Release Date: March 1987
Sega already released a game named Pro Wrestling and it’s very different from Nintendo’s Pro Wrestling. You choose from six different grapplers and battle your way to the VWA Championship.
Your choice of wrestlers come down to Fighter Hayabusa, who is obviously Antonio Inoki. Starman, the speedy luchadore with the somersault kick. Kin Corn Karn, who Great O-Khan obviously modeled himself after, complete with Mongolian Chop. Giant Panther is a roughneck kind of wrestler with the iron claw and headbutt. The Amazon is a truly mysterious wrestler who is an outright rulebreaker, with his biting attack and fork attack. King Slender is the Ric Flair of the game and the VWA Champion.
You have to win four matches in a row to earn the right to face the champion. After you beat him, you have to defend against everyone twice through to challenge the VWF Champion Great Puma. If you lose your title, you get a rematch, but then have to start the defenses all over again.
You throw a punch (or Mongolian Chop) with the B button and a jumping rolling solebutt (or jumping karate kick) with the A button. If you get close enough to your opponent, you go into a grapple. You can employ a body slam with the B button, alone, with up, or down. You use a hammer throw with the B button plus left or right. You can attack a rebounding opponent with a jumping knee, your kick, or a running attack. The stronger grapples are attached to the A button. A+Up gives a brainbuster; A+Down gives a piledriver; A+left or right gives a German Suplex. Each wrestler also has one or two special moves that replace the default maneuvers.
The game plays alright, but you can get trapped in some unbreakable combos, which is annoying. The best wrestler in the game is obviously Starman, despite not having a piledriver. He should be your champion, for sure. Kin Corn Karn is my greatest rival.
Everyone is made up of three colors. The sprites are big, but not detailed.
It’s fun listening to Nintendo recycling music and sound between games. It’s nothing special.
There is a lack of situations and moves. A gauntlet of matches is repetitive.
I think I was to the point where I figured out how many moves I needed to hit to win, but that didn’t mean I could reliably do it.
Fun Factor: 1.5
More fun than Tag Team Wrestling, that’s for sure!
Overall Grade: 1.7
Pro Wrestling earns a C-. I don’t think this holds up compared to Sega’s take on the genre. There are still plenty of wrestling games to play as the years continue.