Apollo Creed’s death still hurts to this day. Anyone who wants to say “Rocky isn’t real” can leave the page right now.
Yes, it was a poor decision for Apollo to fight this absolute giant from Russia, Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren). You can be straight, gay, whatever you want and admit that Dolph, in 1985, is probably one of the best-looking humans ever.
Drago comes to America, fights Apollo and beats the shit out of him. It is so bad that Apollo literally dies in the ring. Rocky Balboa, one of his managers, is filled with regret for not stopping the fight before the disaster happened.
This leads to the main story where Rocky has to go to Russia and fight Drago on the Russian’s home turf to avenge the death of his once enemy now friend.
While most of my peers are seeking degrees to practice medicine or dentistry, here I am watching old Rocky clips.
Anyway, the fight starts off similarly to the Creed-Drago one where Creed is beating up Rocky until in the second round Rocky lands a right hook that makes Drago bleed. It’s the classic “he’s cut” moment. This is where it is realized the Drago is “not a machine, but a man” himself. That it is possible to hurt this guy…
Look, I love Rocky. However, let’s be realistic. Drago is literally as close to a machine as possible. I think it is noble enough for Rocky to have had the guts to go toe-toe with Drago after he saw his best friend die. Also, Apollo is arguably a better fighter than Rocky (a debate for another article), yet The Stallion still accepted the challenge.
If I wrote the script, I have the fight go the full 15 rounds with Drago winning. Rocky even got the crowd of Russians to chant his name after they hated him to begin with that night.
Do you want to know another problem?
Killing off Apollo Creed was a huge mistake. It ruined what could’ve made a watchable Rocky V, one of the worst movies in history, and took this character that was so loveable out of the series and into the grave.
Going the distance was Rocky’s goal in the first movie. It should’ve been what happened in Rocky IV. Balboa knocking out Drago made the fight too unrealistic and I did not necessarily like that ending.
On a totally different note, here is a Ted Talk from Dolph (the real person) about healing and forgiveness. I think it’s great. Feel free to check it out!