NES Works grapples with WWF Wrestlemania

Let me tell you something, brother!

13 September 2023
by rawmeatcowboy 0

Jeremy Parish is back with the latest installment in his NES Works franchise, and this one takes a deep look at the January 1989 NES release, WWF WrestleMania.

The early days of 1989 offered a veritable cornucopia of delights for kids who wanted to watch sports on TV and then play those sports (on TV). For a certain value of sports, that is. I think most people would be hard-pressed to call the scripted, choreographed hijinks of professional wrestling a “sport” per se, though no one would contest the athleticism involved.

But really, pro wrestling has always been about the personalities and characters involved, and WWF Wrestlemania brought the big sweaty dudes whose slapped, grappled, and pinned one another on TV every weekend into console game form for the first time, rendering the six biggest stars of pro wrestling in recognizable pixel form.

Is it a masterpiece of a video game, to be canonized in the same hallowed league as the likes of Aki and Human’s hits? Well, no, but thanks to developer Rare’s involvement, it looks and sounds pretty great. Like pro wrestling, it may not have been true sport, but it certainly offered spectacle.

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