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This is the first game in the WCW series. For other games in the series see the WCW category.

Box artwork for WCW World Championship Wrestling.
Box artwork for WCW World Championship Wrestling.
WCW World Championship Wrestling
Developer(s)Nichibutsu
Publisher(s)Pony Canyon, FCI
Year released1989
System(s)NES
SeriesWCW
Genre(s)Wrestling
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
LinksWCW World Championship Wrestling ChannelSearchSearch

WCW World Championship Wrestling is a NES professional wrestling game that was originally released in Japan in 1989 under the name Super Star Pro Wrestling (スーパースタープロレスリング?), featuring a number of Japanese and North American wrestlers active in Japan at the time. The game was localized in North America using a WCW license and the wrestlers replaced with twelve then-active stars of the WCW circuit. In addition, there is also a gigantic final boss known as "The WCW Master".

The game is distinct for having multiple camera angles depending on where the wrestlers are in relation to the ring: there's an isometric view when the two combatants are outside of the ring and near one of the corners, for instance. Players choose four finishers from a menu before each bout, binding them to one of the four D-pad directions where they can be used whenever the opponent is briefly stunned. A finisher's strength is determined by a rapidly sliding scale that the player ideally hits when it is close to full.

It was the first (and, to date, only) video game based on the National Wrestling Alliance (at the time, WCW was a member of NWA). After The Road Warriors left WCW for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), WCW continued to advertise the game in their own catalogs with a mock-up cartridge showing Sting on the label, though no such copies of the game with an alternate label are known to exist or believed to have ever been manufactured.

Wrestler roster[edit]

In Japan, as Super Star Pro Wrestling, the game featured a different roster with wrestlers well-known in Japan's AJPW and NJPW promotions. It featured Antonio Inoki, Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, Genichiro Tenryu, Riki Chosu, Akira Maeda, Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, Big Van Vader, Abdullah the Butcher, Road Warrior Hawk & Animal, and Andre the Giant under his Giant Machine gimmick. Below is a list of which WCW Wrestlers took the place of the original Super Star Pro Wrestling roster.

  • Lex Luger is based on Antonio Inoki
  • Ric Flair is based on Giant Baba
  • Mike Rotunda is based on Jumbo Tsuruta
  • Kevin Sullivan is based on Genichiro Tenryu
  • Sting is based on Riki Choshu
  • Rick Steiner is based on Akira Maeda
  • Ricky Steamboat is based on Bruiser Brody
  • Road Warrior Hawk is based on Stan Hansen
  • Michael P.S. Hayes is based on Road Warrior Hawk
  • "Dr Death" Steve Williams is based on Big Van Vader
  • Eddie Gilbert is based on Abdullah the Butcher
  • Road Warrior Animal is the only one who remains unchanged.

Note that, even though he is in both versions, the WCW Wrestling version of Hawk is not based on the Super Star Pro Wrestling version. This is why the US version uses Hansen's trademark Western Lariat as a finisher in the game.

WCW Master is based on André the Giant, who also appears as the boss of Super Star Pro Wrestling. His mask is reminiscent of André's "Giant Machine" gimmick.

There are some inaccuracies in the game, mainly with the birthdates of some wrestlers, and Big Van Vader's hometown and date of birth are not listed in order to protect his gimmick.

Gameplay[edit]

Each wrestler in WCW Wrestling has eight "selectable" moves, two Irish whip moves, and a finisher.

Selectable moveset[edit]

WCW Wrestling differs from most wrestling titles in that the players select their wrestler's moveset prior to the match. Each wrestler has a menu of eight moves (with each wrestler featuring a unique moveset), from which players choose four (each move selected is assigned to a direction on the D-pad).

Playable wrestlers and final opponent[edit]

Playable wrestlers in the game are Ric Flair, Sting, Lex Luger, Mike Rotundo, Road Warrior Hawk, Road Warrior Animal, Steve Williams, Kevin Sullivan, Ricky Steamboat, Rick Steiner, Eddie Gilbert, Michael Hayes, and the opponent who is wrestled at the end of the game is a masked wrestler named the WCW master.[2]

Irish whip moves[edit]

These moves are performed by first initiating an Irish whip (throwing the opponent into the ropes by pressing left and B or right and B) and then pressing either A or B when the opponent is near. Each wrestler has a different Irish whip moveset (though these moves are not selectable in the moveset menu).

Finishers[edit]

Each wrestler has his own finisher move. These must be performed in the middle of the ring and can only be accomplished when the opponent had two squares remaining on his health meter. The move is performed by pressing A and B simultaneously. Finishers deliver significantly more damage than a regular move and are likely to end the match in a knock-out or submission.

Table of Contents

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WCW World Championship Wrestling/Table of Contents