1UP Previews: WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009

1UP writes: "Cue the training montage -- WWE SmackDown vs. Raw is getting ready to return to the ring. Only this time, publisher THQ is seeing double: The focus of the annual professional-wrestling installment in SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is on tag teams (ironic, we know, considering tag-team wrestling in the WWE is currently as popular as a Great Khali ironman match). But THQ believes revamping tag-team matches will encourage the social aspect of man-on-man action by having two buddies cover each other's backs as opposed to smacking the sweat off each other. We agree -- it's hot.

Tag-team matches get two key improvements. One: Both wrestlers now share a momentum meter used to pull off the fan-pleasing finishers. This means both wrestlers really have to work as, yep, a team. So if Brian Kendrick is doing his human-punching-bag routine and ends up making a tag to his partner, Paul London, after a nasty beatdown, London will have to build off of the paltry momentum Kendrick passed on to him. Of course, tag-team wrestling is all about the comebacks, and developer Yuke's has smartly added a "hot tag" feature that will emulate this edge-of-your-seat tag-team staple. Back to the Kendrick scenario: This time, say the man formerly known as "Spanky" is getting smacked around by Trevor Murdoch. Things aren't looking good -- Kendrick is trying to crawl to his partner, London, but Murdoch keeps dragging him away. At this point, the crowd thinks it's over. But, of course, it's not -- everyone knows the face in peril always makes the 'hot tag.'"

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