Sunday, February 15, 2015

Actual Play - World Wide Wrestling

One of my lesser known passions is that I enjoy pro wrestling. I really got back into it in college but I still keep an eye on storylines and occasionally go over to watch PPVs with friends. I own a few wrestling RPGs, too, for maximum crossover appeal. Recently, Nathan D. Paolette ran a Kickstarter for a tabletop game that uses the Powered by the Apocalypse engine and walks the line between the real world and the fake worlds of wrestling. My original intent was to run this before next weeks big WWE show, but scheduling forced my hand early.

If you want the short version; this is an excellent game. It was my best wrestling RPG experience ever and one of my favorite games from the Apocalypse Engine. It works for hardcore fans, casual fans, lapsed fans and people who claim they don't like wrestling but still make it to the final Championship match anyway. I was skeptical about Creative controlling the outcomes but in play it didn't matter. When Bearonica got into the ring with Heidi Hyde, I was on the edge of my seat. I wanted to know how they got to my finish.

My full write-up is after the jump so I can keep things straight for the next time.

Here's the roster of Midway Mixed Wrestling for tonight's show. MMW does not have gender divisions and does have three titles: The Triple Crown Championship, The Silver Star Championship and the Bronze Fist Championship.

Rick Goodman (Caleb)
Gimmick: The Golden Boy. Rick's character is here to wrestle, dammit, and doesn't like all the other crap that surrounds wrestling.
Finisher: The Prime Example - a crossface chickenwing camel clutch.
Role: Heel
Theme Music: "Get A Haircut" by George Thorogood and The Destroyers

Mr. Skyyn (Brad)
Gimmick: The Technician. Mr. Skyyn is a sleazy heel that hits on anything that moves.
Role: Heel
Finisher: Pick-Up Line - a torture rack backbreaker drop.
Theme Music: "So Bad" by Eminem

Bearonica (Vee)
Gimmick: The Monster. She's a big beast of a woman, clad in fur boots and animal hides.
Role: Face
Finisher: Bear Hug Suplex - a belly-to-belly suplex
Theme Music: "Beast" by Nico Vega

Heidi Hyde (Sarah)
Gimmick: The Hardcore. Heidi is a former derby girl turned pro wrestler who uses her skates as a weapon.
Role: Face
Finisher: Gross Misconduct - a falling double knee to the back.
Theme Music: "Mrs. Hyde" by Halestrom

Non-Player Wrestlers
Kassandra Kane
Dixie Normous
Clan Armstrong
Freight Train
Lance Stromowski
Adam Rockett
El Coyote

The recap of the go home show before the PPV highlighted the following elements from earlier shows:

  • Bearonica and Heidi's mentor and student relationship was strained last week by a mistake in a tag match with "Dusty"Armstrong and El Coyote.
  • Mr. Skynn injured Kassandra Kane at the last PPV, resulting in the need for her vacant Triple Crown Championship to be filled tonight.
  • Heidi once injured Rick Goodman by accidentally skating over his hand
  • Rick Goodman blasted his former tag partner Mr. Skynn in the back with a steel chair last week, giving fuel to the rumors that he and Kane are an item.
We are LIVE In Des Moines, IA at the Wells Fargo Arena. Mike Standish and Johnny Dice are your boradcast team as they run down HEAVEN AND HELL's two big events. The Heaven Tournament will end with one victor as the new Triple Crown champion, while everyone that falls from the tournament is entered into the Redemption Rumble with the rest of the roster, where the winner of the battle royal is named the #1 contender to any of the championships in MMW.

Segment One: Steve "the Boss" Koss interviews Bearonica, who brushes off the miscue but says that tonight, if they meet in the tournament, she wants Heidi to fight.

Segment Two: Bearonica Vs. "Dusty" Armstrong. Dusty get's the early advantage thanks to some brass knuckles and kicking Bearonica while she's down. The ref catches the knuckles and strips them from Armstrong, who turns around into the BHS and lands hard. (He needed to be escorted to the back with a mild concussion.)

Winner: Bearonica via Bear Hug Suplex in 4:17.

Segment Three: Rick Goodman vs. Freight Train. As always, Freight Train gets the crowd up with his energetic entrance, even if it leaves him gassed from all the dancing along to his theme song. Rick comes out all business, with Mike noting he refused to give an interview while he was in the tournament. He goes straight after Freight Train, but Train no-sells Goodman's flurry of punches. Train controls early with some big powermoves, including a huge back body drop that leaves Goodman flat on his back for several seconds. Train pays for working the crowd by with a nasty armbar on Train. Goodman pulls one of his patented "Rick Moves" by switching the armbar to Train's other arm and "Woo! Wooooo!" ing right into Train's face while wrenching down on the arm. He climbs on Train's back to cinch in the Prime Example but Train goes around the ring a few times with his opponent on his back. Finally, Goodman clips Train's leg to put him on the ground and the big man taps out.

Winner: Rick Goodman via The Prime Example in 11:16.

Segment Four: Dice's Lounge. It's a pre-taped interview between Johnny Dice and his pick to win the tournament, fellow heel Mr. Skyyn. Skyyn hits on Bearonica from afar, sits with his crotch viewable by the camera the whole time and even makes Dice look uncomfortable by the end.

Segment Five: Lance Stromowski vs. Mr. Skynn. Lance's entrance features big flashes of light, which seem to be there to distract from his distinct lack of charisma. Skynn, on the other hand, has the crowd booing, despite the large amount of female fans seemingly won over by his oily charm. Lance's offense seems mostly brawling and charges, which Skyyn counters to chat up some ladies at ringside. He smashes Lance's head into the barricade and finishes his opponent off to the men in the crowd chanting "Ess Tee Dee".

Winner: Mr. Skyyn via Pick Up Line in 6:10.

Segment Six: Steve catches Rick backstage talking to someone on his cell phone. Rick admonishes the ambush and cuts a promo on Mr. Skyyn, who should pay for his sloppy, unfocused work.

Segment Seven: The final match in the first round features Heidi Hyde vs. El Coyote. Heidi now skates around the ring, not just down the ramp. El Coyote still takes forever to get to the ring, though his mariachi cover of Hotel California theme is still cool all these years later. This match doesn't get much of a start, though Coyote stays in control for most of it. He works her over on the outside, rolling in twice to extend the count. Heidi catches him on his third roll in with a hard dropkick that sends him over the ring steps. Coyote stays down outside the ring for the count-out and the look on her face makes me think she wasn't supposed to win that way. El Coyote is helped to the back afterwards.

Winner: Heidi Hyde via count-out in 8:05.

Segment Eight: Kassandra Kane, in her overwrought goth style, announces a twist to the tournament in a pre-taped segment. The next round will be a tag match featuring the four remaining wrestlers and the winning team will face each other for the Triple Crown Championship.

Segment Nine: Bearonica/Hyde vs Goodman/Skyyn. Neither team seems happy with their partner. Bearonica and Goodman to start. The match mostly takes place on two fronts, with Bearonica and Goodman in the ring and Hyde and Skyyn outside. Bearonica and Goodman go back and forth with Goodman just taking control toward the end. Skyyn interrupts Heidi's rally cries and she knocks him into the ring during their brawl, just as Goodman's pin attempt would have sealed the victory for their team. The ref calls for the DQ.

Winner: Bearonica and Heidi Hyde via DQ in 6: 23.

Segment Ten: Skyyn and Goodman are still brawling with each other as the other entrants come in for the Redemption Rumble. Skyyn throws Lance right at Goodman, who ducks and eliminates the boss's son. Dusty and El Coyote eliminate each other. Freight Train and Adam Rokit battle big man on big man. Dixie Normous waits in the corner while "Another"Armstrong tries to come out after Dusty heads to the back. Adam Rockit goes to yell at the Armstrong, allowing Dixie to hit Freight Train with the Mama-Can-Rana and over the top with the help of Mr. Skyyn. She also takes out Adam Rokit with the help of Rick Goodman. then they team up and throw her out. The former tag parners face off at the first and final two men in the ring. Despite his technical claims, Goodman falls to the Pick Up Line, getting dumped out of the ring as he fell. Mr. Skyyn is your new #1 contender.

Winner: Mister Skyyn at 9:56.

Segment Eleven: Bearonica vs. Hyde for the TCC belt. Before the match begins, Hyde cuts a promo saying that Bearonica should be champ because Hyde doesn't belong in the ring so she's going to give her the championship.

Bearonica charges and the bell rings. She's furious at Heidi for not fighting back. She's not just using power movies but some of Heidi's hardcore trademarks against her. There's a particularily brutal powerbomb through the announce table but after that, Heidi comes up bloody and fighting. She beats back the monster and hits her a few times with skates. Bearonica powers back (though the sequence looked a little weak) and pulls the skates away to whip Hyde. She grabs Hyde's face, says "Never stop fighting" and hits her with the BHS. The ref counts 1..2...kick-out!

Bearonica is stunned. Heidi is up...and then rolls out of the ring! The ref counts her out and we have a new Triple Crown Champion?

Winner: Bearonica via count-out in 13:21.

We fade to black with Bearonica refusing to put on the belt as Heidi slowly back away from the ring. What is going on here?