Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola
Pepsi. Coca-Cola. Together, they are the WWE and WCW of soda (minus one of them going under fourteen years ago), two giants of their industry that are so large, everyone else is either part of their respective corporations or have a following that even Orlando Bloom would chuckle at. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Pepsi and Coke are Battle of Alberta esq rivals. For over 120 years, the two soft drink empires have duked it out for soda supremacy, like the battle of a movie climax, only without the crushing disappointment. And yet, even to this day, there is still no clear cut answer to the question; which one is better? Which soda is the king of the mountain and which one is lying on the floor in a cationic state like they just watched Roman Reigns ruin tater tots?
Luckily, I'm bored and have no lucha columns planned, so I can answer this question. That's right girls and boys, today we're going to find out which soda giant is better; Pepsi or Coke. Now I know what you're thinking; how can this even be a column? Isn't the only deciding factor here which soda tastes better? If you want to break it down to just that, sure. I however like to think there's more factors in there, which is why I've broken this battle down into several categories that range from the actually important to the extremely superficial to me just really looking to entertain myself. Hey, why not have some fun with it right? So turn off the Candice and Joey Show and pull out a cold one. Let's get the answer we all crave once and for all!
Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola
Let's be real here; when you're a little kid and you're going to get your first soda, you are making the decision not based on the look of the actual beverage (I mean, it's not like Coke and Pepsi look that different in liquid form), but by the logo on the can or bottle. It's kind of a big deal! So which one wins? Frankly, I don't know. On one hand, Coke's logo has been so good that I don't think it's ever been drastically changed. It's like the Tom Brady of soda labels. Meanwhile, Pepsi has changed their logo around, but has a) always built around that awesome Pepsi Globe design (right up there with the Hartford Whalers design for best logo ever in my book) and b) has about fifteen excellent looks. You've got the awesome retro Pepsi look, the recent sci-fi esq Pepsi look; they do a pretty bang up job with that. Thus, in the end, I'm going to say...it's a tie. What? It's not like one is so substantially better than the other, right? See, this is why people have had such a hard time picking a winner. You go to the store to get a soda, get pulled in by how both products look, and the next you're taking them both home. Just like the time I went to Blockbuster in the 90s and ended up taking bout Mystery, Alaska and the 1999 Royal Rumble home. Good times. Advantage: Tie
Straight Edge Spokesperson
And here's our first (and really only) weird category. This is what you get when the writer is a straight edge soda fanatic. Believe it or not, both Pepsi and Coke have two semi-decent names that are a)straight edge (drug free, alcohol free, yada yada yada) and b) big fans. For Coke, it's Brian Baker, the legendary punk rock guitarist who has played with Minor Threat (the Bridge on the River Kwai of hardcore bands), Dag Nasty and one of my five favorite bands of all time, Bad Religion. Pepsi meanwhile has CM Punk, grammar champion, wrestling champion, UFC fighter and someone that you either love or want to set on fire the same way you did to Macho Man's rap album. How big of fans of their respective soft drinks are these cats? They both have the labels of their favorite tattooed on their bodies. That's respect right there, or the weirdest tattoo until Jack Evans eventually gets one of himself.
In any event, which one of these guys is the better straight edge dude representing their soda? Normally, I'd go with a tie again because both of them are freakin awesome in my eyes. Alas, I'm not letting Coke and Pepsi kiss their sister yet again, so I'll sum it up really easy here; one guy is a semi-known name, the other is only known in punk rock circles. Excuse me while I duck for cover; I can hear all the angry wrestling fans getting ready to hurl things at me as we speak. Advantage: Pepsi
Spin Off Drinks
I'm not talking other products within the Pepsi or Coke umbrella here; I'm talking about the spin off drinks where it's Pepsi or Coke, yet it's not really. I know, how Inception of them. Unlike the last two categories where both groups come across very strong, here they look like the depressed dude who works at the Deli of your local super market. Basically, you're looking at both Coke and Pepsi offering spin offs that are either the same thing but yet aren't (Coke Zero, Pepsi One, Pepsi Max), other flavors thrown in because why not (Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Pepsi Twist) and some things that are just so bizarre that I'm not even going to mention them here. In the end, Coke gets this because it's honestly the least offensive of the two (and because Cherry Coke is pretty beloved). Sorry Pepsi; what did you expect when you have stuff like Crystal Pepsi (which has the most bizarre cult following this side of that shitty Constantine show) and Pepsi Blue on the resume? Friggin Pepsi Blue. That drink was so bad that the only redeemable thing about it was that hilariously bad commercial featuring a C level nu metal song and a group of monks. Coincidentally, those would be the only people who'd enjoy Pepsi Blue. Advantage: Coke
The People's Choice
I'm nothing if not a man of the people, which is why I decided to survey a few friends of mine and ask them their opinions on this debate. Here's what I got.
Pen: "Coke is better, because I like it better. It tastes less sweet, more refreshing. Pepsi's not bad, but it doesn't satisfy my taste buds."
Subho: "Coke. It has more pop and zing while Pepsi is too sweet."
"Gamblin" Matt Mortensen: Coke. But Mountain Dew beats both."
Skitz: It's a no brainer. Pepsi tastes flat as shit. Coke is syrupy goodness."
Skeegan: Seriously? It's totally Coke. What's wrong with you man? Asking if Pepsi is better than Coke is like asking whether Orlando Bloom was good in Troy. Come on man!"
Guess that answers that question pretty resoundingly. Advantage: Coke
Now that we've heard everyone else's view on what tastes better, time for mine. And well, allow me to be the hipster of this shindig by telling you you're all nuts (especially you Skeegan) and going with Pepsi. That's not a knock on Coke at all; I like Coke just fine (insert drug jokes here). It's a classic, it tastes fine, it's not something I'll turn down if offered; it's pretty much the Marvel Cinematic Universe of sodas. Silly me though, I just like Pepsi. It's got a more complete flavor and taste to it and is always, ALWAYS satisfying, unlike Coke which will occasionally give you a Arliss style batch. So keep your polar bears and...whatever else Coke is doing with their commercials. Give me a Pepsi instead! Advantage: Pepsi
Judging by my score card we have a tie, with Pepsi taking two categories and Coke taking two as well (with both trying in the logo run). So, what says the obvious bias man with the final verdict here? You'll be shocked to know that I say...it's a draw. I know, I know; we came here to settle the debate and all that noise and we're just going to end it with each product kissing their sisters (who the hell came up with that term by the way? Just awful)? The fact of the matter is that both of these products are just that close to each other. If you're on the Pepsi side like I am, you're still not someone who's going to say no to a Coke when offered. Ditto for all those who said Coke was better. I'd venture to guess that if you polled 100 people on which was better, you'd get a 50% split with each side probably conceding they'd have the other if it was an option. Thus, it's a tie. Not a bad tie though, like the one's the NFL has. Think of this as a old school hockey tie, one you used to enjoy while eating tater tots. Oh damn...
And that'll do it kids! I'll be back tomorrow, likely with more soda talk. Blame Sub and Mortensen for getting me into the topic. Till then, celebrate the fact that Lucha Underground is returning January 27th (same week as The X-Files returns!) AND is having a forty hour marathon of all the season one episodes! I gotta load up on tater tots and Pepsi right now!
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