As time goes on, it’s amazing how many things from years ago continue to be uncovered. Case in point: A wrestling game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that few people even knew existed!
Discovered by YouTuber Archon 1981 as a result of a purchase from a former Nintendo of America employee, a review cartridge containing a never-announced wrestling game by the now-defunct Seta titled UWC provides a very rare snapshot of a little-known point in history for video game and wrestling fans alike.
The story behind the game, from its development to why it was never released or even announced, may very well remain a mystery for all time. What we do see of the game, from its copyright date of 1989 to its name and even the roster itself point to being developed during the period of time that Ted Turner was in the process of purchasing Jim Crockett Promotions’ chapter of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Turner would go on to launch the Universal Wrestling Corporation (UWC) in 1988, but soon changed all branding to World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which fans would best know the promotion as for the duration of its life.
Interestingly, while AOL-Time Warner would eventually go on to sell WCW and all its assets to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, nee the World Wrestling Federation [WWF]), they would maintain the Universal Wrestling Corporation for years after as a subsidiary for handling legal matters regarding the talent still under contract following the purchase.
As for the game itself, its roster consists of eight top stars from the promotion — a fairly normal amount for the day, compared to the monstrous rosters we see today. Included here are Sting, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Road Warriors Hawk and Animal, Midnight Express member “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton, “Gorgeous” Jimmy “Jam” Garvin, and Barry Windham. This leaves one wrestler unidentified, though Paste believes that it would be either then-rising star Lex Luger or Eaton’s partner in the Midnight Express, “Sweet” Stan Lane.
While the circumstances surrounding this game’s cancellation are a mystery, we do know that Super Star Pro Wrestling (developed by Nihon Bussan and published by Pony Canyon) for the Nintendo Famicom in Japan would be changed up by FCI, Inc. and released in April 1990 as WCW Wrestling for the NES. FCI would go on to release Beam Software’s WCW: The Main Event for the Game Boy and WCW SuperBrawl Wrestling for the Super NES in 1994 before THQ took over the license for Asmik Ace Entertainment’s WCW vs. the World on the PlayStation and striking gold with WCW vs. nWo: World Tour for the Nintendo 64 in 1997.
Regarding the game’s preservation, Archon notes near the start of the video that he will be releasing the ROM to the public, though he’s still uncertain as to how he wants to go about doing that. As it stands, Frank Cifaldi of the Video Game History Foundation has already reached out about it.
News Credit: WrestleZone