Memoirs of a squared circle: 5 wrestling games of my youth

Now if you’ve read my blog or even just skimmed through the articles I’ve written then you absolutely know that video games are a big part of what I tend to write about. So it should be no surprise at all that they would eventually contaminate everything else this blog contains, not a single subject is safe for the infectious topic that is gaming. I did the best I could to bring you pro wrestling orientated stories that included absolutely zero button smashing! Well i’m sorry to inform you that  the games have invaded and MOASC waved that white flag in complete and total surrender. But not all is lost, with this interbreeding of subjects brings a new article containing the wrestling games I grew up playing in my youth.
These are my top 5 all time favorite wrestling games that made me the unstable and incomprehensible unadjusted man I am today! In no particular order I present to you…


Pro Wrestling was pretty much the first wrestling game that I played. Sure there were others out there M.U.S.C.L.E, tag team wrestling and eventually Tecmo world wrestling, but out of all the wrestling games that the nes had to offer only Pro Wrestling had centered its cartridge firmly into my Nintendo. The battles me and my cousin waged against each other were epic. I would gnaw on his head relentlessly with The Amazon who was pretty much a light skinned creature from the black lagoon or Bring the high flying antic’s of Starman to the ring. Know that I think back why the hell was he wearing a one piece spandex suit like some sort of pink gimp? I can say the only negative thing I ever encountered with Pro Wrestling was the fact that my cousin would constantly use the karate kick of King Corn Karn to hand me loss after loss. Damn you Nintendo and screw the programmer who brought King Corn Karn to my 8 bit heaven.

THE MAIN EVET (arcade)

When I was 13 I spent my entire summer vacation visiting my aunt in Philly and due to the simple fact she worked a full time job I had a lot of free time to roam the city. I did a lot of sightseeing including the liberty bell, mutter museum and the mint. But two of the places I frequented the most were located directly under my aunt’s building, the pizza place where I could grab a slice for lunch and the video store. Besides its amazing selection of horror flicks and the fact they would let me rent R rated movies, the video store had a The Main Event cabinet! It was an obvious rip off of the WWF, everything from all the wrestlers down to its name was a complete grab at using the WWF’s popularity without paying them a single cent. Even better was the overly cheesy marquee and those giant glowing buttons that were the highlight of the terribly dysfunctional control set up. The game was terrible and I loved everything about it! I pumped at least a dollar worth of quarters into it every day for the duration of my visit.


I spent an entire summer continuously renting this damn game! I don’t know if I could call that dedication or if it was just addiction at its lowest form? I guess in all reality it was just simple obsession coated with a thin layer of the need to completely dominate every aspect of the game. Looking back I should have just bought the damn game seeing as how I spent the equivalent of the retail price renting the damn thing! I think what had me so dedicated to this game was the fact it had the most advanced create a character engine anyone had seen at that time in gaming. That and the fact I could beat almost anyone I went up against with Taz!

MAT MANIA (arcade)

I have to be honest here. I have no clue why this game always stuck with me, it’s probably for the same reason I love pro wrestling so much. The simplicity of MAT MANIA mixed with the easy button smashing style of controls made it a very likeable game for a 9 year old. With all the characters being rip offs of well known wrestlers that I could recognize easily made me love this game. I used to play it at the local Malibu grand prix, it was tucked away in the second smaller building facing one of the walls. I don’t think I ever made a trip to Malibu that didn’t involve me pumping a few tokens into my favorite wrestling game of the mid 80’s.


This is the holy grail of my list. I spent countless hours of my life and copious amounts of my mother’s hard earned money playing this damn game. It took everything that was amazing about WWF SUPERSTARS and multiplied it by awesome. Let’s review this briefly “AMAZING x AWESOME = OMFG!” I’m getting excited just thinking about this freaking game. The best part of it all was the fact it was a popular game that I could find in any arcade I stepped foot into. My local 7-11 was the place I could get a fix close to home. I could get some lunch, grab a frozen yogurt and pump whatever change I had left directly into Vince McMahon’s bank account via that little glowing red slot all within a four block radius of where I lay my head! On any given day you could catch me joining the rumble with Earthquake or teaching a tag team that you don’t screw with Ax and Smash! No wrestling game can ever bring me the joy that WRESTLEFEST once did.

Jason Burum 2/21/2012


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