Game: "Pro Wrestling"
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Published by: Nintendo
Review: As much as I adored Tag Team Wrestling, there's no denying that Pro Wrestling was indeed the best wrestling game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Not only was it easily one of the best multiplayer gaming experiences you could find on the NES, it also contained some of the most memorable moves and characters of any game released for the system.
In Pro Wrestling, you get to choose from one of six different wrestlers; each of whom have their own unique abilities in addition to the standard moves. So let's break them down, one by one to see who might be the best choice for you on your quest to become the "Video Wrestling Association Champion" - believe me... should you achieve it, that's the kind of title you'd want to have on your resume.
Fighter Hayabusa: The sad truth is, nobody really ever wanted to play this guy because he didn't have any exciting features on the character select screen. No mask, no green skin tone, no cocky smirk... he just looked like a disgruntled average joe. The truth, however, was that Hayabusa was always one of my top choices because of his signature move: The Back Brain Kick! It was extremely easy to pull off (simply stand in front of and slightly below your opponent and press the A button) but also easy to miss with. It's one of those moves that your friends would eventually become well aware of and do their best to avoid, but sooner or later, it would catch up with them. As you can imagine, with a name like "Back Brain Kick", it really didn't take too many of them before your opponent was weakened enough for you to pull off a pile-driver on 'em and call it a day. So yeah, Hayabusa may not have been the most interesting looking character, but I won many a match with him.
Starman: Man oh man, did people ever LOVE Starman. I suppose it's easy to see why. I mean, the guy was dressed head-to-toe in pink and had a star covering his face. Attire like that is gonna give just about anybody some kind of notoriety, right? Well, he wasn't just a snazzy dresser... the man could fight with pizazz as well. He had two signature moves, and they both drove the crowd wild every time. First, there was his Somersault Dropkick in which he would grapple with his opponent before doing a backflip and kicking them in the process. Completely flashy and unnecessary, but Starman aimed to please the crowd and embarrass his opponents. His other move was the Flying Cross Chop. This move was accomplished when you made Starman run at his opponent, and instead of clotheslining them, he would hurl his chest into their faces. I'm sure that's not what he was really doing, but that's the way it looked in the game. Either way, Starman has always been a fan favorite and nine times out of ten, when you play somebody for the first time in this game, you'll find that they choose him. I guess that star on his face is just too enticing...
Kin Corn Karn: If there was ever a video game wrestling character with a better name, I'd love to hear about it. Kin Corn Karn was your stereotypical Asian martial arts master but he had no real super moves. His strength was supposed to be that he had an alternative to the standard kicks and punches that all the other character in the game had. While it's true, he could pull off his standing Karate Kick faster than the spinning kicks of all the other characters, it was his replacement for the punch that was always a source of ridicule. Oh yes... you know of what I speak. I speak of the one and only Mongolian Chop - also known as "The Ridiculous Head Bonk" in many circles. Kin Corn Karn was apparently unable to throw a standard punch, so instead, he would jump up in the air and try to bonk his opponents on the head with both fists. It looked absolutely ridiculous and if you tried to pull it off, it usually ended up putting you in position to be manhandled by your opponent. Of all the characters in the game, I would have to say Kin Corn Karn was the most useless. But hey, at least he provided us all with some good laughs.
Giant Panther: Though physically the same size as all the other characters in the game, the Giant Panther was a force to be reckoned with. This was a character who not only had the bronzed body of a man who spent 90% of his time in a tanning salon, but he also had some devastating moves. First off, there was his Headbutt. I don't know what it was about this move, because in reality, it was just a simple headbutt, but the way it impacted his opponents just seemed so brutal. I think it might have to do with the face that a split-second after his head impacted, his opponents would drop to the ground. Then there was the dreaded Iron Claw in which he would cock his arm back and then sling it forward to choke the life out of his opponent - literally lifting them off the ground with one arm and shaking them vigorously. He may have been a cocky, bleached hair, ultra-tanned guy... but Giant Panther could definitely give even the most skilled players a hard time.
King Slender: With his long, flowing blond hair, you'd think a guy like King Slender would be a romance novel cover model, but he truth is he was actually a pretty damned good wrestler. Sure he could pull off all the standard moves, but it was the fact that his signature move was the easiest one in the entire game to pull off that made him such a tough opponent. King Slender was a master of the Back Breaker. To pull this move off, all you had to do was mash the A button repeatedly when grappling with your opponent. It was so easy to pull off and damaged them so badly that it was almost criminal. Seriously, when it comes to video game characters with ultra-cheap moves, King Slender would have to be right up at the top of the list.
The Amazon: Yes, yes, YES! The Amazon is easily my favorite character in Pro Wrestling. Why? Because he's the only one who has both a keen resemblance to The Creature from the Black Lagoon and celebrates the art of cheating with a passion. When it comes to signature moves, no other character had ones that made me laugh more when I pulled them off than The Amazon. First off, you had his Outlaw Choke. With this move, he would put his opponents in a side headlock while gouging their eyes out with his claws. Then, while his opponent dropped to the ground, The Amazon would turn to the referee and shake his head as if to say, "I swear I didn't do anything wrong!" Classic! But it doesn't end there... The Amazon had an even better move: The Piranha Bite! With a name like that, it's no surprise that he ends up biting his opponent, but what probably would surprise you is that he can seemingly dislocate his jaw so that it opens up even wider. And why does it need to open so widely? So he can chomp down on their faces! That's right, The Amazon actually eats his opponents faces! I remember seeing those little pixelated blood spurts as he chowed down on their faces and thinking how awesome it was. The Amazon wasn't a human... he was an untamed beast from the deep with an insatiable craving for human flesh. If you ask me, when it comes to choosing a wrestling character, it doesn't get much better than that. I mean, there are few things in life as intimidating as knowing you're about to fight a maniac who not only considers you his opponent, but also considers you his dinner.
And there you have it. When it comes to classic home console wrestling games, none of them could compete with Pro Wrestling on the NES. If you haven't played it before for some reason, I strongly recommend checking it out. As old as it is, it's still a lot fun to play even today. And who knows, maybe you'll even get good enough to have a match with the final boss of the game: The Great Puma! Talk about a villain who was seemingly impossible, not only did it take ten title defense victories before you could even fight hi, but The Great Puma could pull off any super-move in the game. If you can actually beat him, then you are truly worthy of that classic phrase which Pro Wrestling gave us:
A WINNER IS YOU.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
BUT WHERE IS THE GREAT PUMA???? I know you can't actually select the underwear clad Tony the Tiger but I would have like to see him.
As for extra features go, doesn't this game has any sort of sexual material that isn't supposed to be there?
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