpopular, some of them don’t really appeal anymore, some have outdated movesets. Liquid, though, really is a mystery to me; why was he taken out? I could understand if he lost to Solid, but no, he beat his brrrrother. The guy still got a pretty big pop from the crowd when he entered the ring, because God knows Cam Clarke left us enough material with LIKE MY SUNGLASSES BRRRROTHER DOMINANT GENES THROUGH THIS AAARM HOPE YOU LIKE SURFING. It’s not like there was exactly a glut of Metal Gear characters, either; we pretty much just had the Twin Snakes and the ever-present possibility that Ocelot would eventually show up until The Caller saga ended (speaking of, Ocelot totally deserves a slot, Liquid form or no). Liquid was even fairly fun to watch in-ring. I suppose he was kind of generic and his hair was overly yellow for no good reason, but that could’ve been fixed fairly easily by just having him leave his damn trench coat on. Liquid had a lot of potential that wasn’t capitalized on, but you know what, he was fun while we had him. I don’t really agree with Yell Dead Cell being his theme, at least not compared to, say, Theme of Tara or Escape or something, but we missed out on the potential for overly-long plot explanations and endless exposition and plot twists that just barely make sense, and that makes me sad.

ff6_sabin_suplexing_a_train54. Sabin Figaro

Goddamn Amano is like a treasure trove for terrible official art. Seriously, have you ever looked up some of his designs for FFVII through FFIX? It’s hilarious to look at, not to mention one of Kefka’s arts looking like a head of lettuce more than a character. In any case, Sabin was pretty interesting as a wrestler who, unfortunately, was bogged down by his suplex gimmick. His match with Bowser with his last-minute choke was fantastic (and the wiki tells me Bowser didn’t use the Glitch Bomb in that one, so that’s even more impressive), his match against Vegeta where it looked like the Badman could pull it off was equally, and his antics at the most recent rumble to make him relevant, including eliminating hot-streak Gary Oak, were great, really made me hate the guy for no reason. However, that doesn’t really get past that fact that, as a character and a wrestler, Sabin was very ‘nothing there’. Personality-wise he’s about as interesting as a sack of bricks that can suplex a train in Final Fantasy VI. ????? is a more interesting character than he is (but then again ????? is awesome). Though he’s recognizable and the easiest character in FFVI to translate to wrestling, he lacks the comedy of Kefka or the self-doubt of Terra or the charisma of Barret to really make a splash; he’s just… kind of a nice guy who supelxes a lot.

However, the suplex counter WAS his biggest flaw. In every match Sabin was in, the suplex counter absolutely dominated each match. I’m not going to say the chat is perfect, with all of its >human and :3 and whatnot; we have our memes, but they typically only last if there’s a glitch or if King or Cole say something that we’ve decided is memetic. Sabin, however, had a gimmick that lasted the entire match, with the chat dominantly debating what a suplex was, what would qualify toward the suplex count, calling him the suplex king and suplex suplex suplex. It often overwhelmed whatever the other guy had, and not necessarily in a good way like WAAAAH or AIR MAN STREAK or THE GROOSE IS LOOSE; at least they acknowledge that they have opponents. Sabin just kind of exists in this attention-drawing suplex limbo that he can’t help. He was good for his time, but Bazza took him out about when the joke was getting too tired.

53. M. Bison

Bison’s CAW is absolutely spot-on. He’s got fantastic memes and quotes with his PSYCHO POWER BEING INVINCIBLE and PSYCHO CRUSHER and generally being a dick and dictator. However, as a wrestler, Bison’s always been very underwhelming. First off, he does NOT look like a Super Heavyweight, and shouldn’t be (still shocked he got a ring break). I definitely feel that giving him springboard moves or outside dives to make him more PSYCHO CRUSHER and HEAD STOMP would greatly increase how entertaining Bison is to watch in a match. It doesn’t seem all too difficult, either, and with Sagat being ‘the big guy’ of the group, the extra speed would really help Bison out. Otherwise, the guy’s just got a bland moveset that isn’t all that interesting or noteworthy. The other thing is the whole ‘Tuesday’ gimmick, which, like Sabin’s suplexes, dominates his matches, ESPECIALLY in reference to time zones. ‘Countdown to Wednesday’ was an absolutely brilliant move on Bazza’s part, but that really is Bison’s shining moment. Guy either needs some plot segments explaining why Sagat is teaming up with him or some plot in general; no matter which interpretation of Bison you go with (cartoon, film, game, anime), all of his portrayals are hilariously over-the-top and great. But other than almost jobbing out to Waluigi in The Great Tournament, M Bison (what does the M stand for again? Mike? Major? Mega? Mjolnir? Mighty? ) really hasn’t done anything for himself other than beat up Snake a few times. And when a ring break can’t make you instantly popular, you need some work.

52. Link

Lunk is this high just because the almighty Jobber of Time has remained near and dear to our hearts despite his departure. No one had a more hype intro than Link; wanting to defeat the seemingly invincible Ganondorf, we needed the Hero of Time/Seasons/Ages/Winds/The Moon/Waking That Bitch Zelda Up From Her Nap to save us all from his reign. And then he SUCKED. He sucked so bad that WALUIGI, who everyone acknowledged as an absolute joke, looked like he could win. We got jokes of Lunk being this hobo who can barely pay for his family and wrestles because it’s all he can get signed up to do anymore. That’s adorable that a character with zero characterization in both plot and games ends up a deeper character than in most of his incarnations (jury is out for Wind Waker and I GUESS Ocarina if you accept the ending as Link relinquishing all of his happiness for the greater good instead of just, y’know, stupid like everyone else).

51. Luigi

Just noting that this rating is including Luigi ONLY. Mr. L has his own write-up coming.

Luigi had a chance and blew it by losing to Gary Oak. That’s about as much as I can say about the mean green machine plot-wise. Honestly, even though both Mario Bros. took up a CAW slot, I felt that Luigi worked a lot better with his brother in tandem. With Mario, we always had someone to compare Luigi to; someone to directly gauge his progress at. Mario was about the middle of the midcard, and Luigi was always a step below that, but both worked off of each other fairly well and were enjoyable. Without his older brother, Luigi… is another wrestler. The Mario Bros. worked because they WERE the Mario Bros, and while having both did seem like a waste of character slots, it really feels like a ‘both or nothing’ situation. The Wario Bros. each have strong enough personalities to last on their own, but Luigi is really hung high and dry here with not many ways to make his ‘cowardly’ persona work in wrestling or stand out withouta courageous tag partner to work off of. Moveset-wise he’s fine, having a submission finisher does make him a wild card and makes matches involving him at least somewhat interesting to see if he can pull it off. His recent ‘you will never be Mr. L’ phase had potential, but he never really went anywhere with it and was left… in limbo as ‘just another wrestler’. It’s a shame, because the Year of Luigi is almost over and that joke was actually pretty fun. I would strongly suggest giving Luigi someone to play off of, and making him capable of speech. Hell, give him his TTYD personality of a braggart about his amazing accomplishments if you have to, that’s pretty hilarious. I WAS GRASS BRO.

guile_in_court50. Guile

Until Team America became relevant and that badass American Flag was added to their respective intros, Guile was in serious danger of leaving the VGCW. He’s had some good moments, driving Obama to the most patriotic match of their lives was pretty great, but he was pretty much ‘another wrestler’ for a long while. First off, I think his bike needs to be changed. It’s a neat intro, but the ‘entering ring’ animation for the bike takes FOREVER, and he doesn’t have the advent of Safety Dance being a fun song to listen to while Jensen revs up his motorcycle. Guile’s Theme loops quickly compared to many others. Second off, he needs more FLASH KICK in his life. I know there’s a backflip kick, I never see it used, and I dunno if that’s the AI or him, but he desperately needs SOMETHING to make his moveset actually flashy. Third – and this is the hard one – is that Guile just isn’t all that interesting. His pep talk to Duke was pretty great, and is why he’s above that son of a bitch Bison, but his personality is pretty standard otherwise. He’s American and he wants to get revengeance for his friend Charlie and he has a family. Except he’s kind of a shit dad and he kind of already got that revengeance… I think? Street Fighter canon is confusing. None of that really translates particularly well into a ring persona. I feel like Guile isn’t QUITE a Geno in that if he were given the chance to hold his own in a plot and lead things along ala Flint, he could definitely appeal to a lot more people. As-is, he can stick around because he’s a good tag partner with Duke, but The King is really carrying the personality of that team.

ganondorf_vs_robocop_lightsabers49. Ganondorf

simpsons_angry_mob

Just a minute there. First off, let me say a LOT that’s good with Ganondorf, because oh boy there’s a lot to cover. First off, he’s at the bottom of my list of guys I would say ‘you should definitely keep this guy around’, or ‘I really loved this guy’ if they’re already gone. Ganondorf, while not a particularly great VGCW personality in my opinion, is still a good one. Secondly, his CAW is EXCELLENT. Seriously I am in absolute awe at the tiny details of that CAW and how damn GOOD it looks. That is very clearly Ganondorf, and while I’ll always prefer his Ocarina design, his Twilight Princess look is really intimidating and imposing, and all the more impressive that it was pulled off.

And the biggest thing that’s good with Ganondorf is his FANTASTIC impact on early VGCW. Ganondorf would enter the ring and everyone would go, ‘welp, everyone else is boned, time to go home’ for rumbles. I remember my buddies on Skype and I watching for three days in a row, and we all agreed that Ganondorf was consistently the strongest wrestler. He had it all; a theme that struck terror into the hearts of men, fantastic design, a damn strong moveset, and one of the most powerful finishers in the game, the Gerudo Valley Driver. He was SCARY and POWERFUL, and his domination of Bowser during his title defense was fantastic. The Gerudo Curse, the Thousand Years of Darkness, him reclaiming his belt from Raphael and then going OH GOD NAPPA NO when Nappa showed up for ‘shit to get real’ with Mr. L was fantastic. Early on, Ganondorf could practically be considered the face of the company as long as plot wasn’t taken into consideration.

And then he lost to Jensen in Season 3. Now don’t get me wrong, I was just as sick of ‘ganon wins lol’ as everyone else by that point, but regulating him to the tag champion really hurt him more than helped. He still won pretty much everything while exposing Zangief as the weak link of the team rather than the monster people thought he was, and victories were just… boring. I think I have a count of 8 times where a match started, the AI would run at Ganon, and he would do a back drop on them. His form of fighting is actually pretty interesting, having throat thrusts as his standard attack that look like they hurt like a mofo, and then capitalizing on them with a moveset FULL of power moves. However, that’s also a pretty big issue with Ganondorf – his moveset is full of strong moves. You can beat on Ganon all you’d like, he’s able to recover in a few moves. He doesn’t have quite the balance that Bowser has, who has a ton of power moves but actually seems mortal due to his horribly low speed and reaction time, along with a few ‘sillier’ moves; Ganon is all business all the time. I made a Lobo CAW full of power moves because ‘logically Lobo stands toe-to-to with Superman, and he’s awesome, so he should get awesome power moves at the cost of speed’. He was a wrecking ball to all of my other wrestlers, and it just wasn’t nearly as fun as I thought it would be to watch him. Big guys can definitely be entertaining – Bowser and DK’s movesets are proof of that, and DK’s entire moveset is ‘hold and then giant punch in face’ and it STILL generates hype – but Ganondorf doesn’t have that secret. His entire game plan is ‘let them hit, then hit them HARD, then build for GVD, then kill’.

This is just incredibly frustrating because no matter how much damage Ganondorf takes, there’s always this sense that ‘yeah he’ll come back and deliver a GVD’. The GVD itself needs to stay, don’t get me wrong – nothing but the Augmented Tombstone is truly too powerful a move – but the rest of his moveset just needs SOME balance to it.

Ganondorf’s main issue, however, has been booking. Frankly, Ganondorf collapsed a bunch of paper champions and Bowser in his early days, and needs more challenges. When he’s up against someone of his tier, he’s pretty good – I still hold that, even despite the plot-o-rama, Ganondorf Vs Bowser 2 was the best non-plot match of all time (though Red/Scorpion’s last minute save could challenge, have to let it sit for a while) – but he’s rarely up against his tier. While he was in the tag division, the only other ‘main eventer’ in the division was AVGN; Ganon would come out and everything would seem incredibly hopeless, and it took Tornado Tag and the very fast Waluigi to put the fear of God back into Ganondorf. Worse yet was his treatment in Season 5. Ganondorf Vs Zangief is a good feud from a plot perspective, but Ganondorf just ‘wanting to be an asshole’ doesn’t sit well with me. Characters like Bowser or Kefka or Wily are just born assholes, but Ganondorf had this odd, but respectable and reminiscent of Wind Waker, warrior-poet thing going on with Zangief. When I compare it to Mr. Satan/Dan, it just all seems very sudden. Ganondorf really didn’t show any ‘weakness’ that brought him down, he just happened to be paired with Zangief who was much weaker than him. Blowing up jobbers like Luigi really didn’t show anything about Ganon; it gave us the same kind of matches we saw all the way through the tag division.

The best thing that Ganon did all season was deliver the GVD to Bowser, a strong old foe who, despite being the heeliest heel in heeldom, is incredibly well-liked. That’s a strong opponent who’s proven he can go toe-to-toe with the Dark Lord. Zangief being a challenge is a bit marred by the fact that it was an Extreme Rules match. We saw Zangief perform the same shit with Wario a few months back, and that was hilarious and great and all, but it was so eerily reminiscent, right up to Zangief not being able to get the guy in the ring and losing because of it.

Those are my main issues with Ganon: he doesn’t control the pace of his own matches (those being a ‘countdown clock for GVD’ ), his booking hasn’t been great, his matches have a same-y flavor, and his moveset is just not all that entertaining to watch until said GVD. Octodad winning was incredibly cute, but it says a lot about Octodad and little about Ganon in the end. So what can we do with him? Give him strong opponents. Hell, let him feud with Groose, that’d be hysterical and both of them are about on the same power level. Groose is a great face for him to feud with who so desperately wants mic time but can’t really justify having it. Maybe give him a few less strong moves and focus more on positioning than slamming the opponent, or make him faster at the cost of some defense? I don’t know, but Ganon’s been doing the same routine for a LOT of matches, and it doesn’t put asses in seats the way it used to. He’s nowhere close to out the door, and after this feud is over (which, again, was well-written but poorly executed just due to the natural weakness of Zangief and the way Ganondorf handles matches), he’ll definitely see heights like he did before. Dude just needs time, a little humility, and a good angle to put him over as a major heel.

[It’s hard to disagree with pyrrhickong’s analysis. Ganondorf is a behemoth and hugely popular amongst VGCW fans but his matches usually consist of “toss guy a bunch, drop the Gerudo Valley Driver, win”. — Lee]

48. Goemon

Seriously this was entirely unintended he just happened to end up right above Ganondorf. In any case, Goemon is a great character simply because he seems fun. Bazza including Mystical Ninja series music as battle music before Goemon’s inclusion makes me think he’s at least familiar with the series, and that makes me quite happy; working from familiarity and legitimately enjoying the characters really makes them shine in VGCW. Goemon’s got a really fun moveset, and absolutely NO ONE saw the guy coming. At the moment, he’s a bit too obscure to get mic time, but I feel like he’s definitely a guy who can pay his dues and become well-liked. Worst-case with Goemon is that he ends up in a situation similar to Tingle. People are already throwing around potential tag team members, and… the guy just gives off a very simple, very fun hype, ala Red Ranger or someone. I look at characters like Goemon and they just bring a smile to my face. There are so many different directions to go with this character, he’s already fun to watch, and he can build a fanbase of people who might not already be familiar with him pretty easily. Air Man and Octodad shared the same traits, and they were and are absolutely great, one becoming the best newcomer we’ve had in a long while and the other being Octodad. Season 6 will be a great testing ground for the Ganbare one, and I want to follow him as he goes in whatever direction he’ll go in. Plus he brings more Goemon series music with him, and the world needs more of that. Now if only we could bring in Spring Breeze Dancin’ and make him partners with King of Carlos…

47. Wreck-It Ralph

Ralph is seriously one of a total of two contenders for ‘characters removed from VGCW who really should be considered for coming back’. Dude might not be nearly as popular as he was when his film was just released, but the idea of a game-jumping hero finding his way into the VGCW fits perfectly with his character. The fact that he was a giant of a man but entirely mortal was also a huge plus; dude didn’t have a fantastic moveset, and was probably our only example of a ‘super heavyweight midcarder’, Bison aside (and eventually Nappa and Zangief, but that would take some time for them to show their true colors). He just felt like a guy who was very good at wrestling, but if you got any momentum against him, he’d go down. And, of course, the guy was full of controversy with his theme’s copyright issues. PANIC and COPYRIGHT-IT CARL screams were among our earliest memes, and while it was a bit uncomfortable seeing the guy walk down the street to the theme of the Timber Wolves, but he was fun to see. People were legitimately very happy when he survived his I Quit match, and sad when he lost his second one to the lesser Dr. Albert W. He was ‘The Bad Guy’, one of the most fitting commentary titles we’d ever had, and would be great to see back.

However, the biggest thing with him was, of course, the MASSIVE pop he got when Phoenix went back in time. People went CRAZY upon seeing Ralph and hearing his theme, and it was one of the most fun moments, people not knowing whether to panic or not but being unabashedly happy. Guy seemed pretty friendly and good on the mic as well, so there’s potential there. Even if he gets a Legends contract like the King of Koopas, or even better, just a guest wrestler appearance, maybe to tag with some newcomer to put them over, that’d be great. There’s a lot of potential in keeping Ralph either in the back pocket or throwing him back in now that the roster size has expanded. I personally would be pretty sad if he were just forgotten.

zangief_train46. Zangief

Zangief is definitely a wrestler with his ups and downs, but he’s definitely the strongest and more entertaining of the non-Sagat Street Fighter representatives we’ve had, and unless we throw in Rufus or something, I think it’s going to stay that way. First off, Zangief’s CAW is absolutely spot on. He looks like Zangief, his moveset is very much like Zangief, and he just FEELS like Zangief. If only he could jump ten feet into the air and piledrive the opponent, he would be Zangief. The Soviet Screwjob was the perfect thing to kick off the plot, and props to Zangief’s random AI for deciding to be competent for once in its life. Though that’s another thing I’d love to point out: Zangief’s AI tends to be absolutely hilarious when in any special kind of match. His Extreme Rules matches always seem to be funny, his ladder match ended incredibly quickly, and his table match against DK with synchronized table setting is the stuff of legend. Whenever Zangief gets something in his hands, I expect something goofy to happen, and that’s generally what happens.

As a support for Ganondorf, this guy was great. He very much kept their bromance alive with ‘comrade’ and his general support of Ganondorf when the Gerudo King shows self-doubt. However, the biggest flaw of this was that he was Ganondorf’s tag partner. Tag matches with Zangief, unfortunately, became a matter of ‘how much damage can x do to Zangief before Ganon gets in’? Zangief, while big and flashy, has always had trouble scoring actual damage to his opponents. Most of his techniques are fairly hard to hit with or don’t deal a ton of damage; really if he could get a good balance with his and Ganondorf’s moves, the two would both excel. While this was somewhat fixed when his custom finisher just became a signature move and he got a real person finisher, it still takes Zangief quite a bit of time to get there, and the damage he deals to his opponent is often just not enough.

The issue I find with Zangief is that most of his plot threads are resolved. He’s now forgiven Little Mac and, while he didn’t beat Ganondorf, he certainly beat the Hell out of him. With characters like Nappa and Flint or The Practice, they still have good singles showings (or are Eggman, and I don’t think Master Plan will ever die). Zangief… doesn’t really have anywhere to go. If he picks a fight with Ganondorf again, that holds Ganondorf back from fighting more interesting opponents. He’s out of Street Fighters to pair off with, and unless he gets Heavy or Ocelot or someone to talk to as a fellow Russian, he’s really limited his options for friends to ‘Little Mac’. And both of them are some of the nicest of nice guys, so banter between them I don’t see being all that strong.

So that’s really the issue I have with Zangief: most of his strengths come from being at the right place at the right time. Team-up with Ganondorf, feud with Little Mac, subsequent plot threads with Ganon? All because of the Soviet Screwjob, which just happened due to his one hilarious moment. But past that, Zangief just… doesn’t really do all that much. He can give a fairly good match because he’s pretty damn durable, but putting up big numbers on his foes seems to be a problem for the guy. I like Zangief and he’s pretty fun to watch when he mimics his SFIV moveset, but I’m really apprehensive about his future in the company.

45. Santa Claus

Sometimes, there’s just a moment that makes a character matter more than anything else. One single, shining moment that will forever invalidate all other actions, or nothing that the character actually does will matter until they get rid of their other two personalities and start talking to a sock puppet. That man… is Santa Claus. Bazza’s open challenge to the world was fantastic, and then to see GOD DAMN SANTA CLAUS IN A GLORIOUS CAPE WITH SOME SHITTY JINGLE BELLS REMIX walk down to slam with Ebenezer McMahon is just an absolutely magical, emotionally-charged feeling. Did he job pretty fast? Yeah. But just the sheer shock of seeing Santa Claus come to save Christmas BY WRESTLING was a beautiful moment. As stated with Ron Burgandy, I love guest appearances, I think they keep things fresh and fun. Santa was the best of them.

44. Jesus Christ

See above but attach the fact that his song was so much better than Santa’s and he actually WON the match. I mean the shock was gone once Santa had come out, but Jesus finishing the job was the perfect end to the holiday season.

43. Segata Sanshiro

I’d like to make the note here that I REALLY like all of the wrestlers from 43 and up. Like I’m a big fan of each of them, really happy they are/were in the VGCW, and were/are part of what made the league great. It really speaks that a little over half of the league has been pretty fantastic, so thanks for that, Bazza. This should hopefully be a turning point where I have a lot more positive to say, or at least more positive than ‘this was good but they needed to show up a lot more’.

Okay, first of all, what is around Segata’s neck? Every time I see his intro I swear I see like a white necklace around him. Is his flesh just that damn shiny? Also why the bandanna? Dude’s got a MASSIVE forehead. I know his CAW’s face is kind of ugly and the bandanna helps mitigate that, but come on, dude’s most distinguishing feature past his hair and badassery is his giant-ass forehead. Whining about the design aside, I really love Segata. He’s probably the most obscure fighter we have in VGCW, but he appears in style and stride. He started with the hilarious gimmick of coming after anyone backstage who DID NOT PLAY SEGA SATURN, which was really fun, ESPECIALLY when it backfired during the whole Mr. L plotline. His deep run in the King of the Ring tournament because he was fast to go for submission holds? Hilarious. His upset of Red just before he could obtain the Saturn Badge and challenge the Elite Four where he would’ve gotten his ass kicked? Absolutely fantastic, and helped send Red from being ‘this guy who slays all these guys with horribly flawed movesets’ to ‘an incredibly interesting wrestler who really wants to be the very best but does have a long way to go’. Segata also has some damn great matches under his belt, including the aforementioned one with Red and the double 9 count of Scorpion.

So why’s he comparatively so low? Well, I suppose that just has to do with the fact that the Rings of Saturn as his custom finisher really does lessen his impact. There are other characters like Barret with the customs, of course, but they have better mic skills than Segata, whose ‘noble warrior of honor’ routine can only get him so far. His tag partner also isn’t great, Ryo essentially being ‘that guy who isn’t Segata’ on Segata’s team. But I suppose the thing that holds Segata back the most is a lack of potential growth. Segata is a very complete character: he’s a sociopath who breaks people’s fingers for not playing Sega Saturn and has a bunch of honor. That’s cool and all, but it’s hard to give that rigid a character a feud with anyone or to play off of anyone; Segata essentially pulls his own weight and doesn’t back down from anyone. Even someone without emotions like Air Man at least can be an emotionless dick, and guys like Sagat are fairly multi-layered. Segata has the joke of SEGA SATURN and the gimmick of honor, and that’s pretty much as far as he goes. He COULD get into a plot, but I just find it really hard to see the guy shaking that off. I dunno, I think he could just benefit from a different moveset and REALLY needs a good tag partner to make him shine. On his own, I don’t see him doing a ton past where he is right now. Still, high hopes for WWE 14 and what he’ll accomplish there.

[Sega Saturn has no games. — Lee]

mike_haggar_i_love_kick'n_butt42. Mike Haggar

J Jonah Jameson for VGCW make it happen.

Anyway, Haggar is a guy who’s needed to be in VGCW, and he does not disappoint with his dominance. The Mayor of Earth has always been an exceptionally strong competitor, but despite his consistent strength, has always remained fun to see in the ring. Haggar does show weakness and trouble with momentum sometimes; we definitely see the guy bleed enough to know he’s mortal. And despite that, he’s still probably the favorite to come out of most matches he enters. I like that about Haggar, him being an overwhelming heavyweight who still feels like he can be upset. True, a lot of this came from his crap custom finishers back in the day, but even now, his loss and then close win against Little Mac seemed very legitimate, and proved to be close, enjoyable matches. Most of Haggar’s matches have that sense of weight to them, that though he’s strong, he’s definitely fallible, and he’s an enjoyable champion in addition to that. His CAW is great, and his wrestling background makes him a shoo-in.

Why is he comparatively low? Well, this may be a personal issue, but I feel like the chat has caught on as well, or at least definitely did in one case: Haggar seems like a bit more of an ass than he should in plot segments. I understand that a guy who beats up thugs WITH HIS BARE HANDS IN A CITY FULL OF CRIME is a massive badass, but the fact that he’s called ‘Mayor’ shows that this is Haggar during the events of Final Fight, or at least the original trilogy of Final Fight games. There, he’s a caring father who, while very excited, clearly enjoys wrestling just because it’s wrestling, a man who gives it his all, but is respectful to the other guy. Haggar’s seemed a bit unnecessarily condescending to me, at least in his talks with Barret and Mac, being a bit too sarcastic and a bit too higher-than-thou. I know he said ‘just kidding’ the first time, but the guy’s like the big daddy father figure of wrestling. You don’t make big daddy an ass even for a little bit unless he like buys drinks afterward.

41. Sagat

Sagat is just one of the best damn CAWs, bar none. His face is absolutely perfect, exactly capturing the shape and angles that Sagat looks like in Street Fighter IV, and he just looks damn good in motion as well. His theme isn’t the greatest (though thank God it isn’t his SF1 theme), but he’s definitely recognizable, and how towering height helps him out quite a bit too. He’s also pretty fun to watch in the ring, his TIGER TIGER gimmick being actually fairly fun, and him having a nice style of martial arts with moves to toss the opponent is fun to see. He feels like another fallible heavyweight, like Haggar, and I really do like seeing that in a wrestler. His statement of ‘my road will start here, and end with the VGCW Championship’ was also pretty baller and hardcore, even if it ended prematurely. It really seemed like Sagat had the strength to make it happen, and I like that. Dude’s also a GREAT tag partner for Bison, and the two have such massive potential for a back-and-forth. Sagat is really a contender, strong enough and cool enough to do what Bison doesn’t, and showing enough backbone on the mic that he’ll be able to make a TIGER SPLASH wherever he’ll end up. I’m excited to see where he’ll go from here; where he rises or falls is all up to his actions and plot.

robotnik_rad40. Dr Eggman

So… does anyone actually pay attention to Eggman in the ring? I mean, we’ve all assumed he was strong, and lately he’s been proven to be a fraud, but… what does he actually DO when he fights? His finisher is a very fast one with little showboating that could normally be attributed to the good doctor, and his moveset honestly feels fairly standard. When I think of things ‘unique’ about Eggman as a wrestler, outside of his appearance, nothing really comes to mind for me.

However, Eggman is probably the ultimate ‘style over substance’ character, and that’s very good for him. His CAW is absolutely hilarious, and I remember his appearance being a big reason of why I got into VGCW; he was just too damn funny to ignore, and yet it somehow fit him perfectly. Dude’s got one of the, if not THE, best themes in all of VGCW, and the sheer joy that comes from MASTER PLAN is something a lot of wrestlers wish they had. His SHOTS FIRED at Wily is the stuff of legends, their back-and-forth while somehow remaining friends being the best hateship this side of Adam-kun. Hell, even his early results are great, taking the title from a favored Mr. Satan with his Robotnik Classic look and then his two challenges to Raphael, ALMOST doing it the second time. And he’s even got a bit of spark left in him, taking it to DK before we knew that post-Glitch Bomb DK was a monster. Honestly Eggman only needs a bit of a moveset tweak and he’ll be back to hatching his master plans. Honestly just give the guy a more grandiose and stronger finisher and I think he’ll do great.

Oh and, just as a personal aside, but did Eggman seem more… tame, I guess, in Season 5? He seemed to be less SHOTS FIRED and more ‘is pretending to be smart but is actually pretty incompetent’, like with the whole business of ‘also the dragon eats Master Emeralds’. I mean that line was hilarious as all get-out, but aside from some gems like ‘I’ll take two so YOU don’t lose it!’, he’s seemed a lot less SHOTS FIRED. I mean, when Nappa went ‘wow that’s brilliant!’ to Eggman’s idea of reviving Vegeta, I was a bit disappointed there was nothing along the lines of ‘Of course it was! I thought of it you numbskull!’ Eggman’s a guy always firing on all asshole cylinders, and… I don’t know, there was just less of his douchebaggery this last season, I felt. And I miss Eggman’s douchebaggery.

39. Knuckles the Echidna

Okay let’s get the obvious out of the way: Knuckles is fantastic. His design, his lewdness, UNLIKE SONIC I DON’T CHUCKLE I’D RATHER FLEX MY MUSCLES, his moveset focusing on AND THE KNUCKLES CONNECT, the reaction from the audience at the abomination that is a somewhat humanized Knuckles – all absolutely beautiful. The only reason he’s not higher is because of his plot segments. Now I don’t mean content – Knuckles getting tricked by the Eggman is a brilliant move, hilarious, and MAH EMERAHLD was absolutely hysterical. Heck, even him getting depressed at dismantling Proto Man and that being his change of heart point really worked well with Knux’s character. However… I just feel like Sonic was either introduced too early, or Knuckles dragged the feud out a little too long. The Knuckles plot thread was resolved by the first episode Bowser showed up in, which let future talks with Sonic to… just kinda drag. I don’t know, I feel like Knuckles’ petty grudge shouldn’t have lasted… what was it, three weeks? A month? Every scene he had with Sonic was kind of the same old ‘Eggman is tricking you knucklehead’ ‘SHUT UP YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD’ ‘Okay whatever vgcw_sheesh ‘ ‘Man that Sonic guy is a jerk’ back-and-forth, and we had at least four scenes full of that (albeit one was the STEALTH PROMO). I feel like it could’ve been settled easier and earlier, and that we could’ve gotten one more scene with The Practice or WarioWare. Now that Knuckles is finally over the SHUT UP SONIC hump, I expect good things, but it took a while to get through.

obama_mask_scares_kid38. Barack Obama

Too high? Don’t care, Obama was one of the most hilarious things to happen to the VGCW. Completely out of place in everything he was in, but AMERICA FUCK YEAH and Obama being closer to a jobber than anything really made every damn time the guy showed up hype as fuck. Originating the Obama Roll and showing us just how hilarious the AI could be also helped immensely. And finally, his farewell match, holding aloft the grand old flag as he waved it for all of America to see, was a thing of patriotic beauty that Duke can only dream of matching. Obama left a legacy, and it’s a wonderful to see one.

duke_nukem_oprah37. Duke Nukem

Duke’s Last Stand, man. I mean, knowing what we know now, anyone that DK hit with the Glitch Bomb in that match (don’t remember it that well, just the result) probably was the cause for Duke’s great victory, but taking out the enemy at a three to one advantage was damn amazing. Otherwise, Duke’s pretty well known for making amazing matches that he ends up choking out of at the end. Having the Stunner in his arsenal also makes a world of difference, helping out Duke’s rather paltry damage potential in a way the Eggman could only dream about. The thing that keeps Duke from being an Arino or another comeback king is that Duke normally has control of a match at the start, and somehow loses momentum to choke it away. I know that’s not really his fault, but he manages to stretch matches out for a massive amount of time as he waits for a stunner to put his opponent away with, and that’s pretty consistent. And more often than not, that causes Dook to choke himself with his own patriotic pride. And yet, the guy would still be great, but he’s one of those who is just SCREAMING for more mic time. Duke’s whole thing is badass one-liners stolen from other sources and being a washed-up has-been, dude is practically designed to be behind the mic. I know he’s never really gotten the opportunity, but the sooner he can get his spangly ass up to a mic, the better.

36. Adolf Hitler

GERMAN RAVE MUSIC! PINK GORILLA SUITS! THIS GUY SURE IS WACKY AND ZANY! Hitler was the one true ‘joke character’ we’ve had in the VGCW, someone that was never going to go anywhere because… well he’s fucking Hitler, and you don’t exactly ROOT for the guy. I mean, he’s pretty funny as far as history’s greatest monsters go, definitely prime for making fun of, a much better choice than Stalin or Bin Laden or Christopher Columbus. But as soon as VGCW took itself with any iota of seriousness, Hitler had to be shown the door. For his time, though, he always brought a smile to my face. He was held with all of the dignity that he deserved, and win or lose, it was always a blast seeing him. Plus his theme song was actually fairly catchy and oddly enjoyable. COUTIS MIEN TOUNGE or whatever.

jontron35. JonTron

Honestly, if it wasn’t for Bazza’s distaste of the Grumps, JonTron could’ve been an a-grade heel. The guy is damn hard to write for, but his combination of non-sequitors and not giving a fuck and over-the-top mannerisms were perfect. Early on, JonTron was one of the faces of the company, the John Cena that people actually kinda liked. Jon was a far cry from losing to Ego; he’d pull win after win out of his ass with nothing but a damn good moveset and charisma on his side. Dude MURDERED Glitch Bomb DK. Not just beat, he legit MURDERED glitch bomb DK because he got momentum on his side. Not only that, he got Glitch Bomb DK to lose to COUNTOUT, one of the things that DK could MOST EASILY avoid. Dude deserves absolutely MAD props for that. Every match with JonTron had the potential to be exciting – Hell, the sheer thrill and hatred that spread through the crowd when he was going to challenge Red was absolutely fantastic. People were losing their minds at the idea of goddamn JonTron being the casual champion. It was a thing of absolute beauty in rage, and something I’m going to dearly miss now that JonTron is gone.

I do wish Bazza had done more with the Grumps plot-wise. I know he lost all of his care for him and Ego died pretty quickly into Season 2, but the two were AMAZING heels. No one generated NEARLY as much hate as those two did in their prime, with only Dan’s ultimate betrayal of Mr. Satan challenging them for that asshole throne. A few promos or a few more singles matches for Jon would’ve done the two a world of good. Hell, Jon got a FANTASTIC reaction after the Game Grumps split up, with a lot of people actively praising and going back to Jon’s side, looking at his work outside of Game Grumps and ECHing all the way. He was this mixture of a heel that people couldn’t let go of and a wrestler that people were starting to latch back onto. As it stands, the guy did a damn great job at giving us close, intense matches through the first two seasons before gradually being phased out of the company. I understand why it happened, but I wish we got more of him, especially later on.

34. Scorpion

Scorpion’s CAW is ugly. Just wanted to say that, because it’s pretty ugly. The yellow needs to be a slightly darker shade, that’d fix it up nicely, give it a little more dimension. As it stands, bright yellow on black is… really ugly.

Anyway, Scorpion is excellent because he’s in a rather exclusive club. With DK and Air Man, he’s one of the few guys to get either no mic time or have little personality (looking at you, Groose and JonTron for the contrary) other than a very basic meme or outline… and still find popularity through just his wrestling alone. Watching Scorpion wrestle is amazing; dude’s flipsy shit is off the charts, and he’s got a great combination of stuff from a nearly-useless-but-awesome chokeslam to his patented ‘do a bunch of cartwheels and force push the guy so I can be as impressive as possible’. And the best part is, it seems effective. Of all the high flyers in the league, you’re hard pressed to find one better than Scorpion, and definitely not one who performs tricks as much as Scorps (I mean technically Gary Oak but… Gary. ). Dude’s great fun to see in the ring and has some absolutely legendary matches under his belt. Red Vs Scorpion was one of the best matches of the ever, and Scorpion Vs Segata was equally excellent.

However, Scorpion’s biggest strength is his biggest flaw: keeping matches very close… with low midcarders. Say what you will about Red, but we can all agree that his durability is nowhere close to the greatest. And yet, he performed an amazing amount of kickouts on Scorps. And how about his bunch of near-losses to guys we thought Scorpion would cream? Waluigi kind of stands out, but then again, he is Wah.

Scorpion showed some great mic skills in his challenge to Red, but the guy needs more. He’s got a great set-up having tied with Red and just BARELY saving his honorary title that he doesn’t even like that much; that could end in a number of ways that I’m really looking forward to seeing play out. I have my eye on Scorpion, and hope he can have more than ‘one fantastic thing per season’ that we’ve seen from him match-wise. He’s a guy I’m ready to be a fan of.

[Everything he does is captivating. Scorpion is IMO the second-most entertaining character in the whole roster. The first would be the same as pyrrhickong’s first. — Lee]

charles_barkley_madonna33. Charles Barkley

Alright, I am definitely not going to lie here: Sir Charles is an absolute master of the mic. He knows just how to generate hate and heat from everyone, yet still feel like this charismatic guy. His Pipe Bomb was damn incredible, and made me a massive fan of his (well, for the time at least). He can work the audience and wrestlers over like no other with nothing but words, and the best part is, no one knows what to expect from him. With Dan, you always know he’s going to be an ass. With Nappa, you know he’s a good guy who’s dumb, and that dumbness will make him say something funny and endearing. With Barkley, yeah he’s generally down on stuff, but he can be intimidating physically, he can wear someone down psychologically, he just feels unrestrained by role. He’s Charles Goddamn Barkley, and he’ll do whatever he damn well pleases insofar as his image goes. I love that about him.

With that said, his ring performances… are less than enjoyable. Pre-redesign, he was known as the guy “who gave Vegeta his first win”. Which was cool, it gave us a fun feud where VEGETA actually came out on top, but none of his matches were particularly fun to watch. He had the Chaos Dunk, and I will always enjoy the Omega Driver for just how damn visceral it is, but that was pretty much all he had. Even after his redesign, the ‘targeting the legs’ issue really made Barkley look a lot better than he actually was. That’s fairly common knowledge, but the issue with it is that Barkley has a really underwhelming and not all that exciting moveset to go along with it. He’s got his slams but needs his jams – and he really needs a Glam Slam in there. I mean, it’s got Slam in the name. All of his matches in the 1000 Years of Slams and Jams era were really long and played-out, and this was half because of Barkley’s leg issues, and half because he couldn’t put his enemies away. We’re seeing lately how fast Barkley matches are going, with Sir Charles going down pretty easy and not dealing a ton of damage on his opponents as well.

Honestly? I think if Barkley was a High Flyer, he’d get farther. I know his whole thing was dunks, but he needs some momentum to be able to dunk people. Increases his damage output, increases his mobility, and makes up for his durability evidently being crap while letting his ground moveset stay at whatever it needs to be. The guy needs just a little boost to make him more interesting in-ring, as I’ve always found Barkley matches to be snorefests when not including the Badman.

32. Flint

Y’know what I’ve always really loved about Flint? His theme music. I know that’s an odd thing to be focused on a character with, but Flint is just so unique. Most intros are high energy pieces, ways to get the crowd hyped up and ready. Others are funny lyrical stuff, like Donkey Kong or Octodad or Jensen, that are instantly recognizable. Others are intimidating or emblematic of the character to show their strength, like Ganondorf or Wario or Kefka. But Flint? Flint has happy-ass Mother 3 music. Nothing exciting, nothing to hype, just… happy music. That really goes a long way with Flint’s character just being ‘this nice guy with good morals’. He feels like the face you want to root for, and it’s there in him just having a fun, enjoyable theme to him as well.

In addition to this, Flint was pretty fun in the ring as well. Sure Power Hit was a custom finisher, but his moveset had some damn strong moves to it, and he could accomplish quite a lot if he got some momentum going. He also had a ton of heart, kicking out when he really shouldn’t. It’s hard for me to remember the times I would think ‘Flint, just STAY DOWN, don’t take any more’, but again and again he’d get up until he was finally finished off. His match with Phoenix was probably the best example of this, but some of his earlier multi-man appearances showed shades of this as well. It’s great fun seeing Flint perform nice power moves on his enemies and just keep hanging on, trying to outlast them through tenacity.

I guess the only thing that keeps Flint lower is that he doesn’t really have anywhere to go unless we get another Mother 3 character to play off of him or somehow bring his family into it. Dude’s just a nice guy and his ‘you’re a good person, Flint’ really cemented him as one of the nicest of nice guys. Standing up to Kefka and delivering a finisher on GOD was also incredibly impressive, and probably going to be remembered as his finest moment. From here on Flint… can really only keep going a pretty good wrestler and showing us some good performances. He feels like a guy who would do well in a tag team, playing the father figure to another wrestler, kind of in that Mr. Satan/Dan way but with less of his own ego hogging up time. Dunno what he’ll do, but I’ll be waiting for it.

mark_discordia31. Mario

The moment that Mario comes back to save us all from Mr. L is still one of the best moments in VGCW. Just the poetic justice of it is beautiful. The only thing that was missing was ‘Brother My Brother’ from the first Pokemon movie playing in the background, but that would ruin the absolutely perfect dramatic tension in that moment. But seriously, that song needs to be used for hilarity’s sake alone whenever some friend has to fight a friend or something in VGCW. But to digress, Mario Vs Mr. L was an amazing match. The match itself wasn’t fantastic, but the buildup? The atmosphere? The FUCKING FIRE WITH THE LIGHTS OUT? Absolutely incredible. Loved the whole thing, start to finish, and was was the epitome of what plot could do for a VGCW match.

Past that, Mario was a damn good wrestler. Guy was never a main eventer, but he always put on a good show and had that super energetic Super Mario World title theme that got everyone pumped. His signature moves were just SO FITTING, with the Bowser Toss and Goomba Stomp generating massive amounts of hype any time they were used. The dude did everything he could to be fun to watch, and he even had quite a bit of heart behind him as well. However, the greatest thing about him was ‘Gonzales’ being available as a commentary name. Running with the whole Glitz Pit thing was amazing, and I burst out laughing the first time I heard it. TTYD was FANTASTIC for its writing, and frankly, Mario’s ability to communicate entire massive sentences through a single hand gesture could’ve led to so much potential.

Mario is first in line for characters I want to return with the roster expanded. Even if it’s just as Luigi’s manager or something, I really want to see The Great Gonzales return and do SOMETHING. He was an exceptionally fun wrestler to have around, and IT’S FREAKING MARIO. I think we can tell from Luigi’s drop off in popularity that both Mario Bros. being together really helps the other out, but I still feel Mario would do the best on his own now that Luigi’s personal push failed.

[Agreedo. The Mario vs Mr. L fight was so impressive that I donated to Bazza and never really stopped. — Lee]

30. Dracula

The only flaw of Dracula was that the guy never wrestled. Ever. I mean, we saw him beat Majin Vegeta, which was great, but other than that, the guy beat Simon Belmont, lost to Glitch Bomb DK, and then lost to Little Mac. Dude had practically zero presence in the ring. I know that’s hard to do, making a villain seem incredibly unbeatable and powerful when you can’t rig matches, but Dracula needed time to cement himself as either the big bad who’s stronger than all of his men or the crafty genius who gets by on his out-of-ring powers. That’s really his only glaring weakness: by the time Little Mac finished him off, we had no idea if that victory was supposed to be impressive or expected, because both were essentially non-entities (Mac not having wrestled in forever and Dracula having a total of two matches where he actually fought, and one was against Glitch Bomb DK).

Other than that, fantastic villain to carry off a season. Way to get rid of Woody’s hilarious creepy gimmick? Make Dracula establish himself as big bad and make Woody even MORE hilarious. Need a bad guy but Ganondorf’s too deep into title runs? No problem, Dracula’s a fresh, hot new heel that most people really do love with an INCREDIBLE CAW. Dude was classy as Hell, often talked down his competition and belittled them, and knew how to make a statement. Just look at how huge he put Barret over with his near-win against The Practice; that said leagues about Barret, Dracula, and gave us a precursor to how far the Eggman would fall in Season 5. Drac was all about bids to be the strongest, while keeping his own stable in line. His chewing out of Dan is absolutely fantastic, Hibiki so much Dracula’s bitch that ‘Dracula’s bitch’ WAS Dan’s character for all of Season 4. Dracula commanded Wrestlevania with a ton of class and respect, and only his lack of ring presence holds him back. Honestly, I’d be fine with him returning and teaming up with Kefka again as team ‘we promise we’ll be good this time’. Drac’s a hard villain to just see sent away forever before he really got a chance to prove himself wrestling-wise.

29. Octodad

Octodad is one of the most fun kayfabe jokes since Mr L, and while he isn’t QUITE as good as the L-man as his joke’s end seems to be ‘when people get bored of it’ rather than ‘when it’s revealed’, it’s given me a lot of fun chuckles. Meanwhile, his CAW, look, wrestling style… really speak for themselves. He’s a hilarious joke that everyone is in on, and yet, dude can still try and wrestle. It’s only a matter of time before he’s invited to a Money In The Bank match, where everyone will flip their shit on WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR A REGULAR MAN TO CLIMB A LADDER. But he’s here because of the miracle happening, and it was hilarious. Octodad managed to push Ganondorf off to such an early lead that he was able to tank the GVD and keep going. From there, Ganon just ran out of steam and Octodad was able to capitalize with a combination of submissions and a strong finisher. Absolutely FANTASTIC impression made, can’t wait to see where Season 6 takes the regular human father. Thinking about it, any combination of Flint, Octodad, Barret, and Haggar would make a good tag team, though I think Flint/Octodad works the best, personally. Great CAW with a lot of potential and a fantastic theme, what’s not to love? Time will take him far or send him back to obscurity.

[I think that image I posted earlier is disgusting enough as it is. — Lee]

woody_vgcw28. Woody

I miss Woody, I really do. The guy was absolutely hilarious, if incredibly creepy, and it felt like Bazza had big plans for him with the EVIL RED FILTER. I feel like one attempt at revenge should’ve been made before he was Dracula’d, but that was truly a fitting end for the cowboy. Just each time he would end up getting people to PLAY WITH THEIR TOYS, and then the combination of the Segata and Mr. L beating people up backstage mixing in a hilarious three-way backstage clusterfuck was a beautiful thing to behold.

But honestly, Woody was pretty funny to see in-ring, too. Sure, a majority of it was in Season 1, but in probably the most hilarious size match-up ever, Woody BEAT Wreck-It Ralph. Hell, dude even stood toe-to-toe with Batman for a while, and the big black bat wasn’t a slouch himself! Past that, Woody really was completely his backstage joke, but damn if it wasn’t a good one. I remember ever week seeing who Woody would interact with and laughing my ass off at their responses, AVGN probably being the absolute best of them. Have to say I’ll miss him – super chill theme, funny look, breasts clearly visible, and he had a huge fanbase at the height of his creepiness. It was just a fun aside all around, one of the first sub-plot threads that got made into a huge deal, and it was a fun ride. He’s my favorite deputy.

27. Dan Hibiki

BOO THIS DAN.

But naw seriously, Dan’s a great guy. Dude NEVER stops being a huge ass to EVERYONE unless he’s bending over and taking it from the prince of darkness or blowing Mr. Satan that one time, and he’s just the perfect guy to send someone WAY over. Hell, even if Dan BEATS someone, like with Barret or Octodad, it’s not how Dan won; it’s how much Barret or Octodad were able to beat up Dan. Non-contender matches with Dan have turned into a sport of people wanting to see Dan get hurt rather than the actual match; very few people actually root for the guy anymore.

Somehow, I think Bazza has unintentionally but perfectly captured just how annoying Dan would be in a Street Fighter game if we didn’t recognize he was a joke character. The guy getting in everyone’s way, with an inflated sense of self-worth, copying and learning from others and marketing his genius as his own, born from a personal vendetta against someone… that’s grea–

I just realized that Dan and Sagat are in the same league. Why haven’t they had a match yet? Go Hibiki is rolling in his grave and will keep doing so until that happens!

Anyway, Dan’s made to be annoying and hatable, and boy oh boy is he ever. Not even vintage hate-era Grumps could generate as much hate at this guy. And yet, his struggle is understandable: I remember going back to watch old matches before Dan eliminated Ash, and the guy was very well-liked. He was a lovable loser where everyone was exclaiming SAIKYO and WORLD’S GREATEST MARTIAL ARTIST and FATHEEERRRR. All of that has been completely lost for tarnishing Ash’s fantastic win streak, and then having the nerve to beat him in their following match. Dude had a legitimate reason for turning full heel, and it actually fits the character pretty well to make that turn. I don’t love him, but I appreciate what Dan’s done for the company.

In-ring, Dan’s hit and miss. Sometimes, he uses only his more standard moves and Ultimate Taunt and goes down pretty easy. He’s got above-average tenacity that lets him have HEEL HEART, but otherwise he’s got his shitty finisher and that’s all that carries him usually. However, there are some moments where he just goes into overdrive. His fight against Raph and his incredible struggle against Haggar (y’know, the one where Phoenix was in the match for 4 minutes or so) are probably the best examples of that. Hell, that Haggar match had me ROOTING for Dan, something that hadn’t happened for MONTHS, just because he was showing so much of a backbone. Dan is a guy who will never get over the stigma of being a heel unless he gets a Little Mac-level face lift, but he’ll have the chance to give good matches against guys he has no business giving good matches to and generally being a dick. That’s pretty alright by me.

[This entry perfectly explains what makes VGCW so great. I can never write this lucidly. — Lee]

sonic_gotta_go_fast26. Sonic the Hedgehog

It’s very difficult to say why I like Sonic so much, but I think everyone kind of likes Sonic a lot. As far as ‘more recent guys to be added’, Sonic has a leg up on the likes of Goemon and Octodad, even with only one (now two) matches… well, post-redesign anyway. First off, there’s just a lot of strength that gets carried around by a big name like Sonic. Goemon and Octodad will go on to be beloved, I’m sure, but they have their fans and grow. EVERYONE knows the Blue Blur if they’re capable of finding VGCW, and they either hate the guy for his recent non-Colors non-Generations games (and by ‘recent’ I mean ‘since Adventure 2’ ) or love the guy because he’s WAY PAST COOL or something. Sonic carries a weight with him, a very strong personality and likability, right out of the gate that really establishes him.

Of course there’s also his pre-redesign stuff, and for what it was, it was hilarious. The Sonic X theme will not get old, cries of GOTTA GO FAST coming out, the fact that Sonic music is often exceptional, especially for fight scenes due to the cheesy rock nature of the series, and just how horrible the previous Sonic CAW was made it something wonderful. Hell, Sonic Man from Sonic 2006 probably looked more like Sonic than ‘Classic VGCW Sonic’, but that just added to the fun. Sonic was washed-up, cheesy, and loving every second of it, and we loved him for it, too.

Now Sonic suffered from the same problem of ‘deja vu plot’ that Knuckles had, but Sonic was clearly the recipient of it rather than the instigator. Sonic was as sick of Knuckles’ shit as the rest of us, and showed up to make a wisecrack and then juice. This lead up to Sonic’s match, which did not disappoint. Dude providing a clutch win out of nowhere after spindash after spindash perfectly fitting the Sonic character really worked out. I greatly look forward to his future endeavors with Knuckles, because damn he’s fun to watch fight.

If I have one small complaint… I’d honestly change his theme music to ‘Escape From The City’ or SA2’s ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ or an instrumental of ‘His World’ or something. I love the SatAM theme, but I really like clean sound quality also, and there is no clean version of the SatAM theme. The sound effects, I know, can’t really be removed and would take a TON of digging to find an actual good version, if it’s not impossible, but they are kind of distracting from HE IS THE FASTEST THING ALIIIIIIIVE. Just a small thing, and it’d help him fit in with Eggman and Knuckles’ themes a bit better.

25. Adam Jensen

This Top 25 I absolutely love. Everyone up here is just so absolutely dear to me, I can’t help but enjoy them to their fullest. Getting up here, I think these wrestlers absolutely deserve to stick around, or in the cases of Mr. L and Baz McMahon, deserve to be remembered forever for all they did.

Jensen is very easy to talk about, because his strengths and weaknesses are very obvious. Dude is fantastic as Gabe’s straight man, developing a really sarcastic edge to the very over-the-top and cartooney VGCW universe. Tombstone Piledriver is a great finisher and puts everyone at risk of a quick loss if he manages to pull it out. Augmented Bike is hilarious and I’m going to be so sad when/if it ends up being removed in 2K14. On mic and in presentation, dude is fantastic.

The issues come from the non-Augmented Tombstone parts of his moveset and appearance. Jensen was in need of a major overhaul, looking less ‘deus ex’ kind of Matrix-esque and looking more… well, cyberpunk or Blade Runner. This was, fortunately, fixed in Season 6, where he looks really damn good and very Matrix-ey like he should, but it always bugged me, especially in matches where he lacked his signature stylish trench coat. The other part of it was his moveset. Jensen… didn’t have a very good moveset. Matches would often come down to ‘Can Jensen pull off the Augmented Tombstone before he gets his ass handed to him?’ More often than not, the answer would be ‘no’. Hell, Jensen might’ve been overrated for months due to The Great Tournament; his surprise upsets were against Haggar and Ganondorf. Haggar’s finishers, at the time, weren’t worth shit and let Jensen build up the Tombstone, while Ganondorf has exactly the same strategy as Jensen of ‘build up finisher, hit it, get bitches’. The only difference was that Jensen was a Hell of a lot faster than G-Dorf. Dude’s managed to rack up quite a few losses, which are probably more in-line with his actual strength in-ring. Maybe he’s in need for a few more augs to keep him competitive, or maybe he just needs to fight different kinds of opponents so we can get a strong read on him. A match against Bowser doesn’t say much other than ‘oh fuck that’s right Bowser’s a total monster, I forgot because he handed Arino his ass for some reason’ when Jensen can’t get off a finisher. Maybe increase his charisma a bit, I’m not sure what tweak would be best for him, but if he wants to stay in the main event, he’ll have to keep piggybacking off of Gabe.

Safety Valve needs more matches, too.

vgcw_air_man24. Air Man

Air Man is a robot. A robot who follows Dr. Wily’s orders to the letter. At the moment, the most interesting thing he can be is ‘the ultimate fighting machine’ and the obvious AIRMAN GA TAOSENAI and all of the memes that come from that. Dude has basically zero personality and is essentially a tool that happens to have a fan in its grill. He’s pretty awesome, though, and that helps him a lot. There’s just an aura that comes from being Air Man, and him being a fantastic wrestler to watch helps a ton. It’s amazing when design and moveset alone can put a wrestler way over, but Air Man has that in spades. Guy is strong, but losing to Groose and DK make him seem fallible. The Mandible Claw is a great finishing move and really fun to see used, and I’m very glad Air Man has it. Unfortunately this write-up is going to be a bit short, because it amounts to ‘Air Man always gives good matches, and outside of that is Wily’s weapon’. Until we start seeing more of him in the plot or he makes a run at the championship, he’ll stay in the ‘great to watch’ category. Have to say I get hype every time I see him, he’s a great performer.

pyrr I can't believe you didn't use this pic

pyrr I can’t believe you didn’t use this pic

23. Donkey Kong

What you can say about Air Man you can say about Donkey Kong. Dude is fun as Hell to watch with his repeated punches to the head on foes and how damn PAINFUL the Banana Slamma looks. DK is like a wrecking ball to everyone he faces, with amazing offensive power and not the best defense in the world. Unlike other super heavies, however, DK doesn’t feel like a ‘wall to whittle down’ or something. DK feels like a guy who gains momentum in his matches, like you HAVE to put him away fast or he will fuck you up, because his strength never dies. DK is a race against the clock that’s a lot more interesting and fun to watch than waiting for the GVD.

I just mark out for him particularly hard because DK is my fucking childhood. Donkey Kong Country? Loved it. DKC2? One of my favorite games of all time. Character of choice in multiplayer Mario games? Wario for a while, but it switched to DK because EVERYONE wanted to be Wario. That dumbass cartoon? Loved it. There’s a personal bias and satisfaction I get from seeing DONKEY GODDAMN KONG slamming people, and I think everyone has a character like that in VGCW. I’ve tried to remove that feeling from these write-ups, but I love VGCW for being able to evoke that simple, nostalgic feeling in me.

Anyway, DK ends up better off than Air Man for a handful of reasons. For one, just being in the league longer means more exposure, and he STILL hasn’t tired out or stopped being fun to watch. Second, his streak is INCREDIBLE, tarnished though it may be, the sheer amount of bodies the guy went through – in matches that were, more often than not, fairly close – deserves recognition. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for DK, as even though he’s not going to be anything but THE BIG MONKEY, he’s still THE BIG MONKEY and that’s enjoyable as Hell.

Funky Kong for VGCW, though. Make it happen, people.

22. Captain Falcon

I’ll freely admit that I think Captain Falcon was legitimately the ugliest CAW we had on the main roster. Just the combination of the bicycle helmet and the scarf and the colors on the outfit did not look good, with his WHITE EYES SHROUDED IN DARKNESS being the only things that really stood out on him. I’ll also admit that he got REALLY bad draws against Proto Man. Knowing what we know now, most of Captain Falcon’s early career can be thrown out the window, because damn that guy felt the brunt of the Glitch Bomb more than almost anyone else. Looking at his more recent results, including feud with Red ending in RESPECT HANDSHAKE… he’s pretty damn awesome. Dude’s got a great moveset, lots of strong moves that are fun to watch combined with speed to make that power worthwhile. Dude fluctuates between going down easy and having a lot of heart, but he’s shown he can definitely put on a show for everyone. As I get higher up, it gets harder and harder to criticize these superstars, as their strengths are obvious. Falcon’s great on the mic, he’s great in the ring, and all he’s in dire need of is more screen time and a makeover. There’s not a lot to praise because his series with Red speaks for itself and doesn’t have to be defended or highlighted – those matches are pretty freaking beloved universally and have been talked about to death. His recent match with Haggar was fantastic, shows just how far the cap-i-tan has come.

My only plea is this: if Captain ever wins gold, play this song. The lyric ‘when myopic confusion threatens your lunch, Falcon will be unleashing a Falcon Punch’… it’s so beautiful. There’s nothing better, will be the most inspiring thing, I cried ten times.

21. Proto Man

Proto Man is probably the biggest case of dropping from high to low and high again in VGCW. First, he was hilarious. Dude has fantastic glitches, like FLOATING IN MID AIR WE CAN’T GET HIM DOWN, and that was absolutely hilarious. Then, he was suspicious, and probably our biggest tip-off of the Glitch Bomb with his e-tank abuse. Completely turning matches around from an otherwise underwhelming competitor? Pretty risky. With Bowser and DK it was easy to excuse, as they just seemed that damn strong, and Sonic never got the chance to use it because he was 2fast, but Proto Man? The dude LIVED the Glitch Bomb, he WAS the Glitch Bomb, and for quite a long time, we couldn’t figure out why the robot was so good at what he did. Then the news hit, and all eyes went off Proto Man. He was just a cheater, no matter what he did, he was a guy whose glory days were past him, who had beaten up Captain Falcon several times and now we were pretty much done with him. Then we gave him a little mic time that made fun of his glitches, and he seemed like an okay guy. He was a guy who had cleaned up, he was off of the e-tanks, everything was good.

And then he died. Ho-ly SHIT did that put this guy over. Not even a dramatic death like Vegeta, who everyone already loved. This was just an offhand ‘we took him apart and killed him’. The implications were obvious, but no one wanted to read the writing on the wall until it was spelled out for us: they killed that poor robot. That added Air Man to the list of confirmed murderers, joining the likes of… Donkey Kong and Geno. Huh, that’s an awkward list. And Vegeta and Kefka I guess, but dragons aren’t real people and Vegeta just blew himself up, so it’s like saying Bob-ombs are mass murderers because every one kills at least one person when they die.

That aside… well, aside, Proto Man’s great because no one knows what’s going to happen with him. Is he going to get a face lift? Is he going to stay dead? Will this motivate another super fighting robot to come in? Are we going to have him upgraded to Zero? If we do that’s a missed opportunity for Egoraptor not to fight Zero so HE CAN BE COOL AS ZERO FORGET IT FUCKIN’ FORGET IT but who cares Zero is cool. Proto Man somehow has found himself in a bigger position than Little Mac to return to the business and make a splash. It’s only a matter of time before we see how he’s used.

phoenix_wright_jojo20. Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright is just an incredibly lovable guy. The guy was an absolutely goofy and incompetent protagonist, but his heart was always in the right place, and dammit, he TRIED. Every time Phoenix made an effort, be it trying to drag out the dark crimes of Baz McMahon or solve the case of who hit Little Mac, he did it with massive incompetence, yet such a drive and heart that demanded respect. The guy was the faceiest face in the company and a damn nice guy.

We still haven’t fully recovered from his loss.

The thing that made Season 2 and Early Season 4 Phoenix so great was that he was a terrible wrestler, yet he tried so hard anyway. His out-of-ring persona was so vibrant and so enjoyable, much like his game interpretation, that it made up for the fact that he had a standard moveset that was pretty crappy. Everyone rooted for him because it was very likely that he wouldn’t do anything in his matches, but we all WANTED him to do well, so badly. This made every single move Phoenix did generate a ton of hype; he was an eternal underdog to the levels of pre-Season 4 Arino, and it was damn fantastic to see.

Phoenix’s Heel turn… I’m admittedly not a fan of. I would’ve been okay if it were a few episodes, get something resolved with Snake, maybe bring in another Ace Attorney character or Professor Layton to straighten Phoenix out, and get our good ol’ Nick back. However, Dual Destinies Era Phoenix is… just kind of a boring bad guy. I mean his CAW is fantastic, and he’s never been more fun to watch in-ring than he is now, but he’s just kind of become an assertive ass of a wrestler that people still love because it’s Phoenix Fucking Wright. The Dark Age of the Law has been a fantastic thing to watch, and being in the absolute barn burner of Flint Vs Wrighto was brilliant.

But despite all of this, Dark Phoenix is just not all that interesting. I mean, we still have Mr. Voice lingering around, but now Phoenix will never call him Mr. Voice again, and that makes me truly sad. I am really waiting for the guy to get back to being the charming Mr. Wright we all knew and loved with the great personality and maybe keeping some of his now actually competent moveset. I see we’re finally getting back to his unresolved plot thread here at the start of Season 6, which is good, but is probably going to take some time to finish up. Two seasons without Feenie really is hard, but that’s what we’ve gotten: Phoenix has either been a great personality or a great wrestler. Combining the two would be an absolute nirvana.

19. Baz McMahon

Maybe this is carry over because I REALLY like Mr. McMahon as a villain, always thought the guy was hilarious and over-the-top as a kid and respect him for how big of an ass he made himself now as an adult. Maybe this is because I felt like Bazza perfectly captured what Mr. MrMahon was all about, and then made him into even more of a joke and added a ton of funny references. Maybe it’s because the character was legitimately good, but goddamn, I love Baz McMahon. Dude gave SO much heat and hatred, and yet had everyone focused on his lips. No one was more exciting to listen to, and no one was more fun to see on the mic aside from MAYBE Phoenix. I know Bazza is against author insert characters, but he really wasn’t being an author insert. He was giving an excuse for Mr. McMahon to manage a wrestling league full of video game characters, internet celebrities, a turtle, a toy, and a Japanese comedian. He was giving an excuse for Mr. McMahon to fight goddamn Santa Claus and Jesus Christ. And do we remember how much EVERYONE marked out when he appeared in Season 4 and was a true patriot with that MGS2 theme in the background? Baz McMahon was a character with no lows, only constant highs, and only the fact that he wasn’t really a character for VGCW and Bazza himself felt it was cheap writing hurt him. He’s not a guy I think will or should return, but I’d be happy if we heard from him every once in and a while.

gabening_intensifies18. Gabe Newell

I’m going to admit, I wasn’t a fan of Gabe until Season 4. I felt like he was just a big blob, that his losses in Season 1 were flukes and he was too big of a wall for anyone else to surmount. Him steamrolling his half of The Great Tournament en route to the fight against Jensen didn’t help matters, and I was ready to write the guy off as a one-note joke character with his inability to count to 3 and some basic, obvious comments about hats. I thought he was just going to be a less charismatic Ganon, that the Wallet Squeeze was the equivalent of the Gerudo Valley Driver and sounded the end of an opponent and that was it. That with every passing victory, I grew more and more dissatisfied with Gaben, and was sad he wouldn’t be removed from the roster so we could get more important people in.

I have never been so happy to be so wrong. First off, Gabe has always been beatable – one quick look at his record will tell you that. He’s got some damn powerful moves, culminating with the Wallet Squeeze, but he can be taken advantage of and can be given a match by anyone faster than him. Hell, just ask Gary Oak how hard Gabe is to beat. This makes Gabe a more exciting heavyweight to watch, though not quite as thrilling as, say, Donkey Kong. Secondly… DAMN did Bazza make Gabe into a fun character to watch. Gabe’s excitable and idiotic manchild routine is one of the best, and you can tell Bazza has a lot of fun writing it. From his comfortable ‘oh, hello’ when a person enters the room to his childish whining to the absolute hilarity of YOLO, complete with the sound of DK getting hit in Mario Kart 64, he’s just all-around hilarious and, best of all, consistent. Gabe is always the same ol’ Gaben every night, we get his same personality and charisma and it’s great to see.

Honestly? Gabe is someone I would change nothing about. Some of his decisions as GM are questionable, and he clearly takes credit for it, but he’s (just barely) the best GM ever. The one suggestion I would have? Make this one of his battle themes. The intro progression is just so strikingly SIMILAR to his Adventure Time theme used in plots, just sped up a bit. I’m sure there are pretty okay remixes for it out there, too, as length of Paper Mario tracks tend to be an issue.

[Saint Gabriel is my third favorite VGCW character. It helps that the real-life guy is pretty rad. — Lee]

17. Little Mac

I think Mac speaks for himself, so I’m going to keep this write-up brief. The Little McMahon Saga was great, seeing Kratos get his ass handed to him was fantastic, and having a lightweight be a main eventer just due to technique alone is fantastic and I love Mac Baby for it. Still need a Mac Vs DK to reenact the bonus boss of Punch-Out Wii. Mac’s return? Hyped as Hell. Seeing him step out of the limo is fantastic. NOT TODAY TOO FAST? Best plot scene until YOLO happened, and even then, that was pretty damn great. Ring-wise? Great, the boxing moveset is great to see, looks painful, and is fast and exciting. Personality? Very good, he comes off as very likable and excitable and legitimately wanting his redemption. Heck, even after slaying Dracula, dude was like ‘hope everyone can start to forgive me’ instead of ‘you’re all welcome, Imma face now’. Dude is humble and that’s great. Other than that? He’s kind of carrying being the big face on campus, only Arino and Flint really being as big of ‘nice guys’ as Mac Baby. Would love to see Doc Louis (when his shoulders aren’t a box) accompany Mac one of these days, if only to see Doc with the Hunico intro, or Mac and Doc in the tag intro with the bike. Do they still have that? Please tell me they do.

dr_wily_owns16. Dr. Wily

Unlike his friend Eggman, Wily has always been damn good in both ring and on mic. Wily’s never been GREAT results-wise in the ring, but damn if he isn’t one of the most entertaining wrestlers around. Whoever had the brilliant idea of making Dr. Albert Vily a high flyer was brilliant, I want to give them all my Bison Dollars, seriously, round of applause. Mixing up Wily’s high-flying antics is his TON of tilt-a-whirl moves and other attacks where he just flies around the opponent’s body like a maniac. Adding onto this was a brilliant move in giving him all of Alberto Del Rio’s mannerisms, just adding to the sheer amount of charisma and swag that Wily possesses. Had Wily been missing one of these elements, I doubt he’d still be around, and he certainly wouldn’t be as popular as he is today. But Wily just has a style all his own that’s let him stay through and through.

The best thing about Wily, though, is that he’s an absolutely perfect midcarder. The guy can give great performances and hang with main eventers like Majin Vegeta and Ganondorf one minute and then job to LUIGI of all people the next. Give this guy a casual title shot and he could seriously contend for the triple crown – he’s already beaten a #1 contender’s match for the main event. Wily is the most momentum-dependent wrestler in the league, and when he has the chance, he can do amazing things. Hell, he almost beat Safety Valve ON HIS OWN in that backstage brawl because he managed to hit a hot streak. That was incredible on the good doctor’s part, and he deserves major kudos for it. I think most of us expect a middling performance when we see Wily, but we all hope that he’ll pull off something special. More often than not, he does.

Oh and SHOTS FIRED. Still great. He’s got such a great chemistry with Kintobor, so glad that team has stuck around.

avgn_channel_3_perfume

15. Angry Video Game Nerd

Of the internet celebs we got early on, I’m glad that James managed to stick around. The guy pretty much kicked off the whole ‘critic who plays a video game and complains about the bad parts’ schtick, and while he does it in more of a review style than the more popular ‘play game, have live reactions, MAYBE HAVE EDITING SOMETIMES’, his influence is everywhere. James Rolfe is a good guy, and he’s a great representative of the online gaming video sub-culture.

Also the fact that the guy’s BOOOS are drowned out by cries of ASSSSS is amazing. He had the potential to be this huge target for hate, and instead became really beloved. That’s hard to do, and his success in the ring, damn good theme, and tag team surely have a lot to do with it. Nerd is plenty good in the ring, having a lot of power moves despite his small frame, and the F-Bomb being a damn fun finisher. Nerd seems to always give good matches, his recent one with Sagat being a great example of just how the guy can have a lot of heart and then fuck anyone he wants up. Not much to say about his fighting style other than… yeah, it’s good. Gets the job done, fun to watch, strong, and it’s great to see someone not in the super heavyweight class show some dominance, those are pretty rare.

His strongest asset is his writing, though. Bazza clearly takes joy in figuring out creative ways to swear and insult people, and that’s what the Nerd is all about. It’s just fun to go ‘OH BOY HOW IS HE GOING TO SAY FUCK OR ASS THIS TIME’ in this way full of childish glee. And despite that, the guy is still really nice to Arino. Both of them support each other, and while AD James is still vulgar as always, there’s this friendship that’s been forged there. It fits in with James Rolfe’s personality and I really like that, a mutual bond of respect born of fighting prowess and video games. His promo for End Game 5 was easily the most hilarious, and got a huge reaction from the crowd, only the Red/Scorpion trailer with the piano version of I Wanna Be The Very Best (can someone find that, by the way? I’ve dug for it and I can’t seem to find it anywhere, just crappy piano versions of the song at full-speed) drawing a greater reaction than sprite James and Shinya watching America’s promo.

And as a final aside, Channel 3 being back was necessary and thank you Bazza for bringing it back. The pace of that song really fit James’ character more, made it a lot more hype to see him walk into the ring, and lyrics do add a lot to the Nerd’s personality.

nappa_quote

14. Nappa

Nappa is strange for many reasons. He has some of the best moments in all of VGCW, Super Saiyan Nappa and the initial kickoff of Season 5 with his supreme incompetence being massive highlights. Dude was responsible for the first ring break, and while any ring break is incredible, the fact that it was 1. the first and 2. on Gabe Newell, who even in the early days we knew was a monster, was great. He’s the secondary hero of Season 2 and the main hero of Season 5, and Hell he even had a fantastic face moment in Season 4 confronting his friend. He’s even got some absolutely hilarious lines to share, making him great on the mic.

However, on the flip side of that, Nappa has a ton of flaws. His matches are often pretty short, he’s a lot weaker than that victory against Gabe lead us to believe he was (good midcarder at best). His moveset leads a lot to be desired; Hell, I can’t even tell you what his finisher is off of the top of my head, and I can at least PICTURE most of the cast’s even if I don’t know the move’s name. His personality really doesn’t fit in with his abridged series personality, which is clearly what he’s based off of, and for all of the screen time he gets, Nappa doesn’t really have super exciting matches. He had that one where he took down The Elite Four after Phoenix and Snake went down, but those were Phoenix Wright and Snake, not exactly two powerhouse names. Other than that, he’s got the ring break against Gaben and… usually losses, like against Majin Vegeta. He also has the issue of REALLY loving scoop slams, which just aren’t that exciting to watch.

Despite all of that, however. Nappa is still one of the most enjoyable characters in VGCW. His Abridged Series personality doesn’t shine through because a lot of referential humor and off-the-wall comments don’t really work in VGCW for a major character, since the very concept of the series is referential and off-the-wall. Nappa still makes smart comments, but they’re more sarcastic and wrestler-focused, and I like the direction Nappa has gone in. I think it works better than if his Abridged Series persona was allowed to play and go I CAN FLY TRIX ARE FOR KIDS. And frankly, he’s fun to just see in the ring and being in the league. Nappa is just a naturally funny character who is naturally endearing. The reason this works for Nappa rather than Ganondorf is just because Nappa is dedicatedly a face, and a more funny one than a serious one, yet he’s still allowed to do serious things. I get happy every time Nappa goes in the ring, vgcw_nappa is still great, and how Vegeta and Nappa play off of each other works very well. Nappa is a great guy for others to play off of and he has some fun himself. I’d definitely touch up his moveset, maybe give him a few more non-sequitors to say when he’s not involved in the main plot, but he’s fun and I’m so glad he’s here.

groose_no_motion_controls

13. Groose

Of all the characters going into VGCW Season 6, from a character and moveset perspective, I think Groose has the most potential. Not due to system changes or anything, but just due to personality and record. When Groose showed up, we all expected him to be a joke, as he was in-game. Hell, he lost a First Blood match to TINGLE, who lost to Arino when that was still something to be ashamed of. But then, something amazing happened. Groose… started winning. People LOVED Groose from Day 1 due to his incredible intro, theme, and CAW, but after his slip-up, the Groosinator took it to the people HARD. He beat Mayor Haggar in a King of the Ring match that effectively cemented him as not-a-jobber, and then was the people’s hero when he fought Sir Charles in the finals, people rallying for basically ANYONE but Barkley to win. Groose wound up losing that, but he gained a ton of fans, and those carried over to his Barkley rematch where he secured his championship. From there, Groose has just stayed a consistently strong wrestler that people love, what with all the ASS CAM and actually defeating Air Man with the Hair Gel Shield or whatever. Groose is a face people smile when they see, and for good reason: he’s funny as Hell and he’s great at wrestling. Being a standard heavyweight, again, also really helps him out, as we see a lot more moves that we don’t see from our more big and dominant competitors we’re used to seeing in the championship circuit.

Groose isn’t a guy who needs mic time, he’s one that DEMANDS it. Guy has a fantastic personality that can play off of pretty much any wrestler, and has the skills to back it up. He could take on or start a fight with anyone from the lower midcard to the main event, and people would adore the guy. Hell, a lot of people weren’t familiar with Skyward Sword, but are now familiar with The Groosinator. As I said before, a feud with Ganon, doing what Link could not: actually challenging the Dark Lord. But anything would do. The guy can fit any role from an actual team leader to a Mr. Satan-esque comic relief to someone so incompetent they can’t be allowed to do anything other than actually wrestle. Anything to give us more GrooseCam would be great.

[VGCW Groose is an amazing character even though the game he originates from is very poor. — Lee]

12. Barret Wallace

Barret is an odd case of a wrestler who was interesting BEFORE he got his big push, and then he gets his push and becomes absolutely beloved. Barret was always an oddball, looking very heavy and tough and then jobbing to Snake, of all characters. It was weird seeing someone so large job so hard, especially in a league dominated by super heavyweights. Barret was an underdog who was there… but damn if his CAW didn’t look great, was based off of his FF7 look instead of his shitty Advent Children look, and if he didn’t have a catchy as Hell theme song. AVALANCHE became just as big of his character and personality as anything else, even having that promo by Mega Ran at the start of Season 5.

Obviously the guy’s big break was exposing The Practice as a bit more than washed-up, as a guy who was almost eternally a jobber got his head out of his ass and nearly won a handicap match. From there on, dude went over MASSIVELY, people started chanting HEY like there was no tomorrow, it was one of the biggest explosions of love for a character since Backwards Hat Ash, and there was no getting off the Barret hype train everyone was on. Barret was notoriously bad at finishing matches off due to his custom finishers, but that was okay because after the Eggman/Wily, we got to see things that Barret could do outside of his shitty customs, and they were pretty fun to see! It always seemed like Barret SHOULD have had a ton of momentum and power but didn’t, and that made rooting for him all the more fun.

But I do really want to compliment Barret on one thing, and that’s his attitude on the mic. Barret is still his abrasive self from Final Fantasy VII, but he isn’t an ass about it, or doesn’t come off as unnecessarily mean like Haggar does. He comes off as a confident, strong guy who knows he ain’t everything, but he works damn hard and is determined he will amount to something. He’s a guy you want to root for, because he’s got confidence and can trash talk, but he doesn’t rub it in anyone’s face. At the end of the day, he’s a good guy. And that makes him just so damn easy to like. Looking forward to his endeavors in 2K14, which, by the looks of his match with Zangief, seems to be off to a good start!

mr_satan_greatest_man_in_this_world11. Mr. Satan

I truly believe that Mr. Satan is Bazza’s most well-written character. For a character to be so damn true to their source material is very hard – every character will have some kind of lean or slant due to the author’s own experience and opinion on them – but dammit, Bazza ends up pulling off Mr. Satan perfectly. The guy practically is his DBZ incarnation, cocky and arrogant, but with a good heart that overrides his incredible cowardice when a situation gets TOO dire. Everything during the VAMPHOUND saga was perfectly in-line with everything that Mr. Satan did in the Buu Saga, and the guy was just fun as Hell to see get mic time. Even in his conversations with Dan and the one-off with the Nerd, he came across as the same old lovable, all-attitude Mr. Satan. The amount of kayfabe liberties that Mr. Satan’s fans are willing to take for him, essentially becoming his DBZ fanbase, just gives the guy a presence that can’t be matched by any but a select few.

In-ring, Mr. Satan is pretty damn good as well. Guy always seems to straddle the line between low and high midcarder, as one day he can give a main eventer a match and the next get absolutely creamed by James. However, his moveset is extremely flashy, and the fact that his Super Megaton Punch is a custom finisher that hardly does any damage… honestly fits him perfectly. Mr. Satan has trouble putting people away, but he’ll always put on a show. Get this guy back into either the tag division or contention for a title, because the promos this guy could drop… oh my God. There is more potential for Mr. Satan than any other wrestler for that shit.

wario_madoka

10. Wario

Most people just immediately associate Wario with Waluigi. Wario is just the older brother who’s there to be better at wrestling and make WarioWare an enjoyable tag team instead of ‘what will Waluigi do this time?!’ He’s a character who leeches off of Waluigi’s popularity and needs to rely on CLASS and the MR MONEY gimmick to get by.

These people are wrong. Wario is one of the finest damn wrestlers in the league, and with or without his brother, the guy is absolutely great. Of all the Marioverse characters, Wario adapts the most easily to a wrestling environment. He’s greedy, he’s brash, he’s strong, he doesn’t care for anyone but himself and occasionally his brother, and he’s a massive attention hog. All of them are perfectly endearing traits, and Wario holds them all in spades. Wario IS selfish and stupid, but he’s particularly conniving, and knows how to achieve his stupid goals. Through all of Season 5, Wario was consistently the 2nd strongest character, behind Gaben. Guy was a complaining oaf who played off of his dopey brother perfectly, and he even got a nice, hilariously sad line in ‘next time we’ll be millionaires’. Seeing the guy’s harebrained schemes and how he throws his brother into them is a consistent highlight, and it was him, not Waluigi, who carried the most comedic team of Season 5 (with the exception of Wah’s win in the Triple Threat, which was very Wah).

But even putting Wario’s mic skills aside, before he was great in the plot, Wario was a fantastic wrestler. For quite a while, Wario was one of the unsung heroes of VGCW. The guy was a high midcarder who could put up good matches against anyone, but could rarely pull off a win where it counted. We now know this is because of his shitty custom finisher, but Wario was a great performer who could appear as a #1 contender or a casual contender whenever he felt like it. He manages to get a single pinfall on Donkey Kong, a guy a lot of people see as quite a bit stronger than him, and absolutely takes Segata and Arino to the floor. Segata is especially impressive considering he beat Wario’s ass pretty handily twice before.

However, Wario possesses two of the best back-to-back matches in all of VGCW: Wario Vs Red, followed by Wario Vs Zangief. Wario Vs Red was different from ALL of Red’s other non-Segata matches in that Wario was durable enough to halt Red’s momentum. Red’s matches followed a charming pattern where the opponent would bloody Red, Red’s natural toughness would kick in, and he’d score a quick Giga Impact DDT to screw up their day. Wario was different. Wario took it and then Red’s impact bounced right off of Wario’s fabulous flab. Delivering an incredible SIX finishing moves, Wario looked like he had the match in the bag multiple times. However, Wario’s finisher had the flaw of being the least effective finisher in the world, and an incredible war of attrition happened. Either Red or Wario could’ve lost at any moment, and Mr. Money just happened to be the one who bowed out.

Then, he had his extreme rules match with Zangief, and THE SAME THING HAPPENED. Neither of them could put away the other, so the match dragged on and on into an absolutely brutal war between the two until, EVENTUALLY, one of them had to win. Again, this would be Wario due to his great durability and faster speed, and again, Mr. Money was fun as Hell to watch. He’d given us two classics right in a row, and everyone was losing their minds during those matches, wondering when it’d be over, when someone would concede. Kept everyone at the edge of their seats, and if someone’s good enough to do that TWICE in a row, then they have some talent.

Of course, even after his fixes and redesign, Wario remained fun to watch. The Wario Bros Vs the Mario Bros featuring New Wario was fantastic, with Wario trying to take any advantage he could get and the Mario Bros. hammering him, letting Waluigi FINALLY be relevant only for Wario to actually come back and finish something for once. Guy’s a great wrestler who puts on a good show and actually USES strikes instead of exclusively going for grapple locks. I will admit, a lack of ‘Mr Money’ in 2K14 really is disheartening, as is the fact that his WarioWare self seems to have completely overtaken his classic yellow and purple design, but these are small nitpicks on my end. Wario is a perfect triple threat of style, moveset, and mic skills, and deserves respect in all three categories.

mr_l9. Mr. L

Mr. L is probably the most effective plot element we ever will have. The guy was an absolute wrecking ball of destruction, and Bazza’s first attempt at out-of-VGCW hype with that post to his twitter account and the use of Mr. L’s theme during the Christmas special. We were all easily able to figure out what was coming, but damn if the payoff wasn’t still amazing. Mr. L tore through VGCW in a way that only God Kefka and Voody would match, and even with those two, neither had the strength and dominance of Mr. L.

For those needing a refresher, Mr. L would go up to wrestlers who had won a match (or Captain Falcon) and beat the ever-loving crap out of them. Some of them would manage to put up a fight, but it didn’t matter who you were, Mr. L would always win. Hell, the guy legitimately beat Raphael at a time where Raph was the absolute king of the ring, no backstage or health-changing gimmicks or anything. EVERYONE went ‘oh shit Mr. L’ every time he went to do something, and yet we all still enjoyed it. Even when he beat up Arino, who had actually WON a match in a time where that was a miracle, and Gaben, who everyone loved, people still looked forward to Mr. L. We were all trying to piece together why Mr. L was doing this, what him attacking these wrestlers meant, and frankly, it was a Hell of a lot of fun.

Mr. L is the greatest example of keeping kayfabe that everyone collectively had. NO ONE knew who the Hell Mr. L could possibly be, only Baz McMahon knew the true secret, but everyone else was absolutely clueless. If you told someone it could be Luigi, you’d be laughed at and then insulted for thinking poor Luigi, a victim of some crime who’d vanished with his brother, would ever be such a horrible villain. It was an obvious joke that everyone was in on, everyone loved, and Phoenix just made even more hilarious with his struggles to find out WHO IS REALLY MR. L. This all culminated into the best plot match we’ve ever had, Fire Mario Vs Mr. L, with atmosphere absolutely perfect. And then Mr. L was slammed STRAIGHT TO HELL by Luigi, giving Mario that moment with that sad Mother 3 song that everyone loves and feels sad about.

Mr. L was a service to the entire league. He was the catalyst for all future plots, and he was one of the best ones in and of himself. Every appearance he made, from his one-and-done in the Royal Rumble to justice falling to being sent straight to Hell, was a train of hype that made everyone yell OH SHIT WHO IS THIS MASKED MAN. For the one season he appeared in, Mr. L was the star of the show.

[Bazza called me Mr. L in the stream chat once after I gave him money. True story. — Lee]

kefka_fanart8. Kefka Palazzo

Kefka is awesome. The guy had some of the weirdest and yet most effective hype of any VGCW wrestler. First came a comment from Bazza that ‘if someone could make a decent Kefka, he would love for Kefka to be added’. By next week, the stream ends with a Kefka laugh. Everyone goes batshit crazy, even debating whether Kefka should have a wiki page or not because WE HEARD HIS LAUGH KEFKA IS COMING YOU GUYS. Then Kefka finally shows up in all his glory, with his SNES theme and laugh playing once again, and then OH SHIT HE LOOKS SO GOOD HE’S RUNNING BACKWARDS HOW WACKY HAHAHAHA HE’S GOING TO MURDER US ALL. And then, Kefka went into full troll mode, doing absolutely nothing during his debut match. We got NO read on the guy whatsoever other than the fact that his intro was hilarious, and he proceeded to troll the crap out of everyone.

When we first saw Kefka in action to humiliate Dan, it was an absolutely hilarious moment. We got to see Kefka’s moveset in all of its glory, and it was the biggest combination of comedic and effective we’d ever seen. Guy had sliding throat thrusts that looked like he was poking you in the eye, dude had flipsy shit all over the place, he had THE MOTHERFUCKING SANTINO COBRA in all of its incredibly goofy glory. We all marked out like Hell for Kefka, and to this day, he’s one of the few heels who doesn’t get much, if any, heat, just because he’s insane and does what he wants. There’s no deeper goal or agenda with Kefka – he just does anything he feels like.

Admittedly, Kefka’s mic skills at first weren’t all that good. It was questioned for a while whether he was even capable of speech, whether Bazza would try to tackle Kefka’s character or just let his actions speak for themselves. And for a while, Kefka was only moderately amusing, normally just repeating a word three times and then repeating it sarcastically a final time. However, at End Game 5, Bazza managed to find a gleeful groove with Kefka that really works for the mad jester. He was sarcastic, but in a way that made him superior to everyone else, like he held all the cards all the time and everyone knew it. He was still like a spoiled child, but he had the power and cunning to make up for his immaturity. Kefka’s writing has managed to drastically improve, and I appreciate him for that.

Speaking of End Game 5… holy crap. That entire series was fantastic, and it’s all highlighted by Kefka’s performance. The jester didn’t disappoint in his God appearance, only Flint giving him even remote trouble. Hell, he eliminated Gaben and Wario, likely his two strongest foes, in one, simple swoop each, Havok Winging their asses out of the ring and into pain. Even when Vegeta came back, Kefka didn’t resort to jobbing – he stood his ground like a good end boss, embarrassed the Prince of All Jobbers, and forced everyone to unite in a friendship attack to finally finish him off. And even through that, he still had his sense of humor.

Kefka knows how to perform, he’s got the silliest damn moveset in the game, and somehow, he’s able to get results from his crazy-ass moves. He hasn’t been around as long as most of the guys I’m putting up here, but he’s definitely made enough of an impact. He’s been our most engaging villain to date from a quality standpoint, insofar as writing and wresting entertainment values go. Looking ahead to 2K14, Bazza seems to really love writing for the guy, and we’ll be able to see a lot more of that. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

[Kefka’s CAW is astonishingly good. — Lee]

pokemon_trainer_irl7. Red

Some mood music for this one.

This begins as the story of Ash Ketchum, a young trainer without lyrics in his theme music because that would make him way too good who wanted to be the very best wrestler he could be. He was absolutely hilarious, this little child head on this giant man body, and looked goofy as Hell. He was also a jobber with a very generic moveset, but he had his hilarious face with his giant anime eyes and his oddly fitting design. And being a jobber befitting Ash perfectly – he was just a talentless kid who wanted to be the very best, but got his ass kicked before he could ever achieve anything.

It’s hard to remember, but there was a time where Ash was in an I Quit match. Just think – if he had lost to Ness in a match of the two scariest eyes in the league, we’d have never had Dan being a heel, Red’s creation and subsequent defenses, and one of VGCW’s (and debatably/voted its) best matches. All because Tom Ato decided to pull his head out of his ass and not get fired.

From that point on, Ash was on a path of redemption. The guy showed a TON of heart in all of his matches, even taking on his rival, Gary Oak, when we all thought Gary would be a great wrestler because he’s Gary Oak he’s great at everything he does. He gave a Hell of a lot of heart going after the casual championship during the scramble, just barely losing it to Waluigi in the end. Ash was a guy everyone wanted to root for, and we all did our part in loving the guy.

And then the Royal Rumble happened. Ho-ly shit did that Royal Rumble happen. Everyone marked out for Ash like Hell, him scoring elimination after elimination. People were excited, Ash could potentially win this; after all, Bowser had won in a worse position, and jobbers had won rumbles before due to good luck and momentum, so why not Ketchum? Hell, I remember the whispers of Arino swooping in and finally winning a rumble, and people being DISAPPOINTED by the idea of it. Again, can you imagine the Kacho being a heel? Coincidence lead to a TON of things centered around Ash changing the shape of VGCW forever. Anyway, Dan came in, took advantage of an exhausted Ash and Wario, and ended up winning. And by God, everyone HATED him. Ash became incredibly popular, possibly even moreso than Waluigi’s unanimous praise. Everyone loved him, everyone wanted him to succeed.

And then it happened. I don’t think I need to recap it. Casual champion shot. Backwards hat. Theme song WITH LYRICS, going into the match. The actual match itself against Guile for the Casual Championship was underwhelming, with THQuality from Lakitu screwing up some of the most important moments, but the hype. The deafening hype for Ash to win, literally the whole world behind him, and still knowing in the back of our minds that he was the underdog. To see him pull it off was incredible. Seeing him on his knees, shaking his head in disbelief that he’d actually succeeded, having more success in VGCW than he’d ever had in the anime. It was one of the most feel good moments, with the chat chanting YOU TEACH ME AND I TEACH YOU POKEEEEMOOOON. It was great. One of my favorite endings to any show ever.

I feel the need to go on and on about Ash because, as Red, he never had that strength. He still had his loyal fans, we all loved it when he first came out and HE LOOKED SO GOOD WITH HIS FISHY-ASS EYES, HE’S FINALLY EVOLVED. But something was different. Red wasn’t an underdog like Ash was: he was just a damn good wrestler who’d tasted success and never wanted to let it go. And, this era is the reason that I don’t have Red higher: until his feud with Captain Falcon… Red was kind of boring. I mean, I’ll give him that the Wario match was incredible, but that was the perfect storm of Wario having high durability and the shittiest finisher in the world along with Red’s heart. But, from Mario to JonTron to Barret to Dan, Red’s matches were boring and predictable. He’d deal some good moves, his opponent would make him bleed, and then Red would hit them with a Giga Impact and fuck up their day. It was reliable, it was great… and it was boring. By the time Red got to Dan, I was looking for people who could beat him. The matches were similar each week, and while I appreciate the effort given for his streak, I wasn’t invested in the guy receiving eight badges. Red’s matches took about 15 minutes each, so for seven non-Guile badges, that lead to almost two hours of the same damn kind of matches, with one exciting break in the Wario match. This long stretch of time, finding a competitor for Red to fight only for him to take them down in EXACTLY the same way he did everyone else… was boring.

And then, of course, came Red’s feud with Big Blue. Due to him jobbing against Proto Man so often, no one expected much of Captain Falcon. And then the Cap-I-Tan did it. He defeated Red… in the absolutely most perfect way possible: a way that kept Red as champion. Even though this set up two more Red Vs Captain Falcon matches… these were entertaining. People WANTED to see these matches, even with Falcon’s thez press spam. Finally, someone who could match Red in speed and had power to boot. Even though Red came away with the last laugh, Falcon had made Red mortal. Falcon had made Red interesting again.

From there, Red’s matches became his loss to Segata and then figuring out where he stood. And honestly… this process wasn’t all that thrilling, either. Red’s fans got to see him beaten down again and again and again, with his only glimmer of hope being making the known-reckless monster DK bleed. Aside from that, he absolutely embarrassed himself against Ganondorf, getting off his finisher and then… doing NOTHING with it. It was vindication for those who were tired of Red’s streak and the rabidness of Red’s fans, but it was an awful slog for those who liked Red or those who just wanted the guy to be in a damn good match again since the Falcon Feud.

And then Red Vs Scorpion happened. Holy shit did Red Vs Scorpion happen. That match has been discussed and dissected to death, and it’s perfect.

So I think we’ve finally come to a decision on Red. Red’s very fast, so people who he is faster than, he has an advantage over. He’s got a lot of toughness, so you need several strong moves in a row to keep him from HEARTing out. Someone who can execute a bunch of power moves or is fast enough to resist Red will be the ones who give him a match. Going forward, Red could probably use a tag partner now that he’s proven to be mortal. I’m sure his fans would love him to be in contention for the triple crown, and he’d be fun to see against teams like Shadaloo. It’s not like he’s got a shortage of potential partners – Captain Falcon, Scorpion, and even Gary could all work just fine. Other than that, he’s a good wrestler who’s a GREAT draw for a crowd. He’s had his ups and downs, but he has the longest story of any wrestler in VGCW, and is one of its greats. I’m happy he’s stuck around. Now let’s book him less often or book him with someone else. Hell, he’s NEVER been in a multi-man since he turned into Red. A little more variation and the Pokemon Trainer could rise to the top again.

gary_oak_later_losers6. Gary Motherfucking Oak

Red’s got a better story behind him. Red’s got the motivation. The win record. The… ability to win matches. The better design. The bigger fanbase. The better themes. The fact that people actually believe in him. But who’s one step ahead?

Gary
Mother
Fucking
Oak

Gary doesn’t need the titles that Red has, or the strength, or any kind of success to be beloved. Gary is fantastic because he’s the best kind of jobber: a jobber that refuses to recognize that he’ll job, and keeps fighting and talks the big talk all the while. Everything that involves Gary happens with style. The Elite Four is getting boring, so what does Gary do? Completely blows off those LOSERS Raphael and Ezio to go solo, not because it’s a good idea, but because he wants to do other crap and doesn’t want to be dragged down by such morons.

Gary is fun to see in matches because he will always lose, but dammit if we don’t root for him anyway. He has the same kind of appeal Prince of Jobbers Vegeta had, in that his matches were never ‘can he win’ but ‘how much damage can he do’ and ‘does it look like he could beat someone eventually’? And that’s absolutely thrilling to see; it makes every match feel like Gary’s progressing toward greatness, like he COULD win eventually because LOOK HE DIDN’T COMPLETELY GET DESTROYED BY WALUIGI. For some reason, not getting destroyed by Waluigi matters to Gary. It means a lot to his fans and character, and makes every appearance by Gary Oak one where if he wins, or even if he performs well, we can’t hate it. Gary getting a good result will be almost 100% supported, and that’s truly endearing.

The guy is great on the mic as well. He’s gotten, what, two plot segments, and we already think he got the character down perfectly? Blowing off people who are clearly stronger than him and then insulting and beating down LUIGI despite being the most pathetic wrestler in the league, just to build up his own self-confidence, refusing to acknowledge his faults? That’s Gary Oak. He can legitimately be as big of an ass as possible, but because he’s Gary Oak, because he’s so pathetic, it works. That’s a special kind of magic that only someone of Gary Oak’s status could have.

An then dear God his performances in rumbles. That one time where he just ran into the ring and smacked Adam Jensen right out of it, when Jesnen was on his post-Tournament hot streak no less! And then Deer Lord the Gary Oak hot streak in the Gaben-era rumble. So many people eliminated, only to get thrown out by Sabin to ruin his favor with the crowd; Gary had everyone rooting for him and believing in him in a way not seen since… well, since Ash Ketchum. And then, against all odds, to stand up against Gabe Goddamn Newell showed that Gary had some life in him. Maybe not a lot, but he had something. At this point, the guy is being regulated to fighting the lowest of the low, so it’s time to get him in some alternative match types to increase his chances. Maybe a tag team, maybe just some more multi-man matches to see what he could do with those, but he’s just too good to lose. His redesign might not be perfect facially, but damn if the body doesn’t look good, and now that the Smell Ya Later isn’t a custom finisher… who knows what could happen with Gary?

But there’s one thing we can’t take away from him: Gary was here. Ash is a loser.

mgs_solid_snake_balloon5. Solid Snake

If there’s one man to carry VGCW with just the slightest bit of legitimacy in its plotline, it’s Solid Snake. This is a man who legitimately earned the VGCW championship, over Glitch Bomb DK of all characters, and found himself a few months later as the weakest wrestler in the league. He’s a guy who could beat any opponent at any time, but is much more likely to lose to them. However, there’s always a hope that he’s the man who will make the impossible possible, and that makes him consistently amazing to watch. What Snake will or can do in order to be in a match is amazing.

I don’t think it’s as necessary to go over the momentum of Solid Snake like others, but let’s go ofter a list of his accomplishments. He was the third wheel to Phoenix and Nappa in order to counter The Elite Four and bring balance to VGCW after the Mr. L incident. He controlled time and space in order to cover up a massive conspiracy, keep people loving Phoenix Wright, keep the integrity of wrestling intact, making Bazza McMahon a patriot, and calling a paranoid Phoenix Wright in order to try to reassure him. He stood against The Drac Pack all on his own, and stunned absolutely everyone by taking on all of its members, one right after the other, determined to bring terror to an end. And at the end of the day, he took no credit. To the masses of VGCW, he was just another face that brought Mr. Satan out to eventually slay Dracula.

DAMN does Bazza write Snake well. The kind of in the shadows, self-deprecating hero who’s just damn smart and good at what he does… that’s really hard to pull off, and Bazza does it fantastically. Snake is humble, sarcastic, and very enjoyable to listen to. He’s an excellent leader, smart and resourceful, but having enough muscle and sense to wrestle to be able to take down people himself. He goes with his Metal Gear Solid 2 personality very well, and if Metal Gear Solid 2 did anything, it was making Solid Snake look as cool as possible. Snake is a fantastic anti-hero, doing what is necessary in order to go forward and what’s best for wrestling.

For his actual match history, it’s pretty fantastic. The Duke match is obviously his crowning moment of sucking, but from losing twice to Bison to beating Glitch Bomb DK, Snake is all over the map. Just look at that record – 10-16-0 in singles – at how many matches he’s been in, and yet he’s STILL fun to see. I’m so glad to see Snake in VGCW, and look forward to how he’ll be used. ESPECIALLY now that Gray Fox is in the picture – would still prefer Liquid or Ocelot, but Snake is Snake.

[Sorry, Snake is highly inferior to Scorpion. — Lee]

bowser_mario_kart4. Bowser

Bowser is not exactly a force, because a force would imply he’s something that can only be overcome and is constant. He’s not exactly a personality, because a personality would imply that mortals can beat him. Everyone was so concerned that he was removed from the roster, because he’s absolutely beloved – enough that he became a massive source of humor when Bazza, Bryn, TOH, and SNS played Mario Party 3 (WHY WON’T YOU PUT ME IN YOUR SHOOOOOWS BAZZA). Much like Ganondorf, one does not simply out-wrestle Bowser, they overcome him. Unlike Ganondorf, however, Bowser always puts on a show. Also unlike Ganondorf, Bowser doesn’t have to try to be a heel or liked or have a personality; he simply is Bowser, and people love him for it.

I can’t really remember a time where Bowser wasn’t that popular. I mean, he didn’t exactly SKYROCKET in popularity until 32-5, but the guy was a massive and fun force to see. Even when Ganon dismantled him, when he won his second rumble, this time appearing somewhere in the 20’s, people still believed that he could overcome the 1000 Years of Darkness. His showings in previous matches were just THAT GOOD, and even compared to Gaben and Ganon, Bowser was something special. He had a universal appeal to him, his goofy-ass face, his pimp-ass intro with the princesses, everything just screamed ‘style’ from Bowser. He was instantly a cocky personality with the muscle to justify it, and it fit his character perfectly. Then 32-5 happened, and even to this day, that is a massive achievement. Just looking at how Red/Scorpion went, even at low stamina, kick-outs can still happen, there can still be some resistance. Bowser just DESTROYED all that, and even as the tarnished spectacle that it is, holy crap was it a spectacle. Nothing was more incredible than seeing a reign destroyed so thoroughly, so humiliatingly, and as revenge for a previous loss, no less. It was the absolute perfect storm for Bowser, and it kept him alive even when his CAW was deemed ‘ugly’ (which it was but it’s hilarious) and the Glitch Bomb was discovered. Thank God it did, because it kept one of the best wrestlers in the league alive.

When Bowser crashed the Glitch Bomb massacre, everyone was exhausted. Mr. Bones’ Wild Ride had kept us on as person after person came out, and while it was amazing, the loading screens we had to endure, dear God those loading screens. But then, somehow, “did somebody page the King of Awesome” was just the thing we needed. Bowser, coming out in all of his glory after months of absence, to crash the party and prove his power. I personally hold that 8-7 is the best match in all of VGCW. It came out of nowhere, but the history behind it instantly generated hype. We didn’t know what to expect from glitchless Bowser, whether Ganondorf would humiliate him or he’d still be a force, but Ganondorf could be seen as the favorite. There was also just the sheer joy at the competitors – the two main villains of the two biggest Nintendo series going at it in an evil brawl, the ring surrounded by flames, one looking for redemption and the other looking to be an asshole. There was just something magical, ending with Bazza using ‘Live and Learn’ over the ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ chanting, with Live & Learn being reserved for such rare occasions… and it truly fit. Everyone was transfixed. The match went back and forth, so many lead changes, with Bowser pulling off a streak and then Ganondorf bringing him back down to earth. It was a fine match that tested the limits of both men, and the only match type where Ganondorf’s dull moveset could shine, as he could stock multiple finishers and had to endure instead of putting the match away. And when the dust settled, we didn’t get a happy ending. We got a fun one. The wrong man had won, and instead of being hated? He was beloved. Bowser completely crashed the party, took the glory from Ganondorf, and still came away the more well-liked man… turtle… thing. When winning a match that you SHOULD lose, by all means for the plot, somehow puts you OVER EVEN MORE there’s something special about you.

From there on, Bowser was regulated to legends appearances; every time people were afraid he was off the roster, BOOM, he was there toward End Game to give us a match. Even in his loss to Arino, he looked great, put the kacho over EVEN MORE which no one thought was possible (because really, Arino has one person booing him, and that’s just “that guy who boos Arino” ), and came away with dignity. When he hit VGCW again during Season 5, dismantling the Safety Valve and demanding that all of his matches take place in a ring of fire, Bowser looked like the king of the world.

But it’s not only his appearances and personality that make him great; Bowser has a fantastic, dynamic moveset and stat loadout. I know I don’t normally comment on stat loadout, but just check out how most of Bowser’s matches start: with his ass being kicked by his faster opponent. Hell, GABE is faster than him, and he’s like five hundred tons of Half-Life 3 salty tears. I remember specifically making a comment during Bowser’s match with Adam to some friends, ‘so uh… remind me, does Bowser start every match by getting his ass handed to him?’ Turns out… yes, he does! And that makes it really exciting. Bowser gives his opponent the chance to build momentum, he allows people like Arino or Jensen to get a chance at him, but damn if he gets any of his own, he steamrolls the opponent with massive power moves and comes out looking like an absolute champ.

Now that we’re seeing more of Bowser, he could easily make himself the best wrestler in the league with enough plot behind him. And Hell, he technically should be considered the best. But these three above him – Arino, Vegeta, and Waluigi – have achieved a status that I don’t think Bowser could reach. They are legends in VGCW, not in wrestling status, but in what they do for the league. I feel like these three exemplify VGCW and what makes it great. But Bowser, for all he is, for as amazing as he is, deserves all of the praise in the world. Being the King of Awesome ain’t easy, and he rides it out in style.

vegeta_cryin3. Vegeta

Can you believe that we haven’t seen a proper Badman match since Vegeta’s loss to Eggman in MARCH? I mean sure, we got the Badman revival against Drake U Love, and him coming back to job against Kefka, but we haven’t seen a pink shirt for eight months. EIGHT. BADMAN-LESS. MONTHS. Putting that into perspective, we had maybe three or two months of Badman. The Badman has essentially been dead for twice as long as the gimmick’s been alive. And it’s still one of our, if not our, most beloved meme.

Who doesn’t love Vegeta? The guy is one of the most prideful characters in all of… I’d say fictional media, really, and he’s reduced to the absolute bottom of the barrel insofar as wrestling goes. He has fantastic stats and even some damn good moves, but something in his makeup, something that makes him do that damn chop combination that ends with a SUPER SAIYAN NOOGIE so often, makes him continually awful. He shouldn’t be as bad as he is – and Hell, he gives some GREAT shows, like that one nearly-endless cage match against Sabin – but for some reason, the guy just can’t get anything to work for him. Maybe the Final Job isn’t as good as we all hope to be, maybe we just don’t see it enough, but for all of Vegeta’s matches, he’s consistently been a hilarious joke, but one we never get tired of hearing.

I don’t think I need to recount why Vegeta is so important to VGCW. He was intended as a major player and contender, and just lost SO OFTEN. Hell, he came back as a Super Saiyan just to kick the Angry Video Game Nerd’s ass, and James showed Vegeta just how much Super Saiyan Swagger was actually worth. No matter what Vegeta did, unless he was tagged with Nappa, he was always on the losing end of things. And yet, Nappa still remained his constant friend, and damn if the guy didn’t keep trying. Eventually, against Standard Moveset Barkley, he found victory, and when Bazza played ‘World’s Greatest’ to celebrate Vegeta FINALLY getting a win, Hell froze over, and we all celebrated. The feud with Barkley that followed, including Vegeta actually WINNING the feud, gave Vegeta a lot of legitimacy and good will. He COULD win matches, he just had to try very hard to do so. Vegeta then became the second hardest working man in the company, only Solid Snake appearing in an equal amount of matches and jobbing just as hard. But while Snake would become wrapped in the Little Mac Mr. L Time Warp plot, Vegeta stuck to wrestling as his avenue.

This is when he adopted the Badman gimmick, trying something, anything new to give him strength and popularity. And for quite a while, it worked. Hell, it never STOPPED working. People LOVED the Badman, he had so much charisma that even though it was the same blue spandex Vegeta underneath, it seemed like a whole new person. His showboating didn’t seem so much like overconfidence as he was throwing a party and having fun with it, and we reveled in the joy of having never seen a pink shirt before. Hell, it even gave Nappa the fantastic joke of Baldman, which I can’t tell you how hard I laughed at the first time I saw it. Vegeta was the gift that kept on giving, and endless supply of humor and fun that everyone wanted to see succeed but knew he wouldn’t.

Then the Majin Vegeta saga happened. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Majin Vegeta, in the same way I’m not a fan of Dark Phoenix, in that in order to get a decent heel, we remove an amazing face. However, Majin Vegeta’s appeal was undeniable, his strength was incredible, and it helped shape one of the best events in all of VGCW. For the length of a season, Vegeta was turned into an unstoppable killing machine, facing whoever he’d like and even becoming VGCW Champion in the process. He reduced Dr. Wily, a wrestler who once would’ve wiped the floor with him, into a laughable farce, dismissing any kind of challenge the bad doctor could’ve given him. Anyone he went against, Majin Vegeta dismantled. Seeing the Prince of All Jobbers at the top of the world like that, beating Glitch Barkley and not giving a damn, was incredible. It was vindication for Vegeta and a hollow victory for his fans; Vegeta had won the belt, but the Badman hadn’t.

And then he died. I have to say, Vegeta’s death was pretty powerful. Not out of nowhere devastatingly powerful like Proto Man’s, but it spurred people to action. It was great editing on Bazza’s part, though I do wish he’d kept the ‘Nappa, Phoenix… even you, Barkley’ in the canon ending we got. That was a great rewrite. But everything, from Vegeta walking out of the ring, to his turn back into it, to the revival of the Badman theme, was so incredibly hype inducing. It perfectly fit the Prince of all Saiyans, and even his speech on keeping VGCW as a place where he could fight more great warriors, admitting his weakness to Nappa, and gaining more power – that was Vegeta. That worked so well as Vegeta coming to terms with how actually strong he was, and what he needed to do to gain more power.

Vegeta doesn’t even need to show up in any more matches, though we’d all love him to. The name ‘Vegeta’ or ‘Badman’ is so deeply etched into the hearts of those who watch VGCW that the guy’s become an irreplaceable part of it. He easily has a bid to be #1, but Waluigi and Arino just have something special, Waluigi one-upping the Badman in some cases, and Arino having a unique case all his own. Vegeta will remain forever the Badman, and now that he’s back, it’s time to see what his little nap in the spirit world brought him power-wise. Vegeta will always have a job in this company, and will keep performing it. Bless Kefka that he will never go away.

arino_pro_wrestling2. Chief Arino

Do you know the Kacho?

Well… honestly, no. I didn’t know the Kacho. And I don’t think a lot of others knew who the Kacho was, either. I mean, I’m sure a lot of us were passingly familiar or had heard of the guy – maybe heard him mentioned or seen him in a reaction image or played Retro Game Challenge (I was the third group) – but for a while, that crappy jobber in the mint suit who showed up in rumbles was just some guy. I remember so many cries of ‘WHO IS THAT’ and ‘WHAT’S AN ARINO’ and ‘OH WELL’ whenever he’d show up in early rumbles. Arino was super obscure, only Segata Sanshiro having a bigger claim to fame as being ‘the most obscure wrestler in VGCW’ (and even then, I knew Segata before I knew Arino). Even with Segata, it was easy with the ‘Sega Saturn’ meme to let him stay around. Arino? He could’ve been thrown out of the company very easily, and only Bazza’s personal attachment to the guy would keep him safe.

But something funny happened. The people who watched VGCW started watching Game Center CX. Bazza started streaming episodes of GCCX before early streams, and I remember my first exposure to the show was the tail end of the Mario 3 challenge as streamed by Bazza. Then the USA Special followed, with Bazza skipping the challenge segments so we could see more of just the Kacho being the Kacho… and it was incredibly fun. Everyone was buddy buddy, having a great time just watching this comedian stumble through Mario 3 and the USA, remembering how damn hard that one level of Mario 3 was, and overall improving our opinions of the kacho. We knew who the kacho was, and a lot of us dug into that youtube archive that fuji has since taken down. Arino has the special distinction of being a character that was beloved BECAUSE of VGCW. Arino didn’t bring a lot of fans to the table on his own, but VGCW made a lot of viewers fans of Arino. The fact that there are so few boos for the guy even today shows his appeal has grown, and he still affects people in the same way. VGCW helped Game Center CX, introduced a lot of us to Arino, and endeared us to him. You could say that love for Arino is a product of VGCW. And introducing us to something new and exciting… that’s what giant crossover shit is about. Arino is the greatest success of that.

So on a personal note, thank you Bazza. Thanks for introducing me to Game Center CX and making me get behind on finals because I needed to know if Arino could beat Legend of the Mystical Ninja or not.

Outside of that, Arino is fantastic in the ring. His early losses supposedly cemented him as a jobber, but then a funny thing happened. As older wrestlers started to get worse, Arino started to get better. As more and more wrestlers started to target the head and torso more exclusively, Arino kept to his tried-and-true strategy of going for the legs. This leads to a very interesting wrestler and lets Arino get a lot more counters in on opponents. Conversely, it lets a lot of his matches feel like massive upsets and momentum swings, and every time Arino deals out a Last Continue, it feels INCREDIBLY satisfying. His determination and will to never give up leads to tons of classic matches, like his Catch Finisher against Tingle, the endless match against Segata, and the miracle win against Bowser. And the best part is, no matter how often Arino wins, he will always be the underdog. I remember tuning into VGCW almost exclusively to see Arino matches, just because they always delivered, even when they shouldn’t (Arino Vs Eggman, anyone?). The Kacho was a showman, always trying hard, never being too flashy, and always doing SOMETHING to make his matches interesting. And it was fun to see, it’s always been fun to see.

But past that, one of the most praised elements of Arino is that he’s SO HUMBLE. And… yeah, he really is. It shows through his moveset, his plot segments, and his memetic bow in his intro. Arino just doesn’t have a lot of flashy, show-offey moves; in fact, his moveset seems very cobbled together and desperate. There’s never really a time where Arino shows a lot of spirit; it’s solely the guy trying to use whatever moves are at his disposal. Normally this would make for a boring moveset, but Arino makes it work with a great combination of moves and his signature will to never give up. It makes going SO MUCH HEART so much easier, and believing in Arino to use simple but effective techniques to win makes him perfect. And his ‘I think I can win’ in plots just cement it.

I know how hard it is to write for Arino beyond his catchphrases. The guy straddles a fine line in his sarcasm from being an ass to being polite and joking with friends, and that’s really hard to distinguish. Bazza does a really great job keeping Arino’s humble image with a very tame interpretation, and that’s great. It’s just not quite perfection in interpretation. However…

waluigi_swag1. Waluigi

I think the reason Waluigi is the best wrestler isn’t his story. It’s not that he was a filler model who became so popular that Bazza pimped him out, rolled with it, and has been laughing all the way ever since. It’s not that he’s got a ton of swagger in the ring. It’s not the Brawl in the Family or 4chan or medibot-related memes surrounding him. It’s not even the massive pop of WAAAAA he gets whenever he appears. It’s that Waluigi is the single biggest wild card in all of VGCW. That doesn’t matter for a lot of wrestlers, but Waluigi? Waluigi is absolutely PERFECT to fill this role.

Think about the matches Waluigi has been in. His absolute squash loss to Ganondorf. Struggling with LUNK and LOSING a feud with the Jobber of Time. Jobbing hard to DK. Almost beating DK. Taking it to Ganondorf when it meant more in the Co-op Championship match and DOMINATING the King of Evil. Winning a three-way with Safety Valve AND The Practice involved as the massive underdog. And then getting demolished in the final backstage brawl the Wario Bros would have, but fighting hard as soon as his brother went down. Waluigi is perfectly unpredictable in every match, and that’s what makes him amazing. It’s not even that he CAN win any match like Arino; it’s that he SHOULDN’T win any match, but sometimes he just… does so anyway. There’s so many little perfect moments, like turnbuckle assaults during the BOINGS of his Waluigi pinball theme to the fact that it took us MONTHS to see that oh dear God Waluigi had the People’s Elbow and he’s the People’s Champion.

But Waluigi is just FUN. He’s a force to remind us that this wrestling league in a glitchy video game featuring a 90’s Japanese commercial character fighting the obese owner of a video game company who can’t count to three and keeps evil incarnate in his basement shouldn’t be taken that seriously. He FEELS zany, awkward, out of place, and perfectly exemplary of all the fun and unpredictability that makes VGCW great. He’s ALWAYS gotten the most massive pop out of ANYONE entering the ring. And Hell, we even have our own interpretation of the character. After one use of Wah as a psychopathic manchild, Waluigi has been written more by Bazza as the dopey younger brother to Wario; cowardly, but very much a braggart and attention hog. Conniving, but stupidly so, needing to be guided by Wario every step of the way. It makes a great foil to Wario not exactly being the most straight of straight men to Waluigi’s ZANY, but it never becomes annoying. He’s just Waluigi, dumb and lovable and trying his best.

And he is the best. Even with Arino, there is occasionally a dull moment. But Waluigi puts asses in seats. Everyone watches what Waluigi will do; he is the center of attention in almost any match he enters. And that’s because he can and will do anything, and we all want to see a miracle happen. And with Waluigi, it feels like a miracle. Every single time. Not one we can count on, like Arino’s miracles coming from his determination, but just… inspiring random spurts of excellent wrestling combined with spurts of some of the dumbest wrestling we’ll ever see. That’s Waluigi, that’s VGCW, and he’s number one.

That does it and I managed to finish only a week late! I hope everyone has enjoyed the topic, or if not, enjoyed looking back at some of their favorite wrestlers and what makes them great, or where they can improve, or why my opinions are so much better than your own. Thanks for all of your attention and here’s to another great year of VGCW.

Waluigi

About Lee

Lee Laughead writes stuff about video games. Read his Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mesarphelous even though Twitter sucks.
Fighting Games, Guest Article, pyrrhickong, This isn't just a video game this is ART you wouldn't understand it you plebian filth, VGCW, Video Gaming

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