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Greatest Wrestling Video-Game Rosters Ever


funkdoc
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hi everyone, i recently got this silly idea in my head to comb over the rosters of wrestling video games and calculate the average GWE score of their rosters.  here's what i've put into a Google doc that you can freely edit:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h0mqkVWyPcE4MTQsksUFLL4K9iMfQZ2f3A0tXdtQdZY/edit?usp=sharing

one thing to note is that for the AKI games, i counted all the fictional characters who are clearly meant to be specific IRL wrestlers.  i didn't count Joe Bruiser in World Tour because he's Muhammad Ali.

i tried not to count non-wrestlers period, which makes things real tricky for some of those late-90s games.  i counted Bischoff & Russo as wrestlers since they had high-profile matches in WCW, and Heenan since he actually got GWE votes; on the other hand i didn't count the likes of Mean Gene or Sonny Onoo or Jimmy Hart.  i also count the Major Gunns/Stacy Keibler types since they have a decent number of matches.  this has been more annoying to figure out than i anticipated, which is why i didn't get to WCW Nitro or Thunder - a lot of these borderline cases are hidden characters in those games.

i *do* count unplayable "boss" wrestlers in a game's score, as long as they're IRL wrestlers.  this includes Andre/DiBiase in the arcade WWF Superstars, for instance.  i didn't count the "WCW Master" in the NES WCW game, even though it's obviously Andre under a mask; they can't call him Andre so i won't.

so going into this, i expected WCW Superbrawl to notch the highest average of any game for the American promotions; it's a small roster that includes GWE beasts like Flair, Steamboat, Vader, Windham, Dustin, Pillman & Rude.  as it turned out i was...almost right.  it's one of only 2 games on the current list with an average score above 5,000 - its average wrestler ranks above Aja Kong in the GWE poll!

however, it was beaten out by a throwaway port of a throwaway early-90s WWF game.  specifically, the Sega Game Gear & Master System versions of WWF Wrestlemania: Steel Cage Challenge!  the Sega and NES versions share a bunch of GWE top-100 finishers: Hogan, Savage, Bret, Undertaker, & DiBiase.  there were some roster differences between Nintendo & Sega here, though, and that massively benefits Sega from an in-ring standpoint.  while the NES version had Piper/Sid/Jake/Mountie as its unique wrestlers, the Sega ports had Tatanka & Papa Shango...but also Shawn & Flair.  those last 2 bump the average score over 5,500, which would rank in between Harley Race & Tully Blanchard on the poll.  Steel Cage Challenge simply had a bit less "fat" on its roster than Superbrawl, having only 10 wrestlers compared to 12.

i also found it interesting that the New Generation WWF games didn't score much higher than the Hulkamania ones.  not that i'd want to rehash this debate, but i think all the GWE voters from outside the core PWO circle played a big part in this...look at the rankings for Hogan or Andre or DiBiase.  the GWE poll was also lower than Internet consensus on Shawn and especially the Undertaker, so that does a lot to drop the averages for those games.

i think i'm done with my contributions, but yall can have fun and throw in other games if you want!  one note if you're going to add joshi games: the master rankings have a typo in Aja Kong's score!  it should be 5085.

think that's it. hope someone out there enjoys this dumb lil weekend project~

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was going to say that WCW vs the World would be pretty high on the list given all the talent in that game. I wish it was just better than it was but oh well. 

 

I really enjoyed Rumble for the Sega growing up with Crush and then with Diesel on Raw. Those were great games.

 

I would have liked to see Showdown Legends of Wrestling on here and how it would compare. That roster was sooo good even though the previous games had a better story mode with the made up territories. 

Thanks for the fun read. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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