Godzilla vs. Kong: Who ya got in the battle of the century?

Jay Busbee
·7-min read

In these trying, tumultuous times, it’s important we take pleasure in the little joys in life. Joys like a heartfelt phone call with a loved one ... a pleasant afternoon under a warm spring sky ... or two 100-foot monsters absolutely walloping the living hell out of each other.

Well, I can’t help you call your friends, and I can’t force you to get outdoors, but I can tell you this: The monsters are coming. And folks, I’m as excited for the massive, impending Godzilla-Kong brawl as any game, fight, contest or race in recent memory.

(Amber Matsumoto / Yahoo Sports illustration)
(Amber Matsumoto / Yahoo Sports illustration)

"Godzilla vs. Kong" debuts Wednesday in theaters (remember those?) and HBO Max. (Check out the trailer here.) You know it’s going to be a fight because it’s “vs.” and not “v.” The latter would imply some kind of courtroom drama, and while "Godzilla vs. Kong" could make for some compelling legal wrangling, that’s not what we’re looking for here. We want punches that can level mountains:

(Warner Bros.)
(Warner Bros.)

We want open-handed slaps of disrespect:

(Warner Bros)
(Warner Bros)

That's what I’m talking about.

Anyway, to get you hyped for the fight, we’re analyzing the matchup from all directions. And we’ll start by breaking down their previous meeting:

Kong vs. Godzilla, Round 1

Strange as it may seem, Kong and Godzilla have fought only once before on film, in the 1963 Japanese movie "King Kong vs. Godzilla." (Godzilla clearly got a better agent this time around to snag top billing.) Like all monster movies, this one starts with the premise that these behemoths have to fight, and backfills whatever plot there might be from there.

When the two titans do finally throw down, on the slopes of Mt. Fuji, it’s a whole lot of hand-to-hand (paw-to-claw?) combat that looks a lot more like awkward middle-school dancing than fighting. Godzilla uses his atomic breath and tail as a devastating one-two punch, and throws in a handy flying chest kick for good measure:

(King Kong vs. Godzilla)
(King Kong vs. Godzilla)

Kong, on the other hand, slings boulders like he’s trying to hit 100 mph on the radar, and pulls Godzilla’s tail a whole lot too, which seems a bit cheap, but in a fight you sometimes cut corners. Kong also goes for the bold move of trying to stuff an entire tree down Godzilla’s throat:

(King Kong vs. Godzilla)
(King Kong vs. Godzilla)

In the end, they both tumble into the water, but only Kong clambers out. Godzilla obviously escapes, but since he didn’t show up for the judges’ decision, Kong takes this one by split decision.

Godzilla vs. Kong, Round 2

And now we get to the main event. Two alphas, two champions, two would-be destroyers of worlds. Get ready for all the ground-shattering, property-damaging brawl to settle it all. We’ve brought in several Yahoo Sports combat/odds experts to break this down the way it ought to be broken down … with both fists:

Offensive Edge

“Godzilla. Atomic fire breath is a pretty solid offensive weapon. Plus, he's already King of the Monsters. Nobody's starting stuff with that dude, right?” Liz Loza

You have to go with Godzilla here. He's powered by nuclear radiation. That should even terrify a giant ape.” — Nick Bromberg

“King Kong has those loose hips, explosiveness and dexterity you’re looking for in a good one-on-one matchup, but Godzilla can breathe fire. That’s the great equalizer in any situation, so you’ve got to give Godzilla the edge here.” —Sam Cooper

“Kong. He’s got longer reach, is more agile and can climb, giving him the ability to take the high ground (Obi-Wan would be so proud). If the venue ever shifts to water, Godzilla has an enormous advantage.” Anthony Sulla-Heffinger

“Godzilla’s a one-trick pony, but it’s a really good trick — atomic breath that, as we can see, blows up entire ships and sends Kong fleeing. Opposable thumbs are a hell of an asset for Kong, but thumbs don’t beat breath that can melt steel.” Jay Busbee

Defensive Edge

“Kong ‘bows to no one,’ and he's got a crazy strong axe (that appears to double as a shield so he can defend himself against Godzilla's aforementioned atomic fire breath).” Loza

“The best defense is a good offense in a fight like this. You don't want to attack first on the creature that has the nukes.” —Bromberg

“Kong just has better movement skills. Oh, and opposable thumbs. He can pick up a dang building and throw it if he wants to. He can hold large objects to shield himself from the atomic breath. Give the edge to Kong.” Cooper

“Godzilla. Those scales look pretty impenetrable and that tail could swipe away just about any incoming attack.” —Sulla

“All hail the Dad Bod of the current Godzilla. Dude’s built like a beefy giant tank and scales that can carve through battleships. Getting through that defense is a tall task.” Busbee

Intangibles

“Godzilla: Supreme confidence and the respect of the Titans. Kong: Emotional intelligence and cunning.” Loza

“Kong gets the edge because he has a more advanced brain. He should be able to outwit Godzilla. But how much do smarts matter here?” Bromberg

“Kong is a primate with a developed brain. He should have the ability to strategize and reach into a nice arsenal of attacks and defense.” Cooper

“Godzilla. If this were WWE, Godzilla would be the Undertaker. There’s just an aura and respect the King of the Monsters brings to the table.” Sulla

“Godzilla has the dead eyes of a reptile. Kong, on the other hand, always looks like he’s sizing up every situation for the best possible advantage. He always looks like he knows something you don’t, which is not ideal when you’re already talking about a 10-story-tall ape.” Busbee

Odds

“+190 Godzilla, -220 Kong seems about right.” Loza

“Godzilla should be the favorite at -130. Enough to be the healthy favorite but not an overwhelming one.” -Bromberg

“Godzilla’s got to be a slight favorite here. I’ll set the odds at -150.” Cooper

“Godzilla -110, Kong +110. If we’re betting, you parlay either one with over 1.5 false KOs.” Sulla

“If we’re talking Hollywood odds, these two would be a pick ’em, but if I were living in the Godzilla/Kong universe, I’d go Godzilla -130 / Kong +190 … and I wouldn’t go near a casino to place my bet. Those things are magnets for giant monsters.” Busbee

Winner

Kong beat Zilla back in 1963, and he's gonna do it again.” Loza

Godzilla ultimately wins this fight because he doesn't have to be close to Kong to deliver the knockout atomic breath blow. While Kong may ultimately neutralize Godzilla for a bit and cause a ton of destruction in the process, I'm going with the stinky nuke breath. Bromberg

“I’m going with Kong to pull off the upset. The connection with the little girl makes you empathize with and want to root for Kong. I’m going to stick with my base knowledge of Hollywood formulas and roll with Kong.” Cooper

“Kong. Godzilla is playing the heel here and if we’re ever going to get these two to team up, Godzilla has to take the L.” Sulla

“Atomic breath is tough to overcome, even when you’re as smart and crafty as Kong. That’s the X-factor here. Heart says monkey, head says lizard … at least until the inevitable rematch.” Busbee

So ... who ya got?

(Amber Matsumoto / Yahoo Sports illustration)
(Amber Matsumoto / Yahoo Sports illustration)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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