Transmission date: Nov 29 2012
Welcome back Satellite Subscribers, our systems are picking up a transmission from 1986, it appears the SuperHero Satellite is about to receive information about NES Pro Wrestling, The video game.
Anyone who grew up in 80s pop culture knows about the Nintendo Entertainment System Console. We all have heard of Super Mario Bros, The Legend Of Zelda, or maybe even Metroid, all of which were classic video game cartridges for the NES system back in the early years of popular household gaming. Atari had broken the market years earlier but it was not to become mega popular again until the NES and Sega Master Systems were released in the mid 80s. One game not forgotten on many gamers from that era was Nintendo’s early attempt at a Professional wrestling game. So they titled it Pro Wrestling. Nintendo went on to deliver several wrestling games during its run including Wrestlemania (Horrible port, worth a blog entry in itself), M.u.s.c.l.e., W.C.W. (Graphically challenged but had tons of NWA superstars who were barely recognizable in the game but very enjoyable and challenging!) and Tag Team Wrestling (Two words “Ricky Fighters”..look it up.absolutely HORRIBLE.) The gem in the collection was Pro Wrestling.
From the opening screen and the music you knew something about this game was going to be a level above the others. The red and white stripes with Pro wrestling in a banner in the middle of the screen was your door step into the V.W.A. (Virtual Wrestling Association) With a press of the start button you were introduced to six of the most unique wrestlers ever to grace a video game.
Fighter Hayabusa, the generic answer to the great Japanese wrestlers of the day, seemingly inspired by Antonio Inoki. Fighter was dubbed the Invincible Warrior. He used the Back Brain Kick as his finishing move. With generic black trucks and boots Hayabusa was one of the hardest wrestlers to defend against especially in two player mode. Hayabusa was deceptive as his finisher could be executed on an angle and could come seemingly out of nowhere.
Star Man. Possibly the most memorable Pro Wrestler widely remembered by today`s audience`. The full body pink spandex suit? The blue star emblazoned across his face Star man stood out. Little is know about Star Man only that he resides in Mexico. The character is based off of Mexican Luchador’s like Mil Mascara’s as evidenced in his use of the flying cross chop. Star Man was revolutionary in that his Somersault DropKick was a move unheard of at the time of this games release.
Kin Corn Karn. The Korean nightmare. This 280 pound grappler visually based on former WWF wrestler Killer Khan. Karn was one of the more limited wrestlers in the game as his finishing move “the Karate Kick” (A sign of the era there!) was slow and tedious to set up. It lacked the spontaneous nature of the Hayabusa brain kick. Karn also had the Mongolian Chop at his disposal which was usually only effective if your opponent was stunned. This move was basically pointless to execute early in a match.
The Amazon. The super heel of the group. This masked wrestler is only one step behind Star Man in popularity. Amazon used a foreign object as a means to a victory. The move using the object is known as the “Outlaw Choke” while Amazon also uses the “Pirahnna Bite”. The Amazons mask and likeness is used all over the internet as a popular avatar for social media sites. Most recently current WWE Champion C.M. Punk uses the Amazons likeness as his Twitter pic! Baddass as a cool character design Amazon stands out as one of the most enduring wrestling characters!
The Giant Panther: This blonde haired bronze warrior is this games Hulk Hogan. One of the better wrestlers in the game Panther is part Hogan part Von Erich as in his bag of tricks is the Von Erich “Iron Claw” and a very harsh looking “Head Butt”. One of the better wrestler selections in the game as Panther’s moves are quick to pull off and quite frankly the Panther just looks cool. I guess the game developers did not have time to put in the leg drop.
King Slender: The Nature Boy Ric Flair inspired creation may just be the coolest wrestler in the game. This 280 lB wrestler spots a crushing “Back Breaker” as his finisher while sporting a long blonde mane of well groomed hair! Slender is the King of the ring and looks the best while in the squared circle.
The Great Puma: NES games in the 80s always featured the “Boss” character. In this case the Boss was the one and only Puma, a champion from another outside promotion the renegade promotion the VFW. Its title vs. title and Puma was the best competitor in the game. Puma boasted not one finisher but ALL finishers. His move set incorperated all featured wrestlers moves in the game and he was incredibly difficult to beat. Great Puma is on the list of one of the toughtest 80’s NES bosses to beat. Although no avatar image was developed I will present The Great Puma in action below. The video contains footage Star Man finally defeating Puma to win both belts.
Pro Wrestling also had two other characters that remained nameless and were actually on the very cover of the game. See for yourself!
Pro Wrestling is still held very fondly in the memories of wrestling fans all over the world, in fact many of the characters are consistently recreated in many other wrestling games for all platforms using the Create A Wrestler (CAW) engines on various games and the “How to’s” can be found all over the internet on how to design each character and can be found with a simple Google search.
Action figures of these popular wrestlers have also surfaced and the results are actually amazing and a must have for the Pro Wrestling enthusiast. See the image below to take a look at these great action figures.
In what has become one of the internet’s inside jokes is the saying “A winner is you!” This saying is taken originally from NES Pro Wrestling game as a result of a Japanese to English translation error that actually found its way to the final release of the game undetected. This popular screw up has been loving placed in plenty of other games intentionally.
In the Nintendo DS game “Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story” the main Big Bad disguised as a salesman, shouts “A winner is you!” after Bowser wins himself a vacuum ’shroom.
In the first-person shooter game “Red Faction” there is an achievement called “A Winner is You” that can be unlocked after winning 250 matchmaking games.
There are many more “A winner is you” Easter eggs hidden in games for you to discover. As years go by every so often NES Pro Wrestling will rear its head to hungry fans who are one day hoping for the next remake of this great game. In a personal note NES Pro Wrestling was actually the FIRST NES title I ever played and it was on a demo at a Ontario Woolco when I first played the game while on vacation with my family. When I held that rectangular two button controller in my hand I was absolutely in heaven as I fought my way to my first..LOSS with Fighter Hayabusa. It would be one of the three first games I was given one great Christmas along with Mike Tysons Punch Out and Contra!! Talk about a 1, 2, 3, PUNCH that was!
Pro Wrestling lives on and references or cameos sometimes come from the strangest of places, whether its a halloween costume or a Twitter avatar,you never know where one of those famous characters will show up. Pro Wrestler John Cena even had a popular T-Shirt based directly on NES Pro Wrestling that was a huge success.
I have included a great video for your enjoyment to wrap this blog up on a high note. Ladies and Gentlemen..I present to you the live wrestling match actually starring..STAR MAN!
If you have enjoyed this blog post feel free to leave a comment as I will reply to them all. If you want to contact me directly catch me on Twitter as @charlton_hero, or join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite.