Capcom has revealed R. Mika as the newest character to join Street Fighter 5’s roster. While she actually debuted in Street Fighter Alpha 3 in 1998, this returnee is the best representation of wrestling’s modern landscape amongst Street Figher’s wrestlers, and we’ve listed some reasons why.
Just ahead of PAX Prime 2015, the Capcom Unity blog delivered news of R. Mika returning to the Street Fighter franchise in Street Fighter V with a trailer showcasing her new moves alongside some screens of the grappler in action.
While I’ve rarely played as R. Mika (I skipped from Super Street Fighter 2 to Street Fighter 4), when compared to the series’ other two wrestling-focused characters (Zangief and El Fuerte), R. Mika’s is the most relatable wrestler this (and probably every other) fighting franchise has. Here’s a few reasons why.
5 – NO GIMMICK NEEDED
Between Zangief and El Fuerte you have two wrestlers that each arrived about a decade too late. Following up the slow musclebound patriotic superheroes of the 1980s came Zangief, a wrestler who mixed lumbering moves with an undying love for Russia. Okay, Rusev did support Russia for awhile, but at least he’s agile! Another old-timey element of Zangief was his love for fighting bears, which was phased out of pro wrestling around the time promoters realized they couldn’t air a potential mauling on TV.
El Fuerte was very representative of the WWE in the 1990s where wrestlers would inexplicably have a gimmick based on having a second job (because being in the world’s biggest wrestling organization doesn’t pay well enough on its own, apparently). A hyperactive luchador is already an appealing character, but for some reason El Fuerte is saddled with another dream to be a world-famous cook. Maybe Capcom’s designers really liked JR’s BBQ sauce back in the day?
R. Mika eschews what makes those characters dated. She’s a wrestler and she wants to prove to the world that she’s the best at it. Simple enough motivation amongst the dozens of folks in Street Fighter with overly complicated characterization.
4 – A MODERN MOVESET
While Zangief has some popular power-moves and Fuerte can excite crowds with some high-flying moves, Mika’s got an entire repertoire of attacks that would pop a WWE crowd. There’s old favorites like the bodyslam and dropkick, but she’s also rocking two moves that fans of the Attitude Era and today’s WWE would enjoy. While it’s likely Stone Cold Steve Austin would decry on his podcast that it isn’t an automatic finisher, there’s no denying that it’s pretty rad seeing a Street Fighter character pull off a Stunner. With Cesaro finally gaining a groundswell of support, his signature Giant Swing is also represented amongst R. Mika’s moveset. If you’ve been an avid watcher of wrestling during the last two decades, there’s a strong chance you’ll dig R. Mika’s moveset.
3 – A TAG TEAM SPECIALIST
This year has marked a renaissance for tag team wrestling in the WWE. The New Day has endeared themselves to the internet with entertaining interviews (like this one) and highly gif-able celebrations. Teams like The Prime Time Players and the Cesaro-Tyson Kidd pairing have made WWE’s multi-man matches the Pay-Per-View show-stealer on more than one occasion, and the future is bright with the return of the Dudley Boyz and NXT’s upcoming tag team tournament.
While Zangief and El Fuerte stick to singles competition, R. Mika calls on tag partner Yamato Nadeshiko to aid in an Usos-esque double butt-splash and following up Mika’s bodyslams with some spectacular splashes during some of Street Fighter 5’s special moves. It’s always awesome to see a tag team invent new combination attacks, so hopefully Street Fighter 5 has even more Mika-Yamato double-teams.
2 – MIC SKILLS
Finally, a fighting game that recognizes the most important part of wrestling; being great on the microphone! Mika’s V-Skill “Mic Performance” has the wrestler take to the microphone to pump up the Street Fighter Universe. The longer she speaks, the stronger her subequent attacks are. I’d argue that sometime long speaking segments don’t equate to a stat boost (see Seth Rollins’ dreadful promo at the end of Raw this week), but it’s a neat new twist that acknowledges how mic skills are important in wrestling today.
1 – A WOMAN MAIN-EVENTER
Over the course of three days this weekend, the WWE aired NINE HOURS of “sports entertainment” programming and the consensus seems to be that the NXT Womens Championship match topped every other match this weekend, from major returns months in the making to celebrity-laden spectacles that aimed to snag headlines. Sasha Banks and Bayley’s Match of the Year-caliber bout featured aggression, emotion, and psychology that wouldn’t have been seen in the T&A-fests of the 90s and the model-focused mini-matches of the 2000s. Asides from a few butt-focused moves (which as mentioned before are adopted by some dude wrestlers, too), Mika’s moves are the kinds of powerful and impactful moves you’d see from today’s top talent like Charlotte Flair and Paige. Mika’s pigtails can’t quite match the powerful side-pony rocked by the new NXT Women’s Champion, but they’re awesome nonetheless.
Wanna see more gaming and wrestling intersect? Check out our recent WWE 2K15 SummerSlam-themed stream straight from Laser Time’s YouTube channel!