Waldman's Retro Gaming: Nintendo's 'Pro Wrestling' primative but fun
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Kin Corn Carn gives King Slender a back suplex in Nintendo's 'Pro Wrestling'.
Ah, the very first wrestling game for Nintendo. It's
hard to believe that it was just over 15 years ago
that 'Pro Wrestling' first hit store shelves across the
world. Featuring seven wrestlers, 'Pro Wrestling' became
an overnight addiction for children (and adults)
across North America, as they attemped to reign
supreme in the VWA.
Six wrestlers (Star Man, Amazon, Kin Corn Carn, Giant
Panther, Fighter Hayabusa and King Slender) are
available for use, while a seventh, mystery wrestler
serves as the final challenge. To reach this wrestler,
you must not only win the VWA title, but successfully
defend it through two rounds of each of the five other
Every grappler can perform several moves. Four of the
wrestlers have two special moves while two (Fighter
Hayabusa and King Slender) have one. For the first
four wrestlers, however, the two special moves replace
regular moves (eg. Panther's iron claw and headbutt
replace the backdrop and piledriver), while the latter
two are moves which are added on (eg. King Slender's
The moves are actually pretty advanced, given the time
period. All wrestlers can do a Tope Suicida (so long
as your opponent is lying down on the concrete floor),
Hayabusa can perform an enziguri and Star Man can do a
Tiger Wall Flip.
The only complaint is that there is little you can do
with a fallen opponent. When an opponent is down, you
can only pick him up, pin him, or do a top rope move.
There are neither submission moves, nor striking moves
like stomping or elbow drops. This makes it even
harder to inflict damage on your opponent when he is
Possibly the most interesting part of the moves is
that you have to weaken your opponent to perform
certain manuevers. If you have not inflicted enough
punishment, for example, your brainbuster will be
The game seems easy at first, but it gets quite
challenging. Once you have an advatage over another
wrestler, you might not keep it. Moves can go back and
forth quite quickly, and if you aren't careful you can
end up with your shoulders pinned quickly.
Your strength, rather than being indicated by a bar,
is alerted by two sounds, the "beeping" sound
indicates that you are now succeptable to more harmful
moves like the brainbuster and piledriver, while a
second "danger" sound means that you can be pinned for
a three-count at any time. Of course, this does not
apply to your computer opponent, so be wary of using
power moves early.
Like most Nintendo games, performing moves is as easy
as hitting one or two buttons. There are no
complicated combinations of buttons you have to press,
which makes this game even better for
Graphics and sound
The graphics are actually pretty decent for Nintendo.
The characters are somewhat aminated, but look as
stiff as a William Regal punch when they are doing
moves. There is little flow, but this was pretty much
the standard for Nintendo. It makes you appreciate
just how far games have come in the last few years.
The sound is also pretty bad. The music gets annoying
quickly and at times masks the damage alarms. The
sound effects are simplistic as well, but aren't
'Pro Wrestling' is definitely worth picking up. There
are a few problem areas in the game, but nothing too
major that you cannot enjoy playing it. The game is
somewhat challenging, and can become quite addictive.
1/2 out of 5