Photos © 2010 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
By Ben Morse & Craig Tello
When threats no single champion can stand against threaten the Marvel Universe, Earth's Mightiest Heroes come together and the Avengers stand assembled.
When obstacles no solitary World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar can handle alone-like eliminating The Big Show from a battle royal-occur, WWE's best and brightest will usually form brief alliances before turning on one another, but hey, it's something.
With AVENGERS #1 currently on stands and WWE's Over The Limit event coming to pay-per-view this Sunday, we asked four of our favorite Fightin' Fanboys-and one brand new Fightin' Fangirl-to select which Superstars and heroes they'd bring together to lead into battle in the squared circle or Marvel Universe as their very own Avengers.
A former Intercontinental and United States champion, the high-flying Kofi Kingston attempts to recapture the IC title this Sunday at Over The Limit from Drew McIntyre. But before he takes on "The Sinister Scotsman," Kofi shared with us his Avengers recruits.
"I'd definitely have Wolverine because he's one of my favorites. And he brings a level of intensity to a team; granted he doesn't always play by the rules, but he always kinda gets the job done."
"I would put Mark Henry on my team because, to be honest, he kind of represents The Hulk. He's like a freak of nature-it's amazing how strong he is and he's definitely a guy I would love to have on my team."
"I'd also want Magneto because I think he's obviously a powerful guy and he always has his own agenda, but if he gets on the same page as the good guys, I think he'd be a formidable force. He's always that thorn in the side, you know? That ace in the hole. He's always the pain in the ass for all the super heroes."
"I'd get Evan Bourne on my team as well because he's just very unpredictable and agile, almost like Nightcrawler or Spider-Man."
"I'd probably pick [WWE champion] John Cena because he's that Captain America-type guy; a powerhouse, also agile and has a lot of experience."
"I read ULTIMATES, and Thor has been a kind of central character in that whole saga. It's just very interesting, especially the way they did it in ULTIMATES 2 with him, nobody really quite knowing if he was actually crazy or if he was a god. I like that whole Ultimates setting where it of teeters on the line of reality and fantasy, because although people have super powers and everything there's still that element to where they still think that a guy is crazy for thinking that he is a god. To be able to get all of those guys on the same page would be a miracle enough as itself. I really wouldn't do all that much. As long as I could just keep everyone on the same page and keep everyone happy, I think it would definitely be a force to be reckoned with."
A three-time WWE Women's champion, Beth
"Spider-Man is one of my favorite Marvel characters because he has such an ordinary, non-super hero personality. And he has flaws, he has insecurities. Aside from what he brings to the table with his powers, I like him as a person, and I think that he'd be able to relate to the younger generation of the WWE Universe. He'd be great to have on our side."
"C.M. Punk would be my first Superstar because [even though] his way of going about [things] can be sometimes twisted, I do think his motives are rooted in good-sometimes he [just] takes it a bit too far. But part of being a team is to keep everybody at bay and make sure nobody gets out of control. I think if we could ever talk him into being part of our team that he could be a valuable asset. He just needs to be kept in check."
"The Big Show certainly [could be] the muscle. He's got a Hulk quality to him, so maybe he could stand in the place of The Hulk on my Avengers team, and use his power to intimidate villains that may come our way."
"I'm going to have to go with Jean Grey just for my own personal favoritism. The Phoenix connection. Again, she's a flawed character, which I really like. I mean, that's one of my favorite things amongst comic book heroes is that they have flaws. And her biggest thing is her insecurity. She doesn't always believe in herself and her abilities even though they're far superior to what she could ever realize. And other people see a potential in her, but she doesn't always grasp that. She doesn't always believe in herself, which I think is something the other people in my super-group would be able to bring out of her, and hopefully harness in a better way than it happened in the comics."
"Kofi Kingston has this quality about him that's really positive. I think he
"Let's go with Juggernaut because I think he and Big Show would try to one-up each other and hopefully that healthy competition would be something we could harness to fight the bad guys."
At well over 300-pounds and possessing unparalleled power, Mark Henry can certainly stand alone against just about anybody, but as his recent pairing with MVP proved, "The World's Strongest Man" can be a team player as well. Henry selected an impressive mix of teammates to supplement his super strength.
"Thor being able to wield something that nobody else can pick up, that's big with me. I give him the advantage, having that hammer."
"I would say John Cena. He [could take] the leadership role of Captain America, the golden boy type of persona."
"Randy Orton is the wildcard. He could go either side, a lot of conflicted voices in his head."
"If I'm going to have somebody smart I'd have Bruce Banner on my team, and if [expletive] goes down at least The Hulk will clean up."
"I'm also thinking Evan Bourne. I've got guys who can handle big stuff, but I also want some speed."
"I'm feelin' Doctor Strange. He's smart, got the magic thing. It's the world's strongest Avengers. How do you beat them? The smartest and the strongest? I mean, damn."
The son of WWE Hall of Famer "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and a
one-time member of the formidable Legacy group, Cody Rhodes has recently struck out on his own as a new member of the SmackDown roster. The youngest Rhodes went with an eclectic line-up for his Avengers, including one of WWE's top Divas and a Marvel stalwart he has taken fashion tips from.
Cody Rhodes (in Archangel gear)
"Archangel is on the list. I actually just debuted this week on [WWE Superstars] a jacket I had made for me that just ripped off Angel from ULTIMATE X-MEN. It's got little bits of shiny black on the shoulder and was literally taken right out of the book; the only thing missing is the 'X' on the chest."
"If you're gonna do it right and assemble an Avengers team [where] I'm the leader, [I also need] a Superstar I hate because you need the Iron Man/Captain America [dynamic]. You need the two sides of the coin. [I'd pick] C.M. Punk because we butt heads and he's one of those guys that he would be the yin to my yang."
"Deadpool. I want an all-negatively-loaded team. Deadpool and Spider-Man-they both are smart-asses, but Deadpool is willing to go farther with
"You have to select a Diva because there has to be that estrogen in the group of some sort. I would select Kelly Kelly. She's doing things [as the public face] that keeps all the dirty work of my Avengers team hidden beneath the surface."
"I want a Wolverine that's not Wolverine. I want somebody who's willing to kill, so I'm going to select a reformed Omega Red. [He has] always been one of my favorite characters because I dig the Soviet Union. He's just a weapon like Wolverine or Captain America. He's designed by the government-he's a weapon, so that's what we'd use him as."
"I kind of like Kane [for the team] because he seems like you could keep [him on a] bit of a leash. He wouldn't just go totally wild. And he controls fire, so why not?"
"I think Union Jack gets a bad rap. He's a patriot, not for the United States, but the Avengers [are] a worldwide peace-keeping force. Its sends the wrong signals when it's front-loaded with Americans, you know? You've gotta spread it out. We're talking just publicity purposes here."
A one-time schoolteacher and current color commentator on SmackDown, Matt Striker possesses an impressive intellect and brilliant strategic mindset-just ask him! With Striker at the helm, you'd see an Avengers squad that balances strength, speed and cerebral acumen.
"I liken myself to Hank Pym in that I'm a genius and also a goliath. Now then, there are a couple of Avengers that never really, in my opinion, got the just due that they deserved. One of my favorites is Hawkeye. I always think he's great and his middle name is Francis."
"There are a lot of WWE Superstars now that are ushering in a new age of viewer. And I remember when I first discovered the Avengers how [they] opened up the Marvel Universe to me. So I feel guys like [current World champion] Jack Swagger are opening up WWE to a new generation of fans [and] I'm gonna choose Jack."
"I've always liked Wonder Man, and I especially like him now because he looks like [WWE Superstar] Evan Bourne. You put big aviator sunglasses on Bourne and he is Wonder Man. So let's throw him in there."
"Let's go with [Intercontinental champion] Drew McIntyre as well. I'm gonna put the little Matt Striker spin on [the Avengers] and take over the entire world."
"I'm gonna definitely go with Kane, he's a walking super hero anyway. I always draw Kane. I'll never show [him] my renditions for fear of being choke-slammed, but yeah."
"I of course am sitting at the helm because I am a ridiculously stinking genius. I'm gonna need someone to talk to, right? I'm gonna need someone that's gonna be on my intellectual level. You gotta put Spider-Man in there. You love Spidey for his wit. I love him because he's a Queens guy."
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