By Chad Zimmerman
The Rocky movies had everything—amazing sound tracks, inspirational story lines and character names—oh the brilliant character names—Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago. Come on, even Bill Shakespeare couldn't dream up a cast like this. The single downfall of the entire series: Tommy "Machine Gun" Morrison. In our minds, and in every true Rocky fan's mind for that matter, the saga ended with IV in Russia—when Russia changed, Rocky changed, everyone and everything changed.
In his infinite wisdom, however, Sly Stallone knew that Rocky V couldn't be the end; that movie just could not punctuate Rocky's "million-to-one shot." So, with something needing to be done to save the franchise, the Italian Stallion is getting back in the ring for the sixth and final chapter, Rocky Balboa, releasing Christmas 2006.
OK, here's the lowdown: Rocky is an old, retired widower. Basically, his life bites. But then something magical happens; ESPN starts broadcasting virtual boxing matches between heavyweight greats of the past and present. Rocky sees the episode pitting his former self against current heavyweight champ, Mason "The Line" Dixon (another awesome name). Miraculously, virtual Rocky wins, and real-life Rocky realizes what his life has been missing—boxing. With the help of his brother-in-law Paulie and his trainer from Rocky IV(Duke), Rocky hits the gym and preps for some smaller exhibition fights. Meantime, The Line's promoters, catching wind that Rocky is back at it, see a chance to make mad cash. They make Rocky an offer he can't refuse, book the fight and set the stage for a real bout that out-punches the virtual.
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