Pro Wrestling was the first wrestling game available for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) released in March 1987 (right around the time of WWF WrestleMania III). For many years, in fact until the release of WWF No Mercy in 1999, this game was the benchmark to which all other wrestling games were compared.
|Ring Name||Height||Weight||Nationality||Signature Move(s)|
|Fighter Hayabusa||6' 2"||230||Japan||Back Brain Kick|
|Starman||6' 3"||220||Mexico||Dropkick Moonsault, Flying Forearm|
|Kin Corn Karn||6' 1"||280||Korea||Double Axhandle, Karate Kick|
|Giant Panther||6' 6"||320||USA||Iron Claw, Headbutt|
|The Amazon||6' 1"||230||? ? ?||Fang Bite, Illegal Choke|
|King Slender||6' 5"||280||USA||Backbreaker|
|Great Puma||? ? ?||? ? ?||? ? ?||All of the above|
The game controls were simple and the wrestlers were virtually balanced. Each wrestler had a move when the player hit A or B with up, down, or either side. Additionally, each wrestler could execute a bodyslam by simply hitting B. Every wrestler had one or two signature moves that no other wrestler could perform. For example, only King Slender could execute a backbreaker by simply hitting A. Notwithstanding specialty moves, A+up was a suplex, A+down was a piledriver, A+side was a backdrop, B+side was an Irish whip for which A+side would execute a clothesline and B would execute a jumping kneelift. From the top rope, A would execute a flying bodysplash and B would execute a double kneedrop.
A player begins wrestling in the VWA by facing Fighter Hayabusa (or Star Man if the player selects Hayabusa) and then he must beat all the competitors before he gets a title match with King Slender (or Giant Panther if the player selects Slender). After defending the championship against all the other members of the roster a couple times, then the champion faces VWF Champion Great Puma.
Most (if not all) of the playable characters had a vague resemblance to real life wrestling legends at the time of its release. Accordingly, Fighter Hayabusa looked like Antonio Inoki, King Slender looked like Ric Flair, Giant Panther looked like Hulk Hogan (see "Additional Notes"), Kin Corn Karn looked like Killer Khan (to a lesser degree), and Star Man looked like a number of generic luchadores.
Although Star Man was billed from Mexico, his biography noted that he was an alien from outer space.
Psycho Andy and Ed The K Motley had a debate whether Giant Panther was tan or African American. They agreed to disagreed, but the strongest points for each were that Andy pointed out that the blond hair and tan body was a near-perfect match of Hulk Hogan (the most popular wrestler when the game was released) while Kay pointed out that most (other) nationalities were included in the roster, so it was likely the programmers' intent (plus, Giant Panther used the headbutt, which was a trademark of Junkyard Dog, Bobo Brazil, and other African American wrestlers).