That's right folks! It's time we play some Pro Wrestling for the Nintendo Entertainment System. This gem of a game was released in March of 1987 and was developed by Nintendo R&D3 these are the same folks who developed Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!, Volleyball, NES Play Action Football, and oddly enough both Star Tropics. These are good people! So, why am I LPing this dinosaur of a game? Mostly for the sake of nostalgia. While I did pay some attention to wrestling growing up, a number of my friends were avid fans of the then WWF, I only picked up enough to sound competent in conversations and avoid being harassed. My cousins though had this game and whenever we visited them in Arizona my brother, them, and I would plop ourselves in front of their TV (they had their own in their bedroom?!) and play this game, pretty much until we were forced to shut the NES off by the adults. I already did an informal poll of Twitter using Tyrants and I'll be playing the game through as THE AMAZON (he wins because he is awesome, and he might not even be human.)
I made a chart to help you understand:
So, let's get this started!
Just a note: Those guys on the box you can't actually play as them! I don't know who they are!
Also note: Sorry about the screen size NES emulator don't really seem to like make shots any bigger than this.
Hey, Talking Time! Falselogic requested that I drop in and explain the cast of Pro Wrestling to you, being Talking Time's resident pro wrestler. The cast is entirely based on real life pro wrestlers, and I will lay it down for you all now.
Fighter Hayabusa is based on Japanese legend and WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki.
King Slender is based on 16-time world champion and WWE Hall of Famer kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin' "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
Giant Panther is based on Real American, reality TV star and WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan.
Kin Korn Karn is based on Korean legend and the father of Japanese pro wrestling, Rikidozan, which is a shame, since Kin Korn Karn is the worst character in the game.
Starman is based on Mexican legend and b-movie star Mil Mascaras.
Star of this LP, THE AMAZON is equal parts legendary hardcore wrestler Abdullah the Butcher and never quite made it in America, but legend in Japan Bruiser Brody (sometimes known as King Kong Brody, not to be confused with King Kong Bundy).
Hidden boss character The Great Puma is based on Japanese and cruiserweight legend Tiger Mask (probably with a little of Tiger Mask II as well, but this game came out before Tiger Mask III or IV). That's the cast of Pro Wrestling!
Shakewell's our Resident Wrestling Expert here at Talking Time and I've asked him to introduce us to the real world counterparts of Pro Wrestling's cast. So without further ado let's meet the Wrestlers!
For laughs read Seanbaby's review of the game here.
Before we start though I just want to explain, for those who have lived a deprived life, how Pro Wrestling works. Like a lot of wrestling games, of that era, you basically just mash the buttons and hope something good happens. It isn't all that bad, but I've never noticed it to be all that precise either.
Here's the breakdown of what A and B do (context sensitive):
A - Kick (standing)
Pin Opponent (opp on mat)
Flying Splash (from top rope)
Flying Splash over the Top Rope (running, opp on floor)
B - Punch (standing)
Pick up Opponent into Grapple (opp on mat)
Double Knee Drop (from top rope)
Knee Lift (running)
To Run - double-tap left or right
Irish Whip - left+B/right+B (grapple) This is throwing your opponent into the ropes
Body Slam - back/up+back/down+B (grapple)
Grapple - walk into Opponent
Most of the wrestlers can also do these while grappling
Belly-to-Back Suplex - left+A or Right+A
Vertical Suplex - up+A (looks kind of like a Brainbuster, too...close call)
Piledriver - down+A
Our character THE AMAZON has two special moves:
Piranha Bite - left+A or right+A (grapple)
Outlaw Choke - down+A (grapple)
Ok, let's do this!
All to the single, short, catchy tune this game has! (IT ROCKS!) Our first match is... hmmm... I seem to be missing most of the pictures for my fight against Fighter Hayabusa... If I recall, he tried to kick the back of my head repeatedly while I cheesed and simply threw him out of the ring, then threw him against the barrier for about a 12 count then quickly ran back into the ring, sadly Fighter Hayabusa didn't make it. Later in the game when I have to defend my title and the opponents get crazy difficult, this will be one of the most effective ways of beating them.
Here's a video of Fighter Hayabusa's inspiration Antonio Inoki tussling with Hulk Hogan, sadly this video does not include Inoki's signature move Enzugiri, which is most similar to Fighter's Back Brain Kick.
I like to think that there is a South American rivalry between these two wrestlers... Both managed to make their way out of their respective markets and in to the much more lucrative American/International market and both would like to pretend the other didn't exist!
I'll let those of you who know more about wrestling decide just who who is and what it is that they do! All I know is that it isn't worth talking about Kin Corn Karn... Ok, onto our second match against Starman. Who I've heard tell is cool enough to get permanently etched into your skin. As stated previously Starman is a tribute to Mil Mascaras who you can see below while he was World Champion back in 1975.
Will this luchador stand a chance against THE AMAZON? Not Likely!
So much for that!
Also coming next time!, A hell of a lot more pictures! You guys want wrestling and I'm sure as hell going to give it to you!
Okay, after all the debate, and I knowing absolutely nothing about any of the wrestlers mentioned we're going to go with Killer Khan as the inspiration for the terrible wrestler known as Kin Corn Karn:
Killer Khan is/was a real wrestler though. This is apparently how they do it in Korea where Kin is supposed to be from:
That's WWE too, I can only imagine how bad it was before they got there... Anyways, Kin Corn Karn doesn't have cool moves like every other wrestler in the game does. Instead he gets the karate chop and the karate kick:
Those two moves replace the basic punch and kick that every other wrestler shares! Kin has nothing else going for him. But, because I feel sorry for him I'll post this one time where I actually managed to do something cool with him, a belly-to-back suplex:
It should come as no surprise to anyone that THE AMAZON mopped the mat with this guy. Here are the highlights:
It wasn't a complete waste of the fan's time Kin did get a few moves in:
But, we all knew how this was going to end before it started didn't we?
With Kin Karn Korn on a plane back to Seoul THE AMAZON is ranked 2nd, his next opponent?
We here at VWA corporate headquarters and I, your host, falselogic, take the complaints, concerns, requests, and even the ravings of our rabid fans quite seriously! Which is why I'm happy to present the first in a series of bonus videos with commentary by the one, the only, Joey Pink! This first video has Mr. Pink commentating solo but he'll soon be joined by a second commentator! Only the best, only VWA!
Giant Panther will one day die of skin cancer. I mean look at the guy! He's at least 5 to 6 shades darker than every other wrestler in the game. Too much time spent at Venice Beach, I suppose. Anyway, the big lug's got two signature moves:
and the IRON CLAW:
That's some impressive arm strength right there, he's single-handedly lifting that guy off the ground and shaking him! Will this muscle-hero be able to take on THE AMAZON? My money is on 'No.'
So far this match Mr. Panther has been something of a pushover. Even worse he's not even doing any moves, that's no way to win the crowd over.
THE AMAZON moves in for the kill, but Giant Panther still seems to have some life in him, the arm comes up and he throws the mysterious stranger off of him:
The brutality continues!
Mercifully, THE AMAZON puts an end to the massacre:
Next match is for The VWA TITLE!
Now let's see how it happened in real-life back in 1984! I have a feeling that the "bad guy" wasn't as lucky then:
Before we go any further let me introduce you to the inspiration for King Slender the original Nature Boy Ric Flair!
There are several excellent examples of Ric Flair in action. I picked this one of Flair vs. Steamboat, the two had a storied, long running feud, in 1988:
King Slender has the full complement of generic wrestling moves, which means he can do the belly to back suplex (which we haven't seen because THE AMAZON can't do it and none of the others have tried.):
and the Back Breaker:
Now that you've been introduced to him let see how he does against the Man(?) from No Where. THE AMAZON!
Let's Get Ready to RUMBLE!
THE AMAZON comes out strong with a kick to the face and Slender hits the mat! Slender isn't going to be happy about the bruise that's going to leave!
King wastes no time wrecking vengeance upon THE AMAZON dropping him into a brainbuster! Amazon takes it hard, but wait! Slender isn't done yet! He picks the mutant off the mat.. What's this? THE AMAZON slides out of Slender's grasp and goes for a hold and itís a vicious chomp to the skull! King goes down!
Amazon picks King up and throws him against the ropes, itís an Irish whip and a close line but Slender ducks under! Slides up and delivers yet another brain buster, THE AMAZON's head must be killing him right now!
Slender picks Amazon up of the mat again toss him out of the ring?! What this? He's backing up and raining! King Slender has launched himself out of the ring and right onto THE AMAZON's ribs!
King Slender is trashing THE AMAZON tonight folks! Everyone came in here tonight expecting THE AMAZON to continue his reign of terror and make Slender just another casualty on his trek towards the VWA championship belt!
Join us after this commercial break!
Welcome back everyone! We last left you with THE AMAZON out of the ring and King Slender delivering a vicious flying splash! Amazon has got to be reeling from the pain people! No human could take this kind of punishment... but then no one ever said that freak was human! And he clearly isn't folks as THE AMAZON is back in the ring?! Not even the beating King Slender is delivering tonight can keep THE AMAZON from the title it seems! Amazon grabs Slender and itís another bite to the head! The blood really seems to be flowing now! Slender goes down, and its Amazon from the posts, and a double knee drop to Slender's gut!
Amazon has Slender on his feet again and he's lifting him up! Slender is in the air and body slammed right out of the ring! The audience is eating it up tonight! THE AMAZON is out of the ring now and the Referee is giving the 20 count! Slender seems to have some sort of concussion he's just rolling around on the ground. THE AMAZON is back in the ring just waiting for it to end. What's this? Slender is up! He's heading back to the ring but it doesn't look like he's going to make it! Amazon is laughing at the King, mocking him, as he struggles to pull himself in 18, 19, 20!
That is it my friends! This match is over! In a stunning turn of events Slender has been dethroned and THE AMAZON wins the VWA title! THE AMAZON is the World Champion!
Next up! Defending the title (or when things get difficult!) Videos should be coming in soon, commentators have lives too!
In order to see the secret character in Pro Wrestling you have to defend your title for 10 rounds. That's two fights against each of the other wrestlers. That's a lot of boring pictures! Or just two videos with occasional commentary. This is just me commentating. It's more about what I'm doing and why rather than being an announcer. Though for the final match against Puma (which is a really good match) I'll do commentary! here it is without further ado:
Since we're going to be seeing it over the next couple of matches, this is where I re-iterate that WrestleMania 2000 forgot to turn on the "no count outs" flag in career mode, making it astonishingly easy to progress through the game once you had a title.
I don't know what WrestleMania did but Nintendo certainly forgot about it! Below you'll find the second part of Amazon's defense of the VWA title. This time without any of my unnecessary commentary. I thought about it but there isn't much to add to my attempts to throw wrestlers out of the ring and then slam them up against the barricades for a little bit before slipping back into the ring seconds before the 20 count. Enjoy it for what it is. Imagine a lot more blood though...
But first! Who is Great Puma? As Shakewell said awhile back he's based on Tiger Mask and Tiger Mask Two:
Click the picture above to see a match between the original Tiger Mask and Inoki
So, now on to the main event! In the history of great title matches! Live from the Cow Palace in San Francisco the VWA/VWF Title Match between Great Puma and THE AMAZON! Commentary tonight provided by Shakewell and Stiv, promotional consideration by Falselogic's patient friends and family!
And there's are (anti) hero with both titles and that's the end of it folks!
In the end Pro Wrestling doesn't have much going for it. Every character has one or two unique moves that possible replace some of the generic moves. Grappling is automatic and pulling of your moves is wholly dependent on how fast you can mash the A or B button. Against the AI, especially in later Defense matches, a rapid-fire button is necessary, the game just isn't fun without it. As a two player game it can still be a bit of fun, especially if you and your opponent are a little drunk or otherwise handicapped mentally. It mostly has nostalgia going for it...
Oh, and THE AMAZON, it has him too.
So, Talking Tyrants what do you want? More wrestling? Or should we let this old game rest in peace?
PRO WRESTLING for the Master System is terrible!
Seeing as I never owned a Master System and never knew anyone who did... I have no experience with this game whatsoever. Good thing we have GameFAQS! Turns out though that that wasn't much help either as I was unable to do any of the moves described in the FAQ or even tag my partner into the ring... Here is what I did do:
Picked the Mad Soldiers:
fought against the Orient Express:
I mashed Button 1 and Button 2:
The CPU mashed his buttons too (more effectively than I did):
(He even managed to tag his partner in)
Then inexplicably after only taking a punch or two got 3 counted out...?
Then I won:
I wasn't about to do this 9 more times though and then another 20 times with the other two teams...
Tecmo World Wrestling - I'd never played this game until some of the fine folks here recommended it! I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit, though button mashing seemed to be the name of the game, just as in all other early wrestling games. The music was catchy though, and the gameplay was pretty enjoyable. The inclusion of an announcer is a nice touch too.
Only two choices though, you should already know who they are in real life:
The Athletic training:
The big finisher:
That's about as much NES wrestling as I can take folks! But there is a Wrestling RPG LP going on right now and Shakewell will be bringing you Saturday Night Slammasters next month!
Thanks for watching!