Jul 18

How to Save WWE Supercard

If WWE Supercard were to announce the game had reached the end of its life, I don’t think I’d be too traumatised. Despite putting in countless of hours of gameplay since its launch back in 2014 – People’s Champion Challenge anyone? – and it being probably my most played game across all devices and consoles in that time, I wouldn’t feel like I’d been punched in the gut. The game is, and has for some time now, become stale. Even the addition of a new tier probably won’t save the game, merely extend its life for a couple of weeks…until the novelty has worn off and we realise we’re just re-playing the same thing over and over.

Having said that, I don’t want my Supercard days to be behind me. Putting that much effort into a game would leave a void in my life, as pathetic as that sounds. I want to be the Chris Jericho of Supercard. I will be its saviour. So here are my suggestions on how to improve WWE Supercard.

1) More Events

I’m not asking for the return of PCC – no way – but there should be a stronger rotation of events to cover a four week period. For example, you can still only offer one event card per event to keep the pro’s at bay for a week, but instead of the constant Ring Domination, Road to Glory cycle, add two more. I’m sure CatDaddy or 2K could think of something to do with the WWE’s other major properties, like Survivor Series. Perhaps you have a deck that loses energy after every match and you have to rotate the cards throughout. Once they lose all their energy they’re out and can’t be used again but they will re-energise themselves slowly over time.

Throw in another event, maybe like the Royal Rumble mode or something totally new and then you have four events to carry you through a month. Maybe you offer an event Bray Wyatt card in week one’s Ring Domination and only offer his pro card in the fourth weeks event? The cycle should also be varied, not always Ring Domination, Road to Glory, Event 3, Event 4, allow randomness to keep everyone on their toes.

2) Less reliance on Females

Team Battleground was a positive move for Supercard and I can see it helping lower ranked decks enormously. When it first started, female cards were available as rewards but quickly taken away. When you have a Ranked or Exhibition deck of 4 males and 2 females and after you have a few events under your belt, you’ll find everyone has a pretty similar deck. Females are the wildcards, the one area where not everyone will have the same card so can be the decider in who wins the bout. This shouldn’t be the case.

Event cards are currently the strongest in the game but should they be? If events featured more females more often then you would have a greater variety of cards to fill the two slots and thus the chance of more variation, not seeing the same deck every time. With the introduction of fusions and Money In The Bank females, we are seeing a greater diversity, but it may have come too late. Fusions require weeks of effort, especially if you’ve got to start from a common fusion and work your way up to Wrestlemania 33. Having to put that much energy into them, they should perhaps be on par with event cards in terms of strength. I know I’m going to upset a lot of people but pack cards, those you actually have to spend money on to acquire, should be a lot stronger than they are. Although I’m a sucker and really do want to own that Hall of Fame Bret Hart card, I don’t see the interest in paying actual money for a card that probably won’t make my ranked deck and will just be filler in my Road to Glory team. I would be paying up to £40 on just an image.

It sounds like I’m saying make all the cards equal in terms of strength, and I think I am. Maybe events should be the strongest, but don’t put them too far ahead of the regular tier. Regular WM33 AJ Styles should still beat Event WM33 Jinder Mahal in speed for example.

3) Token Reduction

As each new tier has been introduced, the number of levels you need to rank up each card has increased and as such, the number of tokens you can use to improve that card has sky rocketed. It’s got to the point now where you can lay 10 tokens on a single card, 11 on a pro. The whole idea of these tokens was to add an extra layer of variety on the cards so if two of the same went up against each other it wouldn’t always end in a draw. The sheer number of tokens now means that every card is going to be almost identical to the last, even those people who put tokens on the weakest stats are finding lots of others are doing the same.

I was the Paul Heyman of tokens – an advocate. Back when season one was being played out, I mentioned the idea in the forums of adding permanent stat boosts to cards and was thrilled when the idea was implemented for season two. But now, in order to solve the problem, we need to review it and I think the solution is pretty clear. Only offer 3 tokens per single card and 4 per pro over every tier. It would make the choice on which stat to boost all the more difficult and not everyone would follow the same pattern offering (here’s that word again) variety to game play.

4) Alternative Finishers

In a similar vein to tokens, finishers can also offer another layer of diversity for the same card. We have already seen two different animations over different tiers for some cards, such as AJ Styles and his Styles Clash and Phenomenal Forearm so why not offer alternative finishers to boot? When you have your card you can select one of two (or more) finishers to be associated to that card. For example, John Cena may have the AA and the STFU as his two finisher options. If I select the AA, if the card hits its finisher (or proc) then he gets the boost in PWR and CHA, but if I had selected the STFU and the card proc’s, then Cena could get his boost in PWR and TGH.

Maybe not all cards would have two finishers, the lower end of the tier may only get one. Perhaps for event cards the first card would have the one finisher and the second would have the alternative and only when the card is pro’d would you be able to switch between the two. There are options for this and it would bring another element of strategy to the game. If you only had cards that were strong in speed, by switching up the finisher you could get that little extra boost in toughness if you needed it.

5) Team Event Rewards

As a long-time player of this game and part of a great team (Wolfpac 2.0) who always put the effort in, I have collected a lot of top tier cards. So many in fact I’m now getting my third or fourth pro of the same card. It’s annoying. It has reached the point where no card is going to improve my deck from these team events because I have all the event card pros which are so much better than these on offer and thus, my team and I are at the point of not caring and not playing.

Back in season two, during the team events, there were two new cards introduced. Tyler Breeze and Apollo Crews were added to the mix. This was a brilliant move. It presented us with a brand-new tier card to expand the catalogue and it wasn’t an instant pro. If you wanted to pro the card, you had to earn it through other play methods. Genius. This is the solution that is desperately needed again. Especially with the rather slim collection of WM33 cards on offer already and the constantly changing WWE landscape. Adding new cards to the deck in this way would seriously reinvigorate team interest in events. There could also be a pack card thrown in there occasionally. The Hall of Fame pack has already been added as a prize claimable in Team Battleground, but give us a Team Ring Domination or Road to Glory where the top prize is a throwback or Hall of Fame card and suddenly you’ve given everybody a reason to buy a pack.

So there we have it, five suggestions for how to improve and extend the life of WWE Supercard. I fully expect there to be a SummerSlam or Survivor tier added in the next few weeks but this will only cover up the issues the game has for a little while. Drastic changes need to be made to improve the quality and longevity of the game and I believe my suggestions will keep it fresh and different across all levels of play.

Does this mean a hard reset and a season 4? Probably, and that thought doesn’t thrill me at all, but if it helps the game, I’m willing to accept it. There are alternatives to a hard reset which include re-mapping all the tiers down three pegs, so WM33 becomes Hardened and Ultimate becomes Summerslam, Super Rare is now Common (if you get what I mean), all the stats are lowered but all your current crop of cards remain (expect Common, Uncommon and Rare which are replaced) and we begin climbing up the ladder again. But a hard reset could also being other new features and abilities to completely customise the card from the background, image and layout perhaps? Whatever happens it needs to happen soon. Save our WWE Supercard.

Jan 24

WWE Royal Rumble 2016 Predictions

30-Man Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title
Neil Says: I’m going to go crazy here and suggest that Roman Reigns gets eliminated early on and Bray Wyatt ends up winning.
Debora Says: Jericho.

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Intercontinental Title – Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Neil Says: Kevin Owens is a better champion, Ambrose does his best but the title certainly seems to have lost some of its edge lately.
Debora Says: Owens

WWE United States Title Match – Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio
Neil Says: Alberto Del Rio will retain, Kalisto had a little fun, but it’s over now.
Debora Says: Del Rio.

WWE Divas Title Match – Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Neil Says: I’m hoping for Becky Lynch to win her leading to Charlotte further cementing her new heel persona with a post match beat down.
Debora Says: Charlotte

WWE Tag Team Title Match – The Usos vs. The New Day
Neil Says: The tag division is far too dull at the moment so The New Day will retain and keep their momentum going.
Debora Says: The Usos

Dec 03

New York – Day Three

Another busy day, another wet day.

After breakfast at the Stardust diner that featured singing waiters and waitresses, our’s a fellow Brit from Leicester, we trotted over to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum. We were a trifle early so had a wait in the rain before we were let in. First we went down into the Growler submarine where I was able to resist pressing any buttons and just managed to squeeze through the doors.

We then looked at some history followed by the Enterprise space shuttle. We saw one of it’s cousins, Atlantis, over in Florida, it was a shame they couldn’t let you walk on board. Afterwards we headed back towards Time Square and popped into M&M World before a trip to Carlo’s Bakery in New York. Once again, none of mia familiga present, I guess they’re far too rich and important to do any work thesedays. I had a crumb cake, could have just done with the crumbs as the lemon cake base wasn’t too tasty.

Quick stop at the HBO store on the back to the hotel to drop off our shopping and rest our weary feet, seriously, they’re broken! We then headed out towards the Rockefeller Centre ready for the tree light switch on. It was seriously rammed and the rain was pouring. Eventually we found a spot by the police blockade and after a longer wait they told us that no umbrellas or backpacks would be allowed in. In hindsight, it doesn’t look like we missed much, some terrible acts have been playing for two hours on the TV and they’re awful. Would sound even worse in the rain no doubt.

Slightly annoyed, we viewed the other Christmas lights before going to Madame Tussauds for a much better night. We considered trying to get Aladdin tickets and a man tried to sell us a pair but as genuine as he sounded, never trust anyone on the street.

We are now watching the tree light switch on via the television, much warmer, much better view and with a peppermint hot chocolate to boot.

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Dec 02

New York – Day Two

It’s been raining all day, undoubtedly we’ll have a cold at some point, but we didn’t let it stop our plans. Although it did stop our plans.

First thing we took the PATH train over into New Jersey where we visited Hoboken and Carlo’s Bakery, as seen in TV’s Cake Boss. There was no Buddy or family around but lots of tasty treats on display. We had a croissant for breakfast followed by a cannoli, we saved a brownie and a black and white cookie (or should that be a cake) for later. After taking some pictures from the NJ side of the Hudson, we made our way back towards New York on a much busier train that usual, the rain still coming down.

We were planning on heading up the Empire State Building, but visibility was ridiculously poor due to the weather.

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Instead we had a shop around Macy’s and picked up our NYC Christmas tree decoration before we started the long walk down towards Battery Park. By the time we got there, stopping by the Flatiron building and the New York Stock Exchange, we were tired and decided we’d certainly be getting the subway back uptown.

Some fellow tried to sell us a Liberty Island ticket and when we refused he told us we had a two hour wait to look forward to. He was very wrong, we walked straight onto the ferry and were on Liberty Island. The water was awfully choppy, especially on the return journey that could have given some of the rollercoasters in Florida for a ride.

After a quick stop at the Financial District bull, where people were taking pictures at both ends of it, we jumped on the train up to the Brooklyn bridge and the courthouse. Once again there were no celebrity sightings, maybe because Law and Order hasn’t been on the air for a while. Back on the train towards the hotel where we had a quick rest up before headed back out into the rain for supper. We had plans to visit the number one vegetarian burger joint but couldn’t find it so settled for a pizza. We thought we’d share one between us, it was massive. We had to box it up and take it back with us. Early night tonight after all that walking, to be ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

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Nov 30

We’re In New York!

Hello all,

Until Friday the wife and I will be in New York City, tasting the sights and viewing the smells of this fine city.

I will try to post some daily updates. It’s 3pm here and we’ve just checked in and I’ve showered.

You can tell it’s a four star hotel, they gave us a gown each!

More to follow…

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Sep 20

WWE Night of Champions 2015 Predictions

WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Sting vs. Seth Rollins
Neil Says: I have a funny feeling that Sting is going to do this. But then lose it straight away to Sheamus. Ugh.
Debora Says: Surely they won’t let Sting have a title as he’s never there, so lets go for Rollins.

WWE United States Title Match: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Neil Says: Cena will make it a horrible night for Seth Rollins.
Debora Says: Cena

WWE Divas Title Match: Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella
Neil Says: I want to say Charlotte but I think the Dusty finish on Raw will only go to hurt her here and Nikki will win by hook or by crook.
Debora Says: Nikki

WWE Tag Team Title Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. The New Day
Neil Says: The Dudley Boyz! But The New Day will escape being put through a table.
Debora Says: I hope the Dudley Boyz

WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Kevin Owens vs. Ryback
Neil Says: Owens deserves the title after his incredible work with Cena and Cesaro.
Debora Says: Kevin Owens

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Neil Says: Rusev with Lana turning on Dolph. End this now.
Debora Says: Ziggler

Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and a mystery partner
Neil Says: Tough call, with Braun and the mystery man looking to solidify their part in this. Probably a no score draw or The Wyatts.
Debora Says: Ambrose, Reigns and the mystery.

Aug 25

RAW Recap (August 24th 2015)

The night after SummerSlam and WWE have certainly stacked their card full of surprises. After a somewhat disappointing pay-per-view full of screwy finishes and botched spots, it seems WWE kept all the excitement for Monday Night Raw, when the company really needed it most.

Firstly Brock Lesnar comes out and issues a challenge for the Undertaker, not for the next PPV, not for Survivor Series but right now. If only the Undertaker was there and could have answered the call, instead we get a beat down of Bo Dallas. Mick Foley was right when he said “think of the promo’s”, Heyman once again proving he is a lyricist on the microphone. The only downside now is the wait until we see Brock Lesnar again.

Coming out of the opening segment we get a tag team match and some fine trumpeting from Xavier Woods as the New Day beat the Lucha Dragons. The tag division has been so boring lately, the teams have the in ring ability but they just don’t have the style or the voice to be able to pull off the complete package. Then BOOM! Welcome to Dudleyville. They’re back. Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley came out and beat down New Day, putting Woods through a table.

Bubba and D-Von looked good, although we’ll see if they can keep up with the pace of these high fliers once they get into some matches. But finally the tag team division is getting a kick up the backside that it needed. The Brooklyn crowd was on fire and there really wasn’t a better place the Dudley boys could have made their return. D-Von! Get the tables!

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Unfortunately the #DivasRevolution appears to have died already. The crowd baying for Sasha as Team PCB and Team Bella had an altercation on MizTV. There is a distinct lack of storyline here, whilst we have Divas going at it, what is the point? No one seems to be challenging Nikki for the title and all the teams are just trading wins/losses. We need to start to see people going for the title, each faction needs to start focusing on one another in a more rivalled mode. Let’s see Sasha against Nikki, Becky against Brie, Paige against Naomi, get each into a specific rivalry, fighting for themselves and not their team. The revolution needs more spice.

The Wyatt Family debuted a new member, sadly it wasn’t Leo Kruger, but it was a curious amalgamation of both Harper, Rowan and Wyatt. He had the height of Rowan, the beard of Harper and the face and body of Bray. A curious looking fellow, Braun Strowman, he certainly fits in with the Wyatt family look but he hasn’t got a long history of professional wrestling, so I expect Reigns and Ambrose to make him look good. Will the former Shield brothers now get a third man to even the odds? Rollins isn’t coming back anytime soon, so who’s next on the NXT roster to make the call up?

Jon Stewart told us why he screwed over John Cena, he didn’t want Cena to tie Nature Boy Ric Flair for the most titles ever held. It’s a record that is going to be broken and thankfully Cena laid out Stewart with an Attitude Adjustment after Stewart had rambled his way through a segment.

What is going to happen to John Cena now? Two SummerSlam defeats in a row and now no title to hold. He can’t really take any time off as there is no one who can match him on promo’s outside of Paul Heyman and there are no established talents really left on the roster. But Cena needs a credible opponent and I don’t know who that could be. Unless somehow he gets involved in the Intercontinental Title picture now that the Miz/Big Slow storyline has run it’s course, or perhaps he could challenge Sheamus for the briefcase. Someone needs to get that briefcase off of him, he’s never going to work as Mr. Money in the Bank.
Actually, that could work. The Authority deny Cena from getting another title shot to equal Ric Flair’s total so he has to find another way. Take the briefcase from Sheamus after a couple of months and then go after Rollins again. Might even help elevate Sheamus a little bit which he didn’t get from Orton.

That assumes of course that Rollins is still the champion after the next PPV as the closing segment of Raw hit us with another shocker. The Vigilante Sting is back! It’s about time they used him again although going up against the Authority – again – will surely end in just being buried by Triple H over and over. “I beat you at WrestleMania, you’re over, get out of here!” And what has Sting got to come back with?

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Overall a Raw packed with exciting OMG moments. There weren’t many matches to talk about, the 8-man tag is really just a “we’ve run out of ideas” move. Unless somehow they’re going to keep this going until Survivor Series, everyone needs to move on from these feuds now, except maybe Ziggler and Rusev…but they need to move from fighting over the women.

Aug 23

WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions

Winner Takes All Match: WWE United States Champion John Cena vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
Neil Says: I’m curious to see how this one plays out, I mean it’s not ideal for either competitor to be both champions. I really want to say Cena will win this, but seeing as he’s just had new 15x shirts printed, he probably won’t. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest Sheamus tries to cash in Money in the Bank but loses out and Rollins runs away with only the World Title because, lets face it, this title for title ended in a no contest.
Debora Says: Cena, obviously.

Triple Threat for the WWE Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Big Show vs. Ryback
Neil Says: I couldn’t care less. Ryback to retain.
Debora Says: The Miz

Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Tag Team Titles: The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores vs. The Prime Time Players
Neil Says: Another one I could care less about. Lets say The New Day will retain.
Debora Says: Los Matadores, we don’t see enough of them anymore. OLE!

Elimination Match: Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch vs. Naomi, Tamina Snuka and NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Brie Bella, Alicia Fox and Divas Champion Nikki Bella
Neil Says: Team PCB will win this one.
Debora Says: Team Bella.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
Neil Says: Undertaker will trump Lesnar and set up Lesnar v Taker 3 at WrestleMania.
Debora Says: Undertaker, even though I feel like he needs to go home.

Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose
Neil Says: The Wyatts will win, when Erick Rowan returns to the family.
Debora Says: Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose

King Barrett and Stardust vs. Stephen Amell and Neville
Neil Says: Anything other than a Red and Green Arrow win would be diabolical booking.
Debora Says: Neville & Arrow

Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens
Neil Says: Cesaro is Superman. But Owens will win.
Debora Says: Kevin Owens

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Neil Says: If only this were for the briefcase. Orton to win and Sheamus to appear “injured” so his main event appearance is all the more shocking!
Debora Says: Orton

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Neil Says: Ziggler will beat the Bulgarian Brute, probably with some sort of Lana/Summer Rae action on the side.
Debora Says: Dolph

Aug 18

Chris Morgan Is An Idiot: Wheatus Killed Pop-Punk

Today Chris Morgan posted the following article on UPROXX.

http://uproxx.com/music/2015/08/wheatus-teenage-dirtbag-anniversary-pop-punk/3/

This was my reply.

Dear Chris Morgan,

You are a fucking moron.

As Auli said above, you not only haven’t done your research into what the song is really about, but your argument that “these bands are crafting disingenuous music in order to sell records” is the most banal thing I’ve ever read. Bands create music to sell records (not that anyone in this digital age is buying records) regardless of whatever the lyrics are. By suggesting that these bands are disingenuous you put it upon that there are people out there who are genuine. In that point, is Eminem preaching that we should shoot a person’s head off, or is Beyonce real because she sings about those gosh darn bills.

Forgetting that, this is a FUCKING SONG! Who cares what story it tells or lyrics it uses, if it’s catchy and toe-tapping, enjoy it. If it appeals, listen, buy. It’s not aimed at teenagers, its aimed at anyone who enjoys music. My Chemical Romance sung that “teenagers scare the living shit out of me”, yet teenagers will buy the song even though they’re being berated. The point being that if the tune is good, it is worth listening to.

To suggest that a music genre is dead because it’s not played on the music television anymore just shows how ignorant you are. The music industry has changed, the internet has taken hold of it and choked it out. Now music is enjoyed live and guess what? The pop-punk scene is alive and well. (At what point is Wheatus considered pop-punk anyway? Pop Rock maybe).

I implore you to open up your eyes, ears and mind and go out and listen to some awesome bands that you could consider “pop-punk” Army of Freshmen, Math The Band, Hand Job Academy and Late Cambrian. Next time, think before you post. Idiot.

Aug 10

Recap: WWE Total Divas (S04E03 – Tea Mode)

Total Divas: S04E05 – Tea Mode

This week the Total Divas are in the UK as the WWE goes on it’s European tour. The girls are split into two groups, Rosa, Emma, Nattie and Alicia in one group, The Bellas, Naomi and Paige in another. They all want hijinx on the road and Brie promises more ‘Brie Mode’ but the whole thing seems a little lacklustre.

Nikki tries to be prim and proper and enjoy British “tea time”. Right off the bat, I’m surprised Paige didn’t correct her, it’s “Afternoon Tea”! Things get a little too pretentious for Paige and she storms out of the hotel and takes the car with her. This is probably the only real action this episode had and yet there were no consequences. Paige apologises, Nikki accepts and they lived happily ever after.

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On the other side of the tour, Alicia is suffering from Bad News withdrawals. She wants him but is getting conflicting messages from Rosa and Nattie on the best course of action to take. She ends up knocking on his door but running away. If Alicia wants a British man she’s in the right country, but the trolls she invites over to meet her are an awful selection of the yuk that Britain harbours.
What we can take the most out of this episode is feelings for Emma. She’s lurked in the background in a few episodes and now, when Rosa and Alicia go at it she sort of slinks off, avoiding the conflict. Bless, she was trapped in the car with Alicia and Paige last week and now this. She needs to find new riding buddies.

Back in the States, Eva is sporting bruises from her training and it gets her followers thinking she is being abused when she posts the pictures on Instagram. It doesn’t tell us if she addresses this or if she just lets it go, but you’d think she’d have to put a comment out there to confirm, “no, I’m a wrestler”! This is further compounded when she and Jonathan are at dinner and a stranger approaches her in the bathroom and tells her help is available. Whilst Eva does mention she’s a wrestler, she doesn’t do anything else to subdue this woman’s obvious concern. Perhaps she was abused herself and knows the trauma, she is offering help and instead Eva looks at her like a monster. Accept it and tell her everything is OK.

There weren’t as many laughs as last week, there was no drunken antics, although Paige does hit a dive bar with Naomi and Lana who could be mistaken for breaking character, probably the first time WWE fans would hear her without the Russian accent. The Foxy/Bad News thing goes no where and ends with her accepting its time to move on. They hit all the exciting cities in the UK yet don’t show any of them, other than a poor waiter mishearing John Cena make a filthy joke! Hopefully back to normality next week.

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