On Sunday night, at Sunday Slaughter I, The Heel, was well and truly defeated by a much superior competitor in The Master. Before I get into reviewing that particular beat-down, I will review the other matches, as they were all fantastic.
The Masher (8) defeated The Rookie (7):
In the opening bout, we saw the favourite in Hamish "The Rookie" Gow come up against the unknown and unpredictable Helly "The Masher" Vienne. The Rookie started out strong, winning the first round in convincing style. Using the character of Nina, The Rookie exploited the use of her long legs and powerful kicks to his advantage, taking the fight to his opponent. However in the second round, The Masher (in true masher style) used Law's infamous double backflip multiple times to win a close round. The deciding round was on. Both went at it toe-to-toe, but as all the pressure was on The Rookie he began to crumble; The Masher with nothing to loose had the crowd behind her, and came away with the first upset of the night. The Rookie was automatically demoted to last place in the rankings; and fought his last fight of the evening.
The Drifter (5) defeated The Kid (6)
Next up we saw Lee "The Drifter" Sullivan take on Jay "The Kid" Bovino. The Drifter started strong, however in true Drifter fashion, began to drift out of form as The Kid (using Eddy) employed his unorthodox style to his advantage, taking down The Drifter's Bryan with low breakdance combos and spinning handstands. Somehow The Drifter found enough form to see him through to a deciding round, 1-1; we had another tense battle on our hands. In the third and final round, The Drifter used his Tekken experience to wear down his opponent, fighting with impeccable timing and good defence to maintain his 5th spot on the rankings.
The Natural (4) defeated The Magician (3)
It is a true joy to watch Dean "The Natural" Burr play video games. Earlier in the night, Lee showed us a new game that he had bought on PS2, Shadow of the Colossus. Lee and I had worked out the basic controls a day before, and had reached the first Colossus - a massive beast 20-30 times larger than our small man. We found it's weak spot, a furry patch on the back of it's leg. Lee and I both had a go at defeating it, before Eden claimed that Dean would be able to take it down. Sure enough, Dean stabbed the beast in the leg, it fell over, and then began climbing up its back onto it's head and defeated the monster first go - a true natural in video games. Now if he can do that with a game that he's just seen, imagine what he can do in Tekken?! The Natural always chooses characters that no-one else does, in this case Paul and Xiaoyu. Luke "The Magician" Bovino went with his classic duo of Lei and Ganryu. The Magician had his moments, but failed to pull a rabbit out of his hat to match the skill and class of The Natural. Paul was at his destructive best, and Xiaoyu... who knew Xiaoyu could be any good! The match did go to 3 rounds, however there was never any doubt in the future number one contender.
The Master (1) defeated The Heel (2)
What went wrong, Russell? I came into this bout with shit form, losing only a couple of days earlier to The Drifter in an exhibition, 3 games to nothing, and only winning one round out of 6. As I own the game, I had the apparent advantage of getting in some much needed practice on Sunday day, learning up moves with Bryan and Yoshimitsu - big, big mistake. The whole match I was trying to block Eden's superior attacking raids, and every chance I got to strike I would either panic or try some new move. Bryan actually did ok, but Yoshimitsu is no match for someone as classy as The Master. Julia was at her devastating best, destroying any hope I had at being number 1. On top of trying new moves, I just played poorly. Even if I had chosen Hwoarang or Baek first up (which are supposedly my 2 best characters), with Bryan on the flip, I wouldn't have been able to match the skill and raw talent that The Master possesses. Eden sliced through me like a hot knife through butter, retaining his belt in 2 straight demoralising rounds.
As this was the inaugural Tekken Takedown, a system was devised to fairly change the rankings. Using Eden's initial rankings from his classic article on June 9, 2010 as a base, a tournament was set up. The rules were that the winner of one match got the shot at moving up the rankings by defeating the loser of the match above them. It is best explained outlining what actually happened:
- The Masher (8) def. The Rookie (7) - The Masher moved from 8th to 7th place.
- The Drifter (5) def. The Kid (6) - No ranking changes.
- The Natural (4) def. The Magician (3) - The Natural moved from 4th to 3rd place.
- The Master (1) def. The Heel (2) - No ranking changes.
- The Kid (6) def. The Masher (7) - No ranking changes.
- The Drifter (5) def. The Magician (4) - The Drifter moved from 5th to 4th place.
- The Natural (3) def. The Heel (2) - The Natural moved from 3rd to 2nd place - and became the number one contender for Tekken champion at the next Tekken Takedown.
To view a table of the current rankings, click here.
What will happen at the next Tekken Takedown? Will The Master retain his crown, or will The Natural continue to display his rise in the Tekken arena and claim his maiden championship - only time will tell.
- Russell "The Heel" Gill