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#ThemeSongTuesday (4/26/16): The 8-Bit WWE Adventure


Aaaand we’re back! Renzo here for another #ThemeSongTuesday. If you haven’t seen last week’s feature of Kay Suzuki’s “The Rising Sun” violin cover, please take a minute to! Ro shares his thoughts on this interesting rendition of Shinsuke Nakamura’s WWE theme and how it could even fit his WrestleMania debut.

Allow me to switch things up again this week. According to Max Landis’ Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, “Wrestling is melodrama, wrestling is mythology, wrestling is action, wrestling is comic books.” Wrestling is a lot of things, and video games is one of ‘em. From a first-person perspective, the journey of a pro-wrestler is that of a video game protagonist’s. You knock down one unique boss after the other until you feel like you’ve hit 100% completion, or until the game decides it’s game over (the name of the game is Vince McMahon, not Triple H).

Now if WWE were built with Mega Man boss mechanics, who would be its cast of characters? Who would be its Dr. Wiley? To answer these questions, we take a look at the backbone of most classic video games and this metaphorical platform: the music.

vidya games.png

Dust off your Walkman headphones and blow on those cartridges, we’ve got seven great 8-bit WWE themes and a story of good vs. evil to get through.

1. Becky Lynch (Celtic Invasion) | Lass Kicker

The 8-bit version of “Celtic Invasion” kicks off the adventure, as the CFO$-composed theme’s soaring, energetic melody make it perfect for the opening credits, title, and menu screen. The Lass Kicker, our game’s first encounter, is an allied tutorial boss engaging you in friendly battle to teach you basic controls.

     
2.  Shawn Michaels (Sexy Boy) | Sexy Boy

You think basic controls are enough to prepare you for the evil waiting for ya out there?!” asks Sexy Boy, our second encounter. Shawn Michaels’ theme “Sexy Boy” has the 80’s workout montage arrangement that brings on the challenging feel of a slightly harder tutorial. This friendly boss takes us through more advanced controls and maneuvering, as Sexy Boy’s offensive arsenal includes a barrage of sharp kicks and flying elbow strikes that propel him around the stage.


     3.  CM Punk (Cult of Personality) | Punk Man

Our third and final tutorial boss is allied, but nowhere near friendly. Punk Man puts your knowledge of basic and advanced controls to the test, as he battles you smack dab in the middle of his trap-filled arena. You’re met with constant strikes and debris that require quick hand-eye coordination to dodge. The 8-bit version of CM Punk’s theme not only fits the chiptune arrangement damn near perfectly, it also somewhat resembles the famous “Underworld Theme” from Super Mario!


     4.  Paige (Stars In The Night) | Knight Woman

Your quest to defeat the yet unnamed evil begins with the audio cue of Paige’s theme, “Stars In The Night.” The 8-bit translation turns the gothic rock track into a theme fit for Castlevania meets Double Dragon, a game I never knew I wanted until now. Knight Woman, Princess of Evil, puts you through a horde of minions and deadly obstacles before you even get near enough to put a dent in her life total. As you deliver the final blow, her father hears of your murdering her daughter… and thinks that isn’t cool.


     5.  The Undertaker (Rest In Peace) | Dead Man

More than half of his evil kingdom has been destroyed by your shenanigans, and you’ve taken his beloved daughter’s life as the cherry on top of a bad family Sunday. Dead Man, the King of Evil, wants your pixelated sprite of a body in pieces. We’re introduced to him as he slowly creeps toward you, the 8-bit rendition of The Undertaker’s theme “Rest In Peace” haunting the air.

The funeral march serves as his overall theme, for both the pre-battle monologue and the fight itself. Dead Man focuses on ranged magic attacks from his throne, throwing absolutely everything he’s got at you. You strike him down and as he staggers back on his throne, he pulls a switch before drawing his final breath. A cage door slowly opens behind you and a deep growl fills the room.


     6.  Brock Lesnar (Next Big Thing) | Beast Man

Dead Man wanted you obliterated by any means necessary, remember? Beast Man comes in when all other means fail. This particular theme deserves a special mention for being the only one to sound even more menacing after going through the 8-bit translation.

The pummeling instrumentals on Jim Johnston’s Brock Lesnar theme, “Next Big Thing” come out as raunchy, hard-hitting rounds of sound that go perfectly well with the image of you repeatedly dying at the hands of Beast Man.

You’re dealing with a beast that at one point even defeated Dead Man, so naturally, the difficulty level gets shot to the moon at this point. It takes so much to put Beast Man down, that the fatal blow you deliver causes a rip in the video game’s fabric of reality. You’re sucked in to reveal the final boss…


     7.  Shinsuke Nakamura (The Rising Sun) | Dr. Nakamura

It’s at this point we’ve answered both questions. We have our cast of characters and our Dr. Wiley—our final boss is Dr. Nakamura. You seek to rid this world of evil, yet you stand before the man responsible for creating it.

Dr. Nakamura’s pure swag energy led to the accidental creation of the reality you inhabit, and he’s not happy about you entering his side of the fence. Shinsuke Nakamura’s debut WWE theme seems to be composed specifically for a boss fight, since the track’s opening and build-up leave enough room for a few dialogue boxes before the winding violin screeches to signify the start of battle.

I’d like to think that the final boss for our imaginary game is unbeatable, but for the sake of an end, let’s just say you defeat Dr. Nakamura. You return home to a hero’s welcome, and in a cut scene you’re greeted by Lass Kicker, Sexy Boy, and Punk Man, who congratulate you on your triumph over evil. The game closes and the credits roll to Sasha Banks’ theme, “Sky’s The Limit”. You’ve successfully defeated every single boss, so now it’s time to play you out like one.


Whose themes would you want to hear turned 8-bit? Would you add any new boss characters and their themes for our imaginary protagonist to take on? Let us know in the comments below!

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When he isn't writing Smark Henry's #ThemeSongTuesday column, Lorenzo Magnaye hosts the #HomeRun on 99.5 PlayFM. It's a good thing, too, since his childhood consisted mostly of watching professional wrestling and listening to his parents on the radio. He's only recently rekindled his love for the WWE, and has been trying to make up for missing out on everything post-WrestleMania XX by praying to Seth Rollins thrice a day. Follow him on Twitter: @RenzoSaurus!

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