6 Weirdest Wrestling Games Ever Made

As weird as professional wrestling is (and make no mistake, it’s pretty weird), video games based on it have been pretty straightforward. The majority of titles – from classic Pro Wrestling on the NES to the latest WWE 2K game – have been direct simulations of what’s shown on TV and in arenas. They were pretty much what you expected.

Think of it like this: No Holds Barred starring Hulk Hogan is a movie about professional wrestling. It’s not necessarily a great pro wrestling movie, but it certainly fits the description. It’s also safe to say that it’s a pretty standard movie overall. If No Holds Barred was a movie made from a turnbuckle’s perspective, or if it was From Dusk ‘Till Dawn on us and totally changed genres on us, then, yeah, that would be weird. The same goes for professional wrestling video games.

But, like any other kind of, well, anything, you’re going to have some weird ones. So we’ve put together a list of some sports-entertainment based video games that are, at the very least, a little off. These games aren’t necessarily bad – although most of them are, let’s face it – but they all have something that makes them, well, weird.

Let’s start with a classic that feels perfectly normal (for a wrestling video game, anyway) until the very end.

6. Super Fire Pro Fight Special

Super Pro Wrestling Special

Developer: human entertainment
Editor: human entertainment
Platform: Super Famicom

Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special was written and directed by Goichi Suda, aka Suda51: the man who brought us Killer7, Lollipop Chainsaw and the No More Heroes games. In fact, it was his second directorial effort, so if that doesn’t tell you why this game is on this list, buckle up.

Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special, right off the bat, wasn’t all that different from games in the series that came before it. It had the same gameplay and graphic style. There was the same mix of actual Japanese pro wrestlers that the company had licensed to look like “original” wrestlers who were basically The Road Warrior but with different names (“What are Eagle and Creature doing in the Impact Zone?! “). Most importantly, it was good. Even today, it still holds.

Then you come to the end of the career mode. Players start their career as a rookie (as most are used to when starting a new career), and during their career many tragedies befall them. Your trainer and your best friend are killed, apparently by your own hands. Your girlfriend leaves you right before your match against world champion Dick Slender (who is basically Ric Flair, who I imagine wouldn’t appreciate being called “Dick Slender” for reasons you can probably imagine) and then it turns out that Mr. Slender was responsible for all of this.

Fortunately, your character wins and you become the new heavyweight champion of the world.

And then a few days later, you shoot yourself in the head. No seriously, It happens. This is how the game ends.

5. WWE Love at First sight

WWE Thunderbolt Hour
WWE Thunderbolt Hour

Developer: Pacific Coastal Energy and Light
Editor: THQ
Platforms: PS2, GameCube

Imagine an alternate reality where Vince McMahon and the WWE grew so mighty and powerful that they literally owned every TV channel in the world. What do you think McMahon would do with that power?

If WWE Crush Hour is to be believed, it would be to create a show where WWE stars attempt to kill each other in a Twisted Metal-style vehicular battle. Which, to be fair, sounds like something he would do.

Crush Hour features 23 WWE Superstars, circa the early 2000s, and their gun-toting cars and trucks. You can drive like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Trish Stratus and, ironically, Jeff Hardy – to name a few. There are also nine other cars to unlock, including Vince McMahon himself.

As a Twisted Metal clone, it’s fine. The game’s graphics are a bit ugly, but it controls quite well. It also features a ton of voice work from the wrestlers themselves, including commentary from Jim Ross. The mere fact that this was actually designed, let alone made, is weird as hell, though.

4. The Hulk Hogan Main Event

The Hulk Hogan Main Event
The Hulk Hogan Main Event

Developer: panic button games
Editor: Majesco Games, 505 Games
Platform: Xbox 360

WWE Hall of Famer and former Pirate cosplayer Hulk Hogan has quite possibly been featured in more video games than any other wrestler. In addition to appearing in nearly every WWF/WWE and WCW match, he was also the star of all three Legends of Wrestling games. Not to mention all those counterfeit versions of Fire Pro Wrestling. So it’s no surprise that he even has a game all to himself. Unfortunately.

Hulk Hogan’s Main Event was the first and (thankfully) only professional wrestling video game to use Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect accessory. That alone should tell you what kind of quality we’re talking about here.

The game involves players creating their own wrestler and taking on the game’s cast of original wrestlers as Hogan’s “protege”. Movements are performed by physically mimicking the movements of the Hulkster in the lower right corner of the screen. So essentially it’s a game full of quick events, except way more heinous.

There’s really nothing redeeming about this game – it’s not fun or interesting, and it’s not even bad in the “so bad it’s good” sense. But it sure is weird.

3. WWF Betrayal

WWF Betrayal
WWF Betrayal

Developer: Go forward
Editor: THQ
Platform: Gameboy color

In the 1990s there was a show called Roller games. It was roller derby, but it also tried to incorporate elements of professional wrestling.

So why are we talking about it? Well, in 1990 Konami (under their Ultra Games label) released an NES game based on the series, a game that actually had nothing to do with roller derby – other than the fact that the playable characters wore roller skates. Instead, it was a side-scrolling beat-’em-up, confusing fans of the franchise who were hoping to recreate the same fights featured on the short-lived show.

Well, in 2001 THQ attempted to do the same with their WWF license. WWF Betrayal, the latest wrestling game released on the Game Boy platform, was not your usual wrestling game. It was a bit like the Rollergames game we just talked about.

Here players have taken control of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H or, ironically, The Undertaker. Why “ironically”? Well, Betrayal was based on an actual WWF storyline at the time involving the kidnapping of Stephanie McMahon, which involved The Undertaker. The fact that he’s a protagonist in this game makes it even weirder.

WWF Betrayal is quite possibly the first example of a game featuring WWF/WWE stars that wasn’t an outright wrestling game. Considering how it turned out, it’s shocking that WWE Crush Hour ever premiered later.

2. Backstage WCW Assault

Backstage Assault
Backstage Assault

Developer: Kodiak Entertainment
Editor: electronic arts
Platforms: N64, PS1

Interestingly, the quality of WCW video games sort of matches the quality of promotion. 1990 saw the release of WCW: World Championship Wrestling, featuring the likes of The Road Warriors, Sting, Lex Luger and Kevin Sullivan (not me). This was a localization of a wrestling game previously released in Japan, which is probably why it was better than expected.

Sadly, WCW games wouldn’t get decent again until the Nintendo 64 launched. This was the system where we all got to play WCW vs nWo: World Tour and WCW/NWO Revenge – two legitimate classics of pro wrestling gaming. . Moreover, they came out just when the promotion was at its peak.

Eventually, the rights to the WCW brand passed from THQ to EA, meaning AKI Corporation was no longer involved either. EA’s first WCW title, WCW Mayhem was, well, not terrible. This would not be the case for their next game.

WCW Backstage Assault has the distinction of being the first professional wrestling game based on professional wrestling that does not take place in a professional wrestling ring. Every match/fight/fight/whatever you want to call it takes place, well, behind the scenes. Whether it’s a garage, an office, whatever – none of this happens in the context of a normal wrestling match.

Now, that’s not to say that, as a concept, WCW Backstage Assault could have worked. It doesn’t, but it could have. But, overall, it was just an odd way to go given the business at the time. By going for something experimental during this Monday Night Wars era, EA and WCW really needed to deliver.

They did not do it.

1. The Simpsons struggle

The Simpsons struggle
The Simpsons struggle

Developer: Great ape productions
Publishers: Electronic Arts, Fox Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS1

The Simpsons Wrestling ends our journey today not only as the weirdest wrestling game ever, but just as one of the weirdest games ever made overall. The Simpsons Wrestling is a game that was created and published, and even today we still don’t know how.

The Simpsons franchise is no stranger to terrible games. The Simpsons Skateboarding came out around the same time and, while not good, at least made sense in the context of the show. Bart Simpson was established as a skateboarding enthusiast early on in the series’ narrative, so it’s not like it came out of nowhere.

But, Simpsons Wrestling? Imagine if they took Tony Hawk and, instead of a skateboard game, they had him fight aliens in a robot. Yeah, that sounds great, but it’s also weird.

Simpsons Wrestling has taken all your favorite characters from the show and “wrestled” them in a ring in the middle of Springfield. In fact, it was more of a brawler, as neither character actually performed a grappling move.

All of that could be forgiven if it was a well-made game but, well, it wasn’t. In fact, it’s generally considered one of the worst games ever made. Good or bad, though, this is easily the weirdest wrestling game ever.

READ NEXT: 15 Best Wrestling Games That Will Earn Dave Meltzer 5 Stars

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