In the ever-evolving Mortal Kombat series, references from outside the gaming universe are not uncommon. Mortal Kombat 1 is no exception, with Sonya Blade’s moveset showcasing one of the most celebrated finishers in recent pro wrestling history. Evident traces of outside influences have been seen since the franchise’s inception in 1992, as observed in cult favourites like ‘Bloodsport’ and ‘Big Trouble in Little China’. The latest instalment has an abundance of these tributes, not only through the stellar cast but also via the unique movesets of even the Kameo characters, exemplified in Sonya’s style of combat.
Mortal Kombat 1 marks the newest chapter in NetherRealm Studios’ renowned fighting game series. It functions as the universe’s second reboot, following 2011’s Mortal Kombat. After the events of MK 11, Fire God Liu Kang now oversees the reset universe. A recent gameplay trailer was unveiled at the Summer Games Fest which we reported on. This gave fans a real glimpse into what to expect when the title arrives later this year.
This rearrangement prompts the beloved characters to embark on new journeys, triggered by Kronika’s downfall in the preceding game. Remarkably, previous adversaries Sub-Zero and Scorpion have transitioned into close allies, assuming the role of Liu Kang’s champions from Earthrealm. Meanwhile, the erstwhile Thunder God Raiden seems to be a mortal warrior, albeit with his lightning abilities intact.
Sonya Blade’s RKO: A Tribute to Wrestling in Mortal Kombat 1
While the main lineup of fighters has undergone narrative alterations, the Kameo characters seem to embody homages to the early entries in the series, noticeable in both their appearances and movesets. However, it doesn’t imply they lack novel tactics to bring to the battlefield. Sonya Blade, for instance, borrows inspiration from WWE’s Randy Orton, executing RKO’s on her opponents unexpectedly. Reddit user Lolitsrock highlighted this, entertainingly overlaying the gameplay clips with WWE commentary of Orton performing his signature move.
Orton introduced the RKO in 2003, during his association with the Evolution group. The move, an effective finisher, can be executed effortlessly from virtually any position. The RKO, a variation of the cutter originally used by Johnny Ace, gained wider recognition due to Diamond Dallas Page’s Diamond Cutter. The famous move is basically a Stone Cold Stunner but with a leap forwards instead of just instantly sitting down. As time passed, the RKO spawned countless memes, GIFs, and videos, depicting the wrestler delivering the move “from outta nowhere”, both inside and outside the ring.
Sonya’s implementation of the RKO is just one example of the myriad external influences embedded in Mortal Kombat 1. The most striking of these is the incorporation of Jean-Claude Van Damme as Johnny Cage. Ed Boon revealed Van Damme’s involvement at the 2023 Summer Game Fest, where he announced that the actor would be lending his voice and likeness to the character of the action film star turned Earthrealm champion.
Mortal Kombat 1 is set to launch on September 19th, 2023, across PC, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X/S.
About The Author
Stephen is the proud owner of a popular gaming news website GLN, where he provides the latest updates on everything gaming-related. With a passion for video games that dates back to his childhood, Stephen is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow gamers around the world.