The worlds of Marvel and Mortal Kombat feel fairly evenly matched in a lot of ways since many powerful characters range from being simple warriors to magically-infused individuals that can create damage on various levels. It almost sounds unfair to pit Luke Cage against someone like Shao Kahn, but there’s a reason why it’s a little more even than some might think. The ruler of Outworld versus Cage isn’t that big of a mismatch since Cage is more than a physical match for the emperor, but it’s the magical qualities that a lot of people are tripping on when it comes to this fight. It’s true, Shao Kahn has a bit more than his immense strength at his disposal, especially since he can summon his enormous weapon at will. But this still doesn’t feel as one-sided as people might think, and it’s because Cage has taken hits that would have leveled Shao Kahn, and is impervious to most things when it comes to taking any damage. He’s not invulnerable, and it’s very possible that he and Luke Cage would exchange blows, but the fact remains that Cage is more capable than people want to give him credit for.
It’s hard to argue with the fact that Shao Kahn does deal with magic and might have an edge on Luke Cage, but in terms of standing toe to toe and going hand to hand, it feels as though Luke might be able to give just as well as he gets, perhaps even better in some cases. Plus, the maul that Kahn works with when his hand-to-hand technique doesn’t go ever so well, or when he’s looking to dish out even more pain, might not work as well on Luke unless he knows nothing about it and gets blindsided. But in a stand-up fight between these two, it feels as though the fight would be able to go on for a while without a definitive winner.
One reason why Luke wouldn’t go down is that Shao Kahn likely doesn’t have the kind of weaponry or knowledge of how Cage’s body works and therefore he wouldn’t know Cage’s weaknesses, though the same could be said for Cage in regards to Shao Kahn. There’s not a lot of ways to tell if Kahn’s magical attacks would have a huge effect on Cage, or if he’d crumble, but it’s easy to say that the two of them are intelligent enough to play things smart until they can get in close and start to dish out the damage. This is where it feels as though Cage might gain the upper hand since, in one regard, they’re both durable and incredibly strong, but trying to compare this between the two men is kind of tough since their power levels have been altered and reconditioned over the years. Taking them both at their peak, it feels as though Cage might be able to overcome Kahn after a heated battle, and there’s one thing that would allow him to keep a cool head while maneuvering around the hotheaded Kahn. Ego and arrogance are two of the biggest issues that Shao Kahn has in his arsenal since from the earliest appearances in which he was a part of the MK games instead of just an onlooker, he’s been the type to mock others and even grandstand a time or two.
This is one of the biggest failings of Shao Kahn, and it’s one reason why Cage might win since he’s the type of fighter to get in and get the job done. The use of a weapon in the fight might make the difference, but it does feel that hand to hand would favor Cage because he’s taken much heavier hits in his time, and he’s come back from being beaten more than once. Plus, for one reason or another, a lot of fans feel as though Luke would take this fight fairly easily. But if one looks at it, easy doesn’t factor into this equation, since both characters would be throwing haymakers and seeking weak points that would break the other down. In all fairness, Shao Kahn might be insulting Cage half the time and telling him why he wouldn’t ever beat him.
In return, Cage would most likely be seeking to shut Kahn’s mouth most effectively and would be testing Kahn’s jaw, ribs, and any other possible weak point that might be discovered. The more Kahn talks, the harder Cage would be likely hit, and it’s not hard at all to think that Cage might be able to anger Kahn in a manner that might make him more dangerous, but also more prone to making mistakes. Even a brawl can be an intelligent man’s game, and in this instance, it feels as though Cage would come out on top.