|Division||West Division Semi Final|
|Match Date||Sunday, August 25th, 2002|
|Sephiroth - 55.74%|
The worst part of the Sonic/Samus fiasco was the fact that the match that took place directly afterwards didn't get nearly the attention it deserved for a rather long time. As many people postulated before the match started, Mega Man vs Sephiroth was a complete toss-up. Both characters were absolute monsters going in, and once the match started, they went at each other with everything they had. Unfortunately for Sephiroth, the strength Mega Man showed in the first two rounds was no joke. Not only was Mega Man giving Sephiroth a fight early despite Sephiroth's best efforts, but Mega Man was actually winning the match and pulling away. The match wasn't getting the necessary attention early on, but once people noticed that Sephiroth was actually losing, it wasn't long before there was a massive fanboy war going on.
Mega Man, despite being an underdog coming in even though he was arguably doing better than Sephiroth through two rounds, absolutely shocked everyone early in this match. Everyone figured that Mega Man may keep it close, but few actually figured that he could win. Sephiroth managed to give Mega Man all he could handle, but after half the poll was over, Mega Man found himself ahead by just over 700 votes. All Mega had to do to win was to continue what he was doing for another 12 hours, and he would walk home with inarguably the single biggest upset of the entire contest.
However, Sephiroth would not go down quite that easily. Halfway through the poll, Sephiroth managed to stop Mega Man's advance completely, and soon thereafter, the nightmare that was a Sephiroth comeback --- at least, it sucked for those who were rooting for the upset --- began. As well as Mega Man did in building his 700 vote lead, Sephiroth sliced it away like it was nothing. By the time the afternoon was over, Sephiroth was tied the match and had begun building his own lead on Mega Man. Mega was never able to fully recover, and despite all his best efforts, Sephiroth was simply too much for him down the stretch. The match ended with Sephiroth pulling a swing of over 1700 votes over the final 12 hours of the poll, and even though Sephiroth wound up winning the match, a world of questions opened up about how strong he truly was in this contest. If it took everything Sephiroth had just to take down Mega Man, how would he manage to take down Link, or even Samus for that matter? Only time would tell.
But it's damned difficult to look at such an amazing match and give Sephiroth all the credit. Sephiroth was not only expected to win that particular match, but many expected him to roll through the contest as well. To see Mega Man give Sephiroth such an amazing fight through the first half of that poll was amazing, and even though he lost, Mega Man went out of this contest with a bang. He came close to beating a heavily favored character, and may have wound up exposing him in the process.
The truly unfortunate thing about this match is where it took place. It was sandwiched between Sonic/Samus and Mario/Cloud, and doesn't get the proper credit for being one of the best matches of the contest, simply because of where it was in the bracket. Then again, there is a bright side. Because the match was decided before the end of the poll (unlike Sonic/Samus), the imminent showdown between Mario and Cloud was given every bit the support and hype necessary. Sephiroth and Mega Man were nice, but compared to what was about to happen, they were but a side show.
The hype for this match was, quite literally, deafening. The first two rounds saw both characters evenly matched on paper, both with two commanding blowouts and what many thought was a comparable level of popularity. Sephiroth was still the favorite, but some people thought Mega Man could put up a legitimate fight.
And put up a fight he did. In the aftermath of the Sonic vs. Samus debacle, most didn’t notice that Mega Man was quietly pulling away a lead on Sephiroth. The one-winged angel would eventually come back and put Mega Man away, but it was still close enough that anything could have happened, and the margin of victory was impossibly slim for what may felt was an easy win for Sephy. Mega Man really went out with a bang here – of all his matches over the years, this may have been the one where he looked the best.