Hello, Spongey here.
I think it’s FINALLY time to close the book on something technically started way back in 2012. That’s right…NFL RUSH ZONE!
Oh man, this has been a crazy journey. When I stumbled a lame Nicktoons NFL Special, I didn’t think it would get this out of hand. Despite being terrible, it got a full 2nd season that was quite different.
I reviewed the two part premiere, the next to last episode, and the finale. Then somehow, this got a 3rd season, and I covered the premiere and Christmas episode. That was the last time I reviewed the show. That was December of 2013.
It’s…been a while. If you full info, you can read all my previous NFL Rush Zone reviews. But if you want the short version, Football exists to protect McGuffins from generic villains and some generic heroes help out with this task.
This kid named Ish who once looked like Micheal Jackson was the center of all this, along with a bunch of characters including some of the hammiest villains ever put to animation. “Season 1” was terrible but enjoyable for that very reason.
The rest is….complicated, but you can read the reviews for the full details. It’s really complicated, including a plot point where the villain is the mentor guy’s son. It’s weird, but the rest of this will be written assuming you recall all of Season 2.
Back in 2014, Season 3 wrapped up and since nothing has come out since then, I can assume the series is over. I wasn’t really paying attention at that point so this slipped by me and I didn’t find out til last year.
It’s taken me a while to get to this, is what I’m saying. Now I had been watching up until this draft Special they did (which was only slightly more exciting than Draft Day). Basically, I forgot about the show after that and had to play catch up.
What’s happened since we last saw Ish? …Not much actually. Well, one thing should be addressed before I give the full recap. I started a review of the Draft special before I just chucked it away.
But I kept one part, where we found out the true backstory of all this crap. So here it is, because I needed to cover this part:
A long time ago, the core housed the most powerful energy in the world and it was in the core of the Rushers home planet. The mutant head dudes played their most cherished game: Football.
“So that’s where it came from”
Didn’t we learn this back in Season 1? This isn’t new info, dude. Also, yes, it’s said again that Football came from another planet and even better, they built a noble society on Football. Christ, and you thought the hockey world in the Mighty ducks cartoon was bad.
Meanwhile on Anticoria, war was a way of life and but the core gave them hope. However, Lord Xactu wanted to be king and he asked a rebel known as Sudden Death to steal the core from the Rusherz planet.
Okay, a few things. First, Xactu is Belin’s uncle, because of course he is. It doesn’t even make sense as we only see Belin’s parents in one shot and we never find out what happened to them and Xactu looks a bit like Sudden Death and he has no hint of humanity like Belin and his parents do. So how are they at all related?
Also, Sudden Death, the big Bad of the series, was just a goon for some other bad guy who is somehow inferior to him as a villain. Lame.
“Together they would rule the universe”
They attacked the Rusherz planet, and most of the Rusherz left in escape pods and we never find out what happened to them. But 32 Rusherz that coincidentally represent each region of the planet stayed to fight. They extracted the core, knowing it would destroy their planet, just to keep the world safe from Sudden Death. Okay, that’s pretty cool.
The 32 Rushez fled to Earth and the core split into 32 shards and thus, the Rusherz created the NFL teams to protect the shards. I know I said this way back in the first review, but this is a dumb idea. Football was created to protect these shards of a core from another planet. What kind of idiot thought this up?
Anticoria was pissed because their only hope was destroyed, and their planet plunged into chaos. Xacut told everyone that Rusherz are bad and he is good, and Belin was the only one who knew of the truth. Again, what happened to his parents? Did Xactu kill them? Cuz then the cliches would be complete.
Belin created a rebel faction to stop Xactu. So there’s why Sudden Death came here in the first place, but it doesn’t explain why Xactu picked now to finish what he started. I think it’s cuz The planet is ruining out of energy, so Xactu wants the core, even though the Rusherz need.
Why? The planet is gonna be destroyed! He’s evil but I get that he cares about the planet. The Rusherz don’t need the core cuz the planet is already trashed and they survive fined without the shards. So, whats the issue, again?
That’s all I put in the document back then so I guess that was all that was important. But it was never mentioned again so Sudden Death is as dumb as ever.
As for what happened in the actual show, as I said, not a whole lot. Things went back to the usual formula, and it’s been a string of villains betraying each other. Sudden Death brought Drop Kick back so he can help him stop the Guardians, as he is eager for revenge.
Then they break Warren Zimmer out of jail…and turn him back into Wild Card. How? I have no idea. They said they used ‘Anticorian technology” but I have no idea what they means. He just magically becomes Wild Card again, evil and everything.
Did the magic make him evil or was he evil when put into jail? Remember, we was fully good when we last saw him. This makes no sense. Then the villains each turns betraying each other, basically getting nothing done except getting a few Mega McGuffins.
Until eventually Wild Card betrayed all the goons, and they got Drop Back again to help them. Then they both betrayed Sudden Death and became semi good guys as Sudden Death preprears his final comeback.
Didn’t make too much sense but I’ve come to expect that. Oh, and Ash’s Dad got married in the only interesting plot line with the leads. Oddly enough, the wedding happened at the end of the next to last episode.
Don’t they know the wedding is dramatically interrupted in the finale?
Either way, we’re caught up. Not the most eventful season, but at least we’re finally about to end it. This intro has gone on long enough, so let’s finally close the book one of my favorite bad cartoons.
This, is The Final Betryal
I love that title.
The episode starts with Sudden Death breaking into a stadium only to find that the Mega Core is missing. This is shown through his POV, which is pretty cool. It turns out that room is a decoy, and he attacks a Rusher and the NFL guest star of the week.
After the intro, a guardian comes in to stop him.
“Haven’t a seen you in a while”
Didn’t you see him in the previous episode? Could be wrong on that.
The guardian fails and Sudden Death gets the MegaCore. See, if he just did this by himself and ditched the lackeys from the start, he would get this done a lot quicker.
Back in the HOK, the Guardians form a plan to stop Sudden Death. Ish suggests finding Wild Card since they helped him in the last episode, but RZ says he can’t be trusted after all those broken promises.
Eh, I get it but he was randomly turned back into this by someone else. But he did also do some bad stuff on his own so …meh.
“Even if …was my son”
Dang, back to actual drama again.
We cut to Marty as his Dad says he has been fall behind on school work due to his guardian stuff. Shouldn’t Ish deal with this cliche issue? Feels like he’s barely anything since he got his powers back.
Marty says not to worry, end scene. Riveting. We join Wild Card and Drop Kick as they go to Sudden Death’s next target. He shows up so they fight, alerting the Guardians. They show up and aren’t sure who to trust.
This would be interesting if the writing hadn’t been so messy.
Besides, Sudden Death pretty much admits that Wild Card betrayed him. To further prove it…he turms back into Warren.
…What. Could he have done that the whole time or what?! I don’t get it!
They don’t answer as they take the two back home but don’t investigate his surrender further and just go off to stop Sudden Death. No one ever asks question in this show.
Marty reports back to his father who takes away his NFL-R until he does his homework. That’s kind of fair I suppose, but the world is at stake, which is more important the grueling work public schools force you to do.
The other Guardians head to the International Game were Sudden Death attacks them. They survive but he gets the Mega Core. Like I said, he’s very efficient when he does this all himself. That or the Guardians just suck. I’d buy that too.
Then he climbs inside this giant robot thing to suck out the core itself. This will pretty much blow up the planet. Like with the previous finale, I like the large scale at least. Despite their misgivings, they decide to let Warren help just this once so they can stop Sudden Death.
“It’s too risky. He will find a way to turn this to his advantage”
Way to have faith in your son, jerk. After what happened to him last Season, you should be able to see some humanity, dude. They decide they have no choice and let him help. Meanwhile, Marty finds out that his Dad is just worried for his safety.
Didn’t’ we go through this with Ash in the last episode?
With that, he lets Marty. Well, at least it connected to the overall plot better than some other episodes, but it’s still weak. So they free Warren and leave Drop Kick as Wild Card says he is useless. That’s your first class that he’s still an asshole.
But as soon as they leave, Drop Kick suddenly turns on and starts draining the core. Dammit, are we really doing this again? They can never decide who is the true villain in this show and now we’re back to Drop Kick for no reason?
The guardians face Sudden Death and Wild Card just goes for and gets his ass kicked.
“Are you crazy?”
“Why do people keep calling me that?”!
Marty shows up and they start all blasting at him at once. Marty takes out Sudden Death’s power pack or something which gets rid of his big robot. Suddenly, everyone turns back into civilians.
“Did I mention that Drop Kick is stealing the core for me?”
“RZ was right!”
…YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING! You’re flip flopping again! It doesn’t even make sense this time given his backstory and how things have been with him before? Can these writers pick a villain and stick with it!
“Never Underestimate the Wild Card!”
That’s his catch phrase, so the point where it was the title of an episode. Yeah.
Powerless, they go back to the HOK where they use these Superbowl rings to give them power. I’m sure I mentioned them at some point, but if I didn’t…they are enough McGuffin, that’s about it.
With that, they blow up Drop Kick and the Core is restored. That was insultingly easy. Oh, and RZ died in a previous scene but was dropped until now, where it turns out he was backed up and can be restored.
Yay, Death is meaningless!
As for Wild Card, he’s still out there, but they will be ready for him.
“No matter what happens, we’ll be ready”
The end. Wait, what? That’s it? So Sudden Death was killed randomly, Drop Kick was killed randomly, and Wild card is on the loose and is back to being evil for no reason? Even Season 1 had a more satisfying ending than this!
It’s so abrupt. Did they expect to get a Season 4 out of this shit? Well, it seems to be over so we have another very weak ending to a show. Not the worst cliffhanger ever, but still weak.
There isn’t much to say about this finale, like the Season as a whole. It has nice stakes and the villains are fun, but it’s a bit dull in places. Marty’s story is pointless and did I mention how lame the ending is?
Even on it’s own, it’s poorly written and stupid. I suppose wild Card being evil is tragic but this show isn’t smart enough to handle that kind of thing. Him still being evil makes no sense given what happened with him before, ruining an honestly interesting character.
Wild Card has always been the best part of this show, not only because he can be interesting but because Troy Baker does a great job at making him threatening and incredibly over the top and enjoyable. So this feels like an insult.
It’s just very mediocre, much like the Season as a whole. To be fair, Season 2 had a lot to do with establishing the new status qou so this is more like a Season 1 with Season beign like a pilot movie.
So it being weak is fair, but still an issue. It feel into the same trap the middle part of Season 2 did wih just being generic and boring. The batshit parts are fewer this time making the Season less interesting.
Even the Wild Card issue is smaller than Season 2’s problem. The writing is more consistent, but it’s consistently mediocre. Yes, the show is bad in general but I’m speaking on it’s own terms. Still, Season 3 had it’s share of “good” moments so I can’t be too angry.
But I am sad that this is how it all ends. It’s weird to finally reach the end of the series. It’s even weirder for it to end on this note. While I do wish there would be more due to the weak ending, I think we would be better off with this show off the air waves.
OVERALL SERIES GRADE: A+++++++
So ends the MJFOOTBALL saga once and for all. It was an odd ride, and I’m glad I had a special bad cartoon to share if you all. I suppose I should say a final sum up of the show:
This was an oddly terrible series. Seriously, Season 1 had a dumb idea, explained nothing, made no sense, and had terrible flash animation. Seasons 2 and 3 was just a really generic cartoon with random bouts of interesting ideas ruined by crappy writing.
It’s so odd that this exists. A NFL Cartoon is one thing, but the fact that this exists in it’s current form is odd. But I do kind of love it, because it’s one of the best bad cartoons ever made.
Even with the last seasons being “weaker” they were fun to riff on for the insanity. Very few shows as special as this come around and it was a ton of fun to follow it. So NFL Rush Zone…thank you for everything, even if you sort of sucked.
At least there’s no other NFL Rush Zone materiel out there..