But the big news in SmackDown! land is that there will be eight different fighting styles, stopping each wrestler from feeling the same. Each grappler will fit into one of these eight styles. There’s High-Flyer, for instance. Guys that slot into this category are the ones adept at aerial moves like leaping onto the top rope and springboarding themselves into an opponent - think Rey Mysterio or Matt Hardy. There’s Submission Artist (Chris Benoit, say, or William Regal), Powerhouse (guys who are very strong, but weak in the air, like Batista and Undertaker) and Brawler - people who simply punch, kick and eye-gouge their way to victory, like The Boogeyman. Then there are Hardcore wrestlers who’ll be great with weapons (like Mick Foley), Dirty grapplers (less likely to get disqualified when cheating, like Edge), Technical guys (with great defensive skills like CM Punk and MVP) and, finally, Showmen. Following up heavy moves with taunts allows wrestlers in this category, charismatic mat-jockeys like Ken Kennedy and JBL, to rapidly increase their momentum meters and keep the moves flowing.
The other big change comes with submissions. The clumsy button-bashing system of old is gone, replaced by a “pressure” technique implemented with the right stick. Nudge the stick and your wrestler will apply a little pressure, but not necessarily enough. Jam it down, though, and you run the risk of tiring your grappler out before he’s made his opponent raise the white flag.