Sting Makes His WWE Debut

On Sunday, November 23rd, at the WWE’s 28th annual Survivor Series pay-per view, the icon Sting made his glorious and long-awaited debut, finally stepping foot in the centre of a WWE ring. Rumours, debate and speculation have been circulating for over a decade, ever since Sting jumped ship from a sinking WCW, which was then liquidated and absorbed by the WWE. The question was always why, why did Sting leave WCW? Why didn’t he sign a contract with Vince McMahon? Why did it take so long? Well, although we don’t have the answers to all those questions, we do have one thing; which is the icon, the franchise, the stinger, present on the WWE roster and ready to fight at last.

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During the main event of November’s pay-per view, Survivor Series, Sting made his appearance and used his mystery to confront the confused leader of The Authority, Triple H. Before explaining further, let me set the scene: Team Cena (John Cena, Ryback, Erick Rowan, Big Show and Dolph Ziggler) squared off against Team Authority (Seth Rollins, Russev, Kane, Mark Henry and Luke Harper) in a 5 vs. 5 elimination tag team match, meaning that if a person is pinned, they must return to the locker room and leave their team to fight, with an added stipulation that if The Authority lose, they are out of power, but if Team Cena lose, each member besides Cena is fired.. Fast forward to the latter half of the match with only Cena, Show and Ziggler remaining against an opposing Rollins, Kane and Harper; Big Show would turn on John Cena, leaving him lying on the mat due to a knockout blow, Cena would be eliminated and Show would return to the locker room, betraying his team and leaving only Dolph Ziggler to fend off against the last 3 members of Team Authority.

After a valiant effort, Ziggler would eliminate 2 opponents, making it a 1 on 1 fight against Team Authority’s captain, Seth Rollins. Numerous interferences by The Authority and several referees later, we’re left with Triple H standing over a broken Dolph Ziggler and battered Seth Rollins, setting the scene for another interference which would even the score.

A single crow’s cry echoed through the arena, the lights go down and a tall figure appears in the walkway, donned with black and white face paint, a trench coat and an expressionless look, Sting was here. Over 10 years had led up to this moment, Sting has made his debut,  an arena full of people exploded into noise as the leader of The Authority, Triple H and a faction-less Sting confronted one another. Ultimately ending in Triple H being planted with a Scorpion Death Drop and Sting placing Ziggler on top of Rollins, Team Cena took the victory.

This endeavour places Sting near the top of the list of greatest debuts ever, along with Y2J, Chris Jericho and The Devil’s Favourite Demon, Kane. But the speculation comes from how things will proceed; who is Sting going to fight? What were his motives? How will the WWE utilise his stardom? And when are we going to get The Undertaker vs. Sting at WrestleMania?

Sting seems to have outlived his previous use of promoting WWE 2K15 as it has now been released on all platforms, however, that doesn’t mean he can’t compete in the ring. Rumours are that he was being used as a one-time, rare tool in an attempt to grab in new subscribers for The WWE Network out of those who capitalised on the free month of November, however, looking at the WWE’s previous creative track record, the opportunities are endless. He could face Triple H for costing him his leadership of The Authority, he could face The Undertaker, allowing the WWE to rectify the huge opportunity they missed in the past, he could face The Rock, in another awesome fantasy booking scenario, or he could face any other number of people. The important thing is that Sting is here, after the long wait, The Icon has arrived at his new home, with a career reborn in the WWE.

CM Punk, The Comic Book Writer

Two time WWE champion, Walking Dead Enthusiast, Straight Edge Superstar and comic book writer? Phil Brooks, or more commonly known CM Punk, has recently taken up Marvel’s offer of writing comic books for the company, starting with Thor Annual #1. Could this be Punk’s attempt at living a life away from the ring? Or merely earning some extra money until he decides to quit another job…

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Marvel illustrator Rob Guillory and good friend CM Punk are working together to create the first issue of the Thor Annual, set for release in February of 2015. Punk stated in an interview that he attributes landing the job to pestering the right people and getting the right answers out of them; this ultimately resulted in him gaining the opportunity to write for Marvel with frequent communication through his friend and co-creator Guillory.

Many emails have been going back and forth between Punk and Guillory about the ideas and storylines for the Annual, Punk threw the first idea he could think of at the illustrator and the two ran with it from there. The world champion doesn’t claim to have any prior experience and isn’t asking to direct the new Avengers film, instead he is humbled by the chance to write for a company he frequently reads the comics of. He’s even told stories of carrying around bags full of comics to read on plane journeys, only to eagerly read through the entire lot in the terminal and have to lug around dead weight on his travels.

Phil says that although he isn’t entirely sure how the position came to be, he found that during previous conversations about writing he never had the time, whereas now (After quitting his job back in January 2014…) he has all the time in the world, money rolling in from royalties the WWE owe him and an avid interest in writing comic books. While being in contact with Marvel he found the “Marvel Method” of writing to be the most efficient way to format his stories, as it lets you know how the idea will turn out on paper. His plan is to write about Thor’s struggles with her father (Thor is also a female in this new rendition) and why she isn’t “Worthy” of holding the mighty hammer, focusing on a more rebellious, young heroine, as opposed to the just and God-like Thor later on.

“If anything, wrestling got me used to understanding that failure is a part of a process, and the only real failure is if you don’t try”, although slightly hypocritical, the statement made by CM Punk is a reassuring one, letting fans know that if there are any bumps in the road, or if the comic turns out to be a huge flop, he isn’t going to be discouraged to try again. He compares both being a superhero and donning the tights in the ring as similar concepts, in the squared circle he is “CM Punk: The voice of the voiceless and once leader of the straight edge society” where in real-life he’s just Phil Brooks, the regular comic book nerd, compare that to Bruce Wayne and Batman and the alter-ego complex seems pretty accurate.

The creation of Thor Annual #1 is well under-way and Punk is confirmed to be contributing to the cause regardless of opinions and rumours surrounding the issue. I can’t wait to pick up Phil Brooks’ take on a young Thor in February 2015 and look forward to the day he’s let loose with The Punisher character he so very much hopes to write about, until then we’re left to speculate. When’s he coming back to the WWE? Is CM Punk actually Batman? Who else will CM Punk be allowed to write about, and finally, how will Thor Annual #1 turn out?

The Greatest Smash Bros. Yet?

There was recently a Nintendo Direct which went over a long list of facts regarding the WiiU version of Super Smash Bros. and with that I felt it’d be a great idea to run through some of them, proving why it has the potential to be the best Smash Bros. yet.

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Super Smash Bros. for the WiiU has over 40 characters to choose from. This means that you and up to 8, yes, 8 of your friends will have a great selection of fighters, as well as remotes to decide upon. This is because the WiiU version allows for 8 different types of controller input, such as the 3DS, WiiU gamepad, WiiMote, Nunchuk, GameCube controller and anything else Nintendo have released.

The newest instalment also features the highest quality visuals to date and includes levels so large that they’d be unplayable on the 3DS, this is due to it being almost 4x less resolute than the WiiU. I should also include that a good portion of these levels include set pieces, some could be boss events, additional hostile enemies, potential team mates and even hints about your opponents.

To accompany the highly detailed levels, is customisation. Giving players the ability to amend and alter variables in the level to better suit them. Perhaps you’re sick of a certain music track? You can change that. Maybe you don’t like the items that drop? You can change that. You can change literally everything, such as the size, body type, stamina, speed and health of characters in the game, plus a bunch more little neat things.

With a new game, come all new and returning game modes, I’ve listed a few below; this isn’t all of them, merely a description of the ones I found the most interesting.

Classic Mode – Reach the final showdown and fight the boss, not before fighting your way through incoming challengers and the arch-enemies you make on your way. This mode is solely based on skill, meaning the better you do, the harder the fight.

Smash Tour – Traverse your Miis around a game board where players must quickly grab items, power-ups and characters for their army. So that when a fight breaks out, they’re fully prepared for the free-for-all battle where the winner has the possibility of acquiring other players’ characters and items.

Event Mode – Take part in themed challenges as quickly as possible and to the best of your ability, thus gaining a better score, rewards and ultimately moving onto the next event. Challenges could include; fighting off several of the same character or eating as many people as possible with Pac-Man’s final smash.

Special Orders – There are two different orders; Master Orders allow players to take part in challenges given out by the Master Hand, earning rewards based on their skill and the difficulty level. Crazy Orders involve a task which must be finished before the time limit, challenges get harder as they go on, however, the rewards become much larger too. When a player feels they have enough loot to leave the game mode, they can, but not before going one on one with the crazy hand and confirming their rightful possession of the goods.

Do these types of additions and recurring features to the Smash Bros universe entice you? I feel as if it definitely has the potential to become the best Super Smash Bros to date, but the question is: Can it really beat Super Smash Bros. Melee?

Five Things The ‘Age Of Ultron’ Trailer Suggests

As most residents of the internet now know, the newest instalment of The Avengers franchise, Age of Ultron, has recently had its first teaser trailer leaked, roughly a week before it’s schedule display during the advert break of the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While the rest of the internet are recovering from the early Christmas present Marvel have given us, I thought it’d be a great idea to go over 5 key things the trailer suggests about the film, set for release in May of 2015. Possible spoilers may be ahead, but I’m merely speculating from the scenes shown in the trailer.

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Is This The End? – A break in any team is always inevitable, whether it’s a band, group of friends, or in this case a team of world-class superheroes with the vision of protecting Earth as we know it. Regardless of their motives, it seems like The Avengers are slipping, they’re being faced with enemies such as a Hulkbuster suit which is double the size of The Hulk, and an army commanded by Ultron, an AI created by Tony Stark, which then cut the strings placed by his puppet master.

Tony has no issue letting the team know that he thinks “This is the end… The end of the path I stared us on”, only to be told by the Black Widow that “Nothing lasts forever”. Could it be the always dramatic Tony Stark? Or a hint towards the team’s disbandment? Maybe it’s just Tony Stark being distant, as there is a scene where Captain, Widow, Bruce and Thor are present in what seems to be a jet, with a chair empty, maybe showing that Tony keeps running off with his own issues.

There was also signs of The Hulk being very emotional, both touching The Black Widow  by going full “Tarzan and Jane” mode and possibly having a tear roll down his face in a previously released screenshot of the film, just before he’s about to fight, could this be The Hulk feeling sentiment towards Natasha’s death? I don’t know, but I do know that the last thing I’d want in my superhero team is a pissed off green monster who literally cannot die.

All of these things hint towards a falling out between the team, and what better place for this falling out to take place than during the Superhero Civil War storyline which is set to be play out during Captain America 3.

The Aging Of Ultron – Simply put, Ultron is a robot, or even a style of puppet. He was created by Tony Stark for use in The S.H.I.E.L.D’s operations, but as Stark reached his 5th iteration of Ultron, it became independent and was able to evolve and grow as an entity.

Ultron has many forms, not so much forms as in shape-shifting, but more so how humans grow; fetus, baby, infant, teenager, adult, elder. Our first sight of Ultron is presumably in his first form; he is being shown off to the team by Stark and is no more than scraps and pieces from older Iron Man suits. He proceeds by hobbling forward and breaking the ‘skull’ of the 4th (04) version of Ultron.

He then evolves, no one knows exactly how he will in the film, or into what different appearances, but it is obvious he goes from being an Iron Man clone, to altering his appearance (Perhaps by use of lava, as seen in the early scenes of the trailer) to look more futuristic and menacing. Thus proving that Ultron will be ever-growing throughout the film, so if fans aren’t particularly fond of baby Ultron, they can wait a while and see how he looks as a teenager, rebelling from his parents and taking over the entire planet.

Worthy Foes For The Avengers – The trailer shows some pretty graphic imagery. Hulk squares off against a robot version that mimics him in size and strength. Captain America’s “Unbreakable” Vibranium shield has been split in half, with a person, perhaps Thor or Captain lying next to it. Ultron and his army are flying out of the ocean and Hydra may be making a return. My guess is that it’s either Hydra or a more advanced military, as you see Bruce Banner and Hawkeye running through a snowy forest away from what look to be tanks and soldiers, possibly military, but just as likely Hydra members.

On top of this, there is also the Baron (Von Strucker) who was seen at the end of Captain America, he has performed tests on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to give them powers; whether their role is good or bad is still to be understood yet, for a few reasons.

New Heroes On The Block – As mentioned above, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were introduced during the end of Captain America: Winter Soldier while the Baron is present. It is also noticeable that we see the wheel of what looks to be a hospital trolley riding down a hallway, so the Baron may still be present in Age of Ultron, maybe tending to Quicksilver and Scarlet.

Skipping forward to what looks to be Ultron with Quicksilver and Scarlet in front of a destroyed facility, this could possibly be the 2 characters being broken out and indebted to Ultron. Will they work with the robot, or use their new-found freedom to rebel? We do see Quicksilver helping Captain America fight Ultron within a bus during the trailer, so it’s possible they join The Avengers in the fight.

Another interesting character is Vision, merely rumoured to be in Age of Ultron and possibly not even seen within the trailer, the character confronts Tony Stark and shows him a vision of when The Avengers fight Thanos (The villain from Guardians of the Galaxy), The Avengers have lost and that’s where the scene of a snapped Captain America shield and a dead Thor / Captain could have come from, perhaps making Tony re-evaluate the situation and give him the motivation he needs.

Andy Serkis was also featured in the trailer; however, the only issue is that as of right now, no one knows who he’s playing. The best bet is that he’s playing Ulysses Klaw, as in the trailer he looks very similar to how the character was portrayed in an animated series. This is merely a rumour though and it would lead fans to believe the involvement of The Black Panther, his arch enemy.

Everyone Screaming… – The trailer shows a very short clip of pedestrians, both running away screaming, and shouting towards something, it’s extremely possible that riots have started to break out within the cities of America (Depending where this film is set). The public may be fed up, they’ve had to deal with almost a dozen super-villains in the past decade and Stark’s new invention, a murderous independent AI which plans to destroy the world, may be the last straw.

Heroes were always a controversial subject throughout the Marvel series, as the public were seen as unsure to whether or not the heroes were actually helping, or if their brothers, anger management, old friends and inventions were merely destroying far too much of the world for the ends not being justifiable by the means to stop them.

Could it be Ultron’s wrath that sends the regular inhabitants of Earth over the edge? Perhaps these are the events that encourage the government to keep a registry of all superheroes’ different identities, therefore moving towards the civil war which is hinted at more and more often throughout the Marvel Universe.