Retro Wrestling Gaming: A Look at Tecmo World Wrestling (1990)


Usually, a pro-wrestling video game is presented with a focus on the point of view for the player is in the role of one of the participants in the ring. However, Tecmo World Wrestling took a unique approach, with a focus on the point of view for the player is the role of someone watching the matches on TV as a fan.

Tecmo World Wrestling not only features play-by-play announcing (which was also done in MicroLeague Wrestling), but it also features close-up replays that are sometimes shown when a wrestler performs their signature move, adding to the game’s entertainment value.

All of the wrestlers in the game are original characters from an array of countries around the world, but it’s important to note that the promotion in Tecmo World Wrestling is apparently supposed to be a Japanese promotion because if a wrestler is outside the ring, he has a twenty count to return. This most likely is related to the fact that there is a Japanese version of this game, which was published a year earlier.

Although all of the wrestlers were original characters, it’s obvious that two of them were based on real pro-wrestlers. Despite the name changes, the quality graphics made it clear that the character named, “Akira Dragon” was based on former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Antonio Inoki, and, “El Tigre” was based on Tiger Mask (most likely the Mitsuharu Misawa/AJPW version, since the masks are similar and Misawa was Tiger Mask at the time that Tecmo World Wrestling was released).

Tecmo World Wrestling was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and can still be found on Amazon. And it’s a game that many feel has withstood the test of time- game website ranks Tecmo World Wrestling #69 in its list of the 100 best games for the NES.