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Rocky 2 vs Rocky 3 which is better battle!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2015 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 540 times Debate No: 73815
Debate Rounds (3)
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Pro supports Rocky 2, Con supports Rocky 3!

Feel free to accept or to open with arguments both work and I win either way!


I'll just post an acceptance this round, since my opponent didn't give an argument. I am on the side that affirms that Rocky II is better than Rocky III. This will be fun.

I look forward to a very fun debate.
Debate Round No. 1


The second video is the first fight where Rocky loses to Lang, the reason I posted it second is that I want to show you the far better fight first and I refer to both in my final paragraph.

In Rocky 1 and 2 Balboa, despite being polite had nerves of Steel and humiliated Creed without meaning to by simply being that good of an opponent for the heavyweight champ. Clubber Lang, on the other hand, is not this way. If Clubber Lang lost to Creed no one would pity him nor would they mock Creed, they'd applaud him for Lang has no concept of manners nor of humility; what makes him great is he wins. In fact, I think Creed seeing Lang made him shocked that the polar opposite of Rocky Balboa could be someone he hated far deeper and more passionately than he'd ever had distaste for Rocky.

It is safe to say that the entire beginning and middle of Rocky III was the conclusion to Rocky II that the second movie never had. Rocky II's ending was not a storyline-based ending at all and was not a cliffhanger either. It was a very clear abrupt stop due to funding or something along those lines. In fact, after this Sylvester Stallone began acting in movies other than Rocky, probably to fund the brilliant III that he was going to be a major director of and he did indeed use it well hiring Mr. T for the role of the new nemesis/villain. In fact, it is arguable that Stallone's motive to do Rocky II was not entirely clear as he was well off having done two other great movies, F.I.S.T and Paradise Alley whereas his movies Nighthawks and Victory didn't gain much in audiences and hence his motive for making Rocky III was far more passionate in that he really needed some income and was going for a bestseller.[1]

While Rocky and Rocky 2 ended abruptly at the end of a fight (Rocky less so as it ends with him in Adrian's arms), Rocky III had a whole scene after the major fight of Balboa vs Lang. This scene was the follow up of the fantastic twist of a relationship he and Apollo had formed and showed the true sportsmanship they shared (as opposed to 'fighters like Lang' so to speak) and intelligently doesn't give a clue as to who won the spar so as to make the audience appreciate the relationship in and of itself rather than the physical prowess which was what the second almost fixated on, in regards to both fighters not just Rocky. The ending, thus, is far more emotionally gripping and meaningful in Rocky III as the ending of Rocky II meant that if Stallone had died before making the third, everyone would have been left in disgust at the lack of culmination of the series. On the other hand, if the series ended at the end of either Rocky or Rocky III, strong messages had been conveyed, morals learned and storylines fantastically pulled off. Rocky II genuinely ended without any closure whatsoever. The ending was just the end of the fight and a 'thank you' to the people involved.

I now want to analyze the emotional journey involved in both movies. Mickey Goldmill dying just before the fight Rocky vs Lang fight was emotionally devastating for both audiences and very clearly Rocky himself. It wasn't just the death alone that had the sting. It was knowing that Rocky had been tricked into impulsively 'coming out of his cave' to fight a real match after Mick breaking the news to him that most of his fights were either paid off opponents throwing it or handpicked weaklings who happened to be of Rocky's weight class. It combined betrayal, disappointment, love, admiration and all other kinds of emotions into one almighty moment when Mick's heart went 'bye-bye'. The most emotionally aggravating aspect of his death was that it was Lang himself pushing him that sent his heart into such a frenzy and Rocky had convinced him to train him and come there despite Mick wishing he didn't have to and strongly advising Rocky against it. In other words, the person most responsible for the death of Mickey was none other than Rocky himself (although interestingly he could have sued Lang for manslaughter and probably won, especially as he was the richer of the two at that point in their careers but I guess Rocky's character was not the smart type and wasn't about non-physical means of vengeance either).

I shall now look more at character traits as opposed to emotions themselves. In Rocky III, Rocky goes and gets beaten up in a humiliating manner, with Lang verbally stinging not just him but his former opponent (which had even more sting to it after the fight since if Rocky beat Creed and Lang beat Rocky what does that make Creed in comparison to Lang?). It was a beautifully bittersweet journey in which we saw the same pride that had made us hate Creed motivate him to help Rocky get strong enough to exact a flawless revenge-fuelled fight on Lang. The very same aspect of the very same character that we grew to hate and feel disgust for came to be that which we, the audience, love and appreciate in Rocky III! Tell me that's not a fantastic use of a character trait, come on and tell me! In the same way, the humility and niceness of Rocky that we grew to love in Rocky and Rocky II are traits we grow to wish he didn't have as he grows somewhat pathetic and helpless after Mick's death and the realisation that most of his fights were rigged. He is too 'nice' for us and Creed's nastiness and arrogance are what help manipulate Rocky into becoming the motivated madman he is when he finally beats the living crap out of Lang. It is also very important to realize that by bringing in Lang as a new villain, Stallone created an incredible dynamic whereby absolutely anyone who was formerly irritating or nasty, be that Paulie or Creed, could suddenly become a less irritating character almost instantaneously. In addition to this, Stallone created a confusing portrayal of Adrian. Prior to Rocky III, Adrian's opposition to Rocky's fighting was only emotionally based and weak at that, especially in II where she goes form hardcore pacifist to his greatest supporter all over again in some strange inexplicable conflict of morals. On the other hand, in Rocky III Adrian's opposition to him fighting was far more fierce, almost making her irritating until she saw that without it, he really was an empty shell of the man he once was. It is incredible to see her enjoy his former nemesis, someone she'd twice over screamed joy at seeing him beat to a pulp and forgive him for everything he'd done to Rocky (including using him as apolitical pawn in the first place). It was not that Creed was that good at manipulating Rocky and Adrian but rather that he was using his manipulative skills for something she genuinely could see was benefiting Rocky. Thus, by Stallone creating the original dynamic whereby the former rivals had a common self-interest (defeating Lang) and to have Adrian finally have a genuine reason to go form pacifist to violent supporter, Stallone created an arguably flawless story in which no character changed or altered in either the viewpoint of the audience nor of the other characters in a way that couldn't be explained and/or understood with relative ease.

On a final note, the moral of the story of Rocky II was close to that of Rocky III. Rocky 1's moral of the story was never clear as such. It was more of a feel-good movie that was great in itself but definitely deserved Rocky III as the fantastic sequel that it was. The moral of Rocky II was clearly to fight more with reason and physical stamina as opposed to anger and physical power. Rocky III links to this moral but focuses more on the emotional aspect of it. It focuses on being a good sportsman no matter what. Rocky never is bitter about his losses and although Creed seems to be the type to be bitter he never truly was. He was more bitter about the hate-mail he receive in Rocky II (another negative aspect of the movie as this encourages people to see this as the only non-violent outlet of hatred and disgust whereas it's actually severe bullying of both him and his children). Creed and Rocky shared sportsmanship but ironically, Creed's slight lack of sportsmanship and arrogance was what motivated the somewhat broken-down Rocky to gain the motivation to become better again. In other words, while Rocky II takes us the extremes of emotional discipline and patience, Rocky III shows a fantastic way to balance impulsiveness and raw talent with emotional discipline and practiced strategy. Rocky doesn't use one particular strategy but rather uses a whole variety of techniques to totally and utterly dominate Mr. T (forgive me for not calling him Chris Lang, his character's name, but you have to admit that Mr. T being the actor was just a major bonus because who the heck knew Carl Weathers before Rocky?). Let's face it, there's no better way to prove the moral of a story than to have a total obliteration of the 'bad guy' as there was in Rocky III. Creed beat Rocky up real good in both Rocky and Rocky II but there was a clear brutal improvement of Rocky's fighting ability despite his aging body in Rocky III that made the final fight such a huge skill gap. I have posted the fight for you to see just how much dominance Rocky had over his opponent. I've also posted the first fight in the second video for you to see the original beating that Rocky took and how emotional it was. The key point to realize is that Rocky dominates his opponent both psychologically and physically whereas in Rocky II it was only psychologically and in Rocky he lost so yeah...




In this round, I will mainly introduce my own arguments for why Rocky II was better, and will not make it a point to refute my opponent's previous arguments. However, some refutations may come up as I compare Rocky II to Rocky III, so refutations are not off thw table, but they will only play a minor role. As my opponent did in this past round, I will take you through Rocky II, and show you why the film is better than Rocky II

The Beginning
Rocky II begins with the final two rounds of the fight of the first Rocky, which sets up a lot of the context of the film, which begins immediately after this fight. Rocky and Apollo go to the hospital after the brutal beating, and it is here that we really see the first real trash talking of the series, with Apollo offering a rematch "Any place, any time." This hospital scene is a really big moment of excitement, because we get to finally see some character in Apollo Creed, which we only saw snippets of in the first Rocky. Also, we see cracks in Apollo's armor when Rocky confronts him alone in the night, that Apollo really did try his hardest in the last fight, contrary to what Apollo tells the press.

Rocky's Short Rise and Long Fall from Grace
A key theme of Rocky II is what happens after the 15 minutes of fame are up. What becomes of you? Rocky decides not to fight anymore, as his eye is badly damaged from the last fight. From the fight Rocky has a large supply of money. However, he blows through it, as he was a person who never saw that kind of money before, and just wanted to treat himself, Adrian, and Butkus right. He also decided against commercial endorsements, because he looked like a fool, was ridiculed, and he couldn't really read. His last resort is to get a job at the meat factory, in which he is laid off, and sadly, all he has left is to do small-time labor at Mick's boxing gym, like throwing out the spit cans. This realistic type of fall from grace is really realistic, and is a nice contrast to the first Rocky, which is him up and coming. However, this is a realistic Rocky, unlike the overpowered and God-like Rocky of the next two installments. Also, with Paulie making it through the ranks in the loan sharking business, we see him try to be generous to Rocky, which is the first redeeming character quality of Paulie we really see in the franchise.

Apollo's Campaign
Meanwhile, Apollo Creed hasn't been able to live down the fight against Rocky. Although he won the fight, and is still the heavyweight champion, nobody felt he really beat Rocky, and has been getting hate mail and losing legitimacy ever since. Aggrevated by no one really respecting him, Apollo goes out on the offensive against Rocky by calling him out and public, anf running an overall smear campaign against Rocky, to get him to come back to the ring in a rematch to prove to the world that the first match was a fluke. Something lost in talking about the Rocky series is just how good of a villain Apollo Creed is. Not only is he a trash talker, preceding Clubber Lang in Rocky III, but he is also a really smart schemer, as his efforts resulted in Rocky and Micky agreeing that Rocky has to face Apollo again, despite Micky saying that Rocky can't fight again earlier in the movie. Apollo's heated talk is shown in the first clip.

Adrian and The Chapel
In the aftermath of the fight, Rocky and Adrian got married, showing really the final advance in their relationship until Adrian dies before the Rocky Balboa movie. Adrian is not supportive of Rocky getting back in the ring, as she fears that he will go blind from a beating from Apollo. She is also pregnant at the time, so she has a lot on her plate. Her nonsupportiveness really holds back Rocky, and it culminates with Adrian going into a coma as she gives birth to their baby. This is a large culmination of the family drama that had been developing since even the first Rocky, as Paulie scolding Adrian for not supporting Rocky sends her into the coma. Rocky had completely lost the will to fight at this point, and Micky visits him in the Chapel of the hospital. Here, we see Micky give an inspiring speech to Rocky, a desperate plea from him, which shows the range of his character, one we always saw as a kind of tough, hot-headed trainer. Without the character development in this movie, Micky's death in Rocky III doesn't mean as much. This part of the movie shows how compassionate Micky really is. We see him stay by Rocky's side as Rocky waits for Adrian to get out of the coma. We also see Paulie have redeeming qualities, showing how he did genuinely care for his sister. Once Adrian does wake up, she encourages Rocky, saying that what she wants him to, simply, "Win." Micky's reaction in this scene is a classic, and really kicks off the last half hour of the movie. The second clip shows this scene.

Rocky's Training
Rocky's training sequence in this movie is one of sheer epicness. It is as classic as the first movie, and his run in this one is made even more epic by the children of Philadelphia running with him. This moment is epic, as well as symbolic, as this really shows that he has the entire city of Philadelphia behind him, as he faces Apollo Creed right there in Philadelphia. I have included this run as my third clip.

The Greatest Fight in the Franchise
Rocky II's fight scene is, in my opinion, the most epic and simply the greatest in the entire Rocky franchise. I believe it is the longest as well, eclipsing even Rocky IV. This fight is the culmination of the psychological drama that has been playing out in both fighters. Apollo is out there to knock Rocky right out, while Rocky is trying to get the right opportunity to trick Creed by changing his stance from Orthodox to Southpaw. My opponent claims that Rocky III's fight was the playout of psychological warfare, but I found it rather simplistic. It was just Clubber Lang throwing punches as hard as he could, and Rocky absorbing those punches to wear him down. This strategy was played out years before the events of Rocky III, in real life in Rumble in the Jungle, which was Muhammad Ali absorbing the punches of George Foreman to tire him out, and be able to knock Foreman out. This was known as the "Rope-a-dope". However, in Rocky II, what we see is the manifestation of both fighter's fears. If Rocky loses, he'll have dissapointed everyone, and will have put his sight, and maybe his life, on the line for nothing. If Apollo doesn't knock Rocky out, then no one will see him as the real champion of the world. This culminates in the 15th round of the fight. Apollo has the lead on the scorecard by a wide margin, and could simply win by staying away from Rocky. However, he decided to stay close to Rocky in order to get the chance to knock him out. Rocky switches stances on Apollo, and knocks him down, while falling down himself, due to balance. This leads to what is, in my opinion, the best moment in the Rocky movies, the double 10 count. Both fighters are on the ground, and if one gets up, they win. No one gets up, it's a draw, and Creed keeps the title. I have seen this moment before, and rewatching the movie again, it still gives me chills.

Once Rocky wins, we see the closing of the movie, which was a really satisfying closing. Rocky's victory speech has to rank among the greatest of all time, with him truly being gracious of his victory. The real closer though is that line, that sticks with you, especially considering the context of the movie, with Adrian having just been in a coma, and the one thing she wanted Rocky to do was to win. That great line, delivered perfectly by Sylvester Stallone, is: "Yo Adrian, I did it!" This is the perfect ending to this movie, as the storylines have run their course, and we see Rocky reach his high point. There is no peak higher for Rocky to climn (Metaphorically, as we see that physical manifestation in Rocky IV). This is the culmination of his life's work. I have included this last fight as my final clip.

Conclusion(For the round)
Rocky II was a fantastic movie, filled with fantastic story lines, drama, and the greatest fight scene in the franchise. The only film that is in Rocky II's lead is the first Rocky movie, and they are both up there in greatness.

I look forward to seeing this next round.

Debate Round No. 2


8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.


daytonanerd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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