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THQ's WWE All Stars Recast for 2015

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Some agonizing decisions to be made. Plus, Week 29 of the Wrestler Wrankings!

WWE All Stars was a great video game.

Released in early 2011 by THQ, it served as an fanciful alternative to the simulation based WWE Smackdown vs. RAW series. Featuring WWE Legends and members of the then-current WWE roster squaring off in fast-paced, absurdly exaggerated wresting matches, WWE All Stars was a breath of virtual fresh air. Above all else, it was a heck of a lot of fun.

Despite favorable reviews, the game's sales were disappointing enough to nix a potential sequel. Still, ardent fans of the game cry out for an updated release. The best I can do to tide everyone over is to envision what the roster would look like in a theoretical WWE All Stars 2015.

For the purposes of this exercise, we're just going to cover the roster as it existed in the release version of the game. No Downloadable Content here. To maintain game balance, we'll also consider only wrestlers of the same category as potential replacements. For example, if we were to replace Andre the Giant, it would have to be with another "Big Man," like Kevin Nash or King Kong Bundy. (Perish the thought!)

Let's begin by examining the roster of WWE Legends in the original WWE All Stars:

BIG MEN

  • Andre the Giant

BRAWLERS

  • Hulk Hogan
  • The Rock
  • Roddy Piper
  • Sgt. Slaughter
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Ultimate Warrior

GRAPPLERS

  • Bret Hart
  • Jake "The Snake" Roberts
  • Mr. Perfect

ACROBATS

  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
  • Macho Man Randy Savage
  • Ricky Steamboat
  • Shawn Michaels
Pretty infallible list of legends here. I see only two issues with it, regarding arguably the two greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

BRAWLER
DROP HULK HOGAN
ADD BRUNO SAMMARTINO

Until this summer, Hulk Hogan was the lock of all locks to appear in any list of WWE Legends. Unfortunately, Hulk's recently unearthed controversial comments seem to cast him squarely out of the good graces of WWE. Luckily, his 1970's Italian-American equivalent has recently been welcomed back into the WWE fold. Hulk belongs in this game and I believe he will be forgiven, if not redeemed, at some point in the future. The fact remains, this is a 2015 release. Therefore, the Hulkster is out and Bruno is in.
IMPACT: MODERATE LOSS

GRAPPLER
DROP MR. PERFECT
ADD RIC FLAIR

This is simultaneously the toughest and easiest swap of this whole process. Mr. Perfect is a personal favorite of many wrestling fans and a worthy inclusion in the original game. Unfortunately for the flawless one, Ric Flair is an outright egregious omission from any roster of legends. He was excluded solely for contractual reasons the first time around, but now safely back under WWE control, he must be added.
A grappler through and through, Flair must replace one of the existing grappler legends. That leaves only three choices: Bret Hart, Jake Roberts, and Perfect. All three are among the greatest of all time, so we have to pick some serious nits to decide. Bret enjoyed the most successful career of the three, by far, so he's an auto-include.
The decision between Roberts and Perfect is razor close, but I believe the mainstream popularity of the Jake the Snake during the 1980's wrestling heyday, along with his recent "resurrection" in documentary form, make him a keeper. Additionally, the fact that Flair and Perfect were similarly blond, pompous, a-holes make them a natural swap. In many ways, Flair is what Perfect could have become with better health and longevity. As it stands, Flair is the superior choice. Forgive me!
IMPACT: SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT

With the Legends roster now set, let's turn our attention to updating the current WWE Superstars. Here is the original list of current (as of 2010) Superstars from WWE All Stars:

BIG MEN
  • Big Show
  • Kane
BRAWLERS
  • CM Punk
  • Drew McIntyre
  • John Cena
  • Randy Orton
  • Sheamus
  • Undertaker
GRAPPLERS
  • Jack Swagger
  • The Miz
  • Triple H
  • Edge
ACROBATS
  • John Morrison
  • Kofi Kingston
  • Rey Mysterio
This roster was spot on for the period of WWE that it represented. Sadly, this was one of the thinnest rosters in WWE history, representing the period where John Cena, Triple H, and other older stars dominated the landscape, seemingly at the expense of younger up and comers. In reality, the issue was that the new blood of the business was either ripening in the indys (Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins), drawn to other endeavors (Bobby Lashley, Batista), or in TNA (Bobby Roode, AJ Styles). That left relative duds like Swagger and McIntyre to represent the cream of WWE's crop. It's a lucky thing that the likes of Cena and Helmsley were present to pick up the slack!

With that said, let's go to work.

BRAWLER
DROP CM PUNK
ADD STING

The CM Punk of WWE All Stars wasn't yet the crossover celebrity and record breaking WWE Champion that we all grew to love. Rather, he was the scrappy underdog that defied the odds to scratch out an unlikely foothold in WWE. In other words, his Diet Pepsi has yet to be spilled. Still, he belonged in the game and would absolutely remain, if not for the fact that he departed for the supposedly greener pastures of the UFC. Punk's absence is a significant blow to our roster. We can mitigate the loss by pouncing on the fact that the incredible Sting is, in fact, an active competitor in today's WWE. He'll look wonderful on the cover too!
IMPACT: PUSH

ACROBAT
DROP JOHN MORRISON
ADD NEVILLE

I loved John Morrison and hope his talent somehow finds its way back to WWE. Regardless, he is ancient history and Neville is just the "Acrobat" to replace him. His moves are hard to fathom in real life, I can only imagine how great they'll be in the heightened reality of WWE All Stars!
IMPACT: PUSH

ACROBAT
DROP KOFI KINGSTON
ADD STARDUST

In 2015, Kofi Kingston is a member of the New Day, an increasingly vital faction within WWE. In 2010, Kofi was a quasi-main eventer, holding the Intercontinental Championship with some regularity, battling the likes of Randy Orton. Given this loss of standing, I'm swapping him for Stardust. His outlandish costume, facepaint, acrobatic moveset, and mainstream feud with TV's Steven Amell make him a perfect fit for the bizarre world of WWE All Stars. This is a tough swap, but an appropriate one.
IMPACT: PUSH

ACROBAT
DROP REY MYSTERIO
ADD SETH ROLLINS

This is a no brainer. Seth Rollins is the top man in the business per his WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign and his dominance of the Wrestler Wrankings. He belongs in this game and would supplant Mysterio even if the masked luchador was still in WWE. That Mysterio is absent from the current roster makes this decision all the easier.
IMPACT: SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT

GRAPPLER
DROP JACK SWAGGER
ADD RUSEV

I would love to add Cesaro to the roster in this "grappler" spot, but it's hard to deny Rusev's success both in terms of in-ring dominance and in the development of his personality. Dolph Ziggler is another contender for this spot, but the Russian simply must be on the roster. As for Swagger, he barely belonged in the original game, and his profile in WWE is even lower now. He's outta here!
IMPACT: SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT

GRAPPLER
DROP EDGE
ADD CESARO

Instead, I will add Cesaro here! Edge's early retirement leaves his career short of justifying a spot on the Legends roster over Hart, Flair, and Roberts. Though there's no shame in not being able to crack that trinity! Regardless, Cesaro's inclusion in our roster is perhaps more a nod to his fantastic potential than to what he's actually accomplished so far, but that's perfectly fine. Christian Laettner was on the Dream Team after all!
IMPACT: MODERATE LOSS

BRAWLER
DROP DREW MCINTYRE
ADD BRAY WYATT

Drew McIntyre's WWE career was a misfire almost from the start. His potential, such as it was, squandered and there was no discernible improvement in any aspect of his career. One could argue that he peaked as the third wheel of 3MB, a mediocre musical act. Hardly All Star material. Bray Wyatt is a character with staying power and his brutal and bizarre brawling style makes him a natural fit here. With apologies to Dean Ambrose, Wyatt is impossible to deny.
IMPACT: SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT

BIG MAN
DROP KANE
ADD BROCK LESNAR

Kane was a full time wrestler in the era of the original WWE All Stars and an auto-include in this "Big Man" slot. To be honest, he belongs here now just as much as he did then. The only problem is that Brock Lesnar DEMANDS to be in this game. Lesnar could feasibly slide into a "Grappler" or "Big Man" slot, but I like him here. He's no Big Show, in terms of size, but he's justifies the "Big Man" label. Of course, he'll feature elements of a grappler, but we have to classify this genetic outlier somehow.
IMPACT: MODERATE IMPROVEMENT

So there you have it, folks. That's my take on who would comprise the roster of WWE All Stars, updated for 2015. Do you agree with me? Offer up your rosters in the comments section. Don't forget to adhere to the rule of swapping Big Men, Grapplers, Brawlers, and Acrobats only for wrestlers in the same category!

***

wrankings

OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA

ANY WIN = 2 POINTS

US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT

WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS

NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X

SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS

WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS

The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!

***

Monday Night Raw-- 10/12/15

  • John Cena - 3 points (US title bout, win)
  • Dolph Ziggler - 1 points (US title bout, no win)
  • Ryback - 2 points (win)
  • Kevin Owens - 2 points (win)
  • Roman Reigns - 2 points (win)
  • Kane - 2 points (win)
  • Main Event-- 10/13/15

  • Ryback - 2 points (win)
  • Stardust - 2 points (win)
  • Smackdown-- 10/15/15

  • Kevin Owens - 2 points (win)
  • Roman Reigns - 2 points (win)
  • Dolph Ziggler - 2 points (win)
  • -----------------------------------

    WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 29 *TOP TEN*

    1. Seth Rollins -- 80.5 points

    2. John Cena -- 70

    3. Ryback -- 64.5

    4. Neville -- 57

    5. Kevin Owens -- 42

    T6. Roman Reigns -- 41.5

    T6. Sheamus -- 41.5

    8. Dean Ambrose -- 40.5

    9. Randy Orton -- 39

    10. Bad News Barrett -- 35.5

    Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!