|Match Date||Thursday, August 12th, 2004|
|Zero - 68.78%|
77 for - 1 against
|Zero - 86.41%|
It's easy to blame CJayC for stacking the 20XX Division's first half in order to give us SFF matches involving Mega Man, but unlike the SFF in the Hyrule Division, the SFF in the 20XX division wasn't nearly as boring to watch. Sure we all knew the outcomes of the match as easily as we did in the Hyrule Division, but the "fodder" in 20XX was far more fun to see in action. Protoman is one such example.
This match was very hard for a lot of Mega Man fans, simply because it is difficult to decide who to vote for. Zero may be Mega Man's rival/friend/badassed companion in the Mega Man X series, but Protoman was around while Zero was still being put together. Protoman simply reeks of badass. His theme kicks ass, his character models kick ass, his match pic kicked ass (and was better than Zero's pic, I might add), and any part that he had in all of the games in the main Mega Man series kicked ass. I challenge any Mega Man fan to play through Mega Man 3 or Mega Man 7 and tell me afterwards that Protoman sucks as a character. It takes a little work to figure out what to do in Mega Man 7, but still, that isn't the point. Protoman, unlike some other characters destined for a first round loss in this contest, was a character whose appearance in this contest was warranted despite his actual performance. We need a bracket in which all 64 characters can say the same thing about themselves.
I also need to tip my hat off to Zero here. Sure he may be somewhat of the "Protoman" of the Mega Man X series, but there is a reason that Zero owned this match in the way that he did. The Mega Man X series, aside from being quite the challenge in early installments, features a character in Zero who does everything that Protoman does, only much, much better. It may have been hard for some Mega Man fans to decide who to vote for, but for everyone else, the choice was simple. Zero didn't do better than Aeris against Sonic last year for no reason, and when the dust settled from this match, Zero managed to pull in almost 72% of the vote in a match that saw over 81000 total votes. No easy task.
I simply hope that Protoman doesn't go the way of Raiden. Raiden could be a decent, well-desrving mid-carder in these contests, yet because of one first round SFF blowout, Raiden did not return to the field this year. Despite what these results may show, Protoman deserves to be here. Hopefully he returns.