Gekitou Burning Pro Wrestling (SFC)

Happy 30th anniversary, Super Famicom and Undertaker!
Happy 30th anniversary, Super Famicom and Undertaker!

This past week, within a 24 hour period, two massive icons — especially to those who grew up in the early to mid ’90s — celebrated their 30th anniversary. On November 21, 1990, the Super Famicom made its debut in Japan. The following day, November 22, 1990, the Undertaker made his debut at the 1990 Survivor Series. A whopping 30 years later, both the Super Nintendo and the Undertaker live on in the hearts and living rooms across the globe. What an amazing 30 years it has been, and I can’t think of a better way to toast these two icons than to review a wrestling game featuring the Undertaker that came out exclusively for the Super Famicom. But before we get to that…

THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND

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It’s hard to fathom that 30 years ago, the Super Famicom made its splashy debut in Japan. Damn, are we getting old or what? I remember when the 8-bit NES turned 30. I felt old enough then, but the Super Nintendo now being 30? Dang. Where does the time go? Thank you for 3 decades of terrific memories.

Happy 30th birthday!
Happy 30th birthday!

The Super Famicom launched with Super Mario World and F-Zero. Where were you when you first played those 2 games?

Good times
Good times

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The following day, November 22, 1990, the 4th Annual Survivor Series took place in Hartford, Connecticut. The Million Dollar Team had a mysterious fourth member. Who was it going to be? I remember my brother and friends talking all about it for weeks on end. It was an exciting mystery.

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I’ll never forget when The Undertaker first came out. He was a towering titan. He looked scary and sinister. And Roddy “Rowdy” Piper punctuated the moment perfectly by screaming, “LOOK AT THE SIZE OF DAT HAMHOCK!” (You just don’t hear cool shit like that anymore these days).

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Man, look at the legends in the ring there. The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Koko B. Ware, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Bret “The Hitman” Hart… geez, how cool was wrestling back in 1990?

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The Undertaker quickly established his dominance as he took out the opposition one opponent at a time. What a badass. You knew right away he was the real deal.

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Back in 2007, one of my earliest articles I wrote was about the connection the Super Nintendo and the Undertaker share. It’s wild knowing that both entities are now celebrating 3 decades. The fans have never forgotten either one of them over the past 30 years.

Cheers to the Dead Man and the SNES!
Cheers to both!

BURNING PRO

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There is an English fan translation available to make it much more accessible.

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There are a lot of different options. My personal favorite is the Battle mode, which lets 6 wrestlers duke it out for total supremacy.

Options mode
Options mode
I had to choose the dead man
I had to choose the Dead Man
Gotta fight Hulk Hogan
Gotta fight Hulk Hogan
IT'S STING!
IT’S STING!
The legendary Hayabusa
The legendary Hayabusa
Jushin "Thunder" Liger!
Jushin “Thunder” Liger!
The Nature Boy Ric Flair!
The Nature Boy Ric Flair!
We're off to the races!
We’re off to the races!

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One of the cool aspects of Burning Pro Wrestling is the ability to run diagonally. This gives a wrinkle to how you can dismantle your opposition, and is not featured in any other SNES wrestling game that I know of. Here, we see the Undertaker’s signature flying clothesline, just like we’ve seen throughout the past 3 decades!

Diagonal runs are fun
Diagonal runs are fun
Who will the Dead Man strike?
Who will the Dead Man strike?
Hayabusa it is, then
Hayabusa it is, then
Now make up and kiss!
Now make up and kiss!
Chokeslam time
Chokeslam time

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Ouch
Ouch
Tombstone time
Tombstone time

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Total devestation
Total devastation

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Unfortunately, Hulk Hogan broke up the 3 count. I’ll get you your receipt later, Hulkster. Meanwhile, Hayabusa has “hulked up” and is temporarily impervious to pain. This special feature can happen to any character. Even Taker’s flying clothesline bounces off Hayabusa harmlessly. It’s a pretty neat feature that other SNES wrestling games did not have.

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The Nature Boy Ric Flair is the first to be eliminated. The Dead Man delivers a picture perfect DDT on Hayabusa. That looks absolutely painful.

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My revenge tour on Hogan begins! Take a flying clothesline, sucka!

And from this angle!
And from this angle!

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Taker too slow for the save on Sting. I guess that’s one dream match that will have to remain in our wrestling dreams. Damn you, Vince! Should have done it at WrestleMania 31 in 2015! Alas, I digress.

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Hayabusa reenters the ring as I’m about to take off the Hulkster’s head.

Speaking of taking off heads
Speaking of taking off heads…
Wait for it... wait for it...
Wait for it… wait for it…
BOOM!
BOOM!

Somewhere JBL is wincing and green with envy. Those 24 inch pythons have knocked Hayabusa out of the match… leaving it to the Hulkster and the Dead Man. Of course, right? It had to end with these two titans.

REST IN PEACE!
REST IN PEACE!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Happy 30th anniversary to two GOATs!
Undertaker playing SNES? “OHHHH YESSSS!” ;)

Gekitou Burning Pro Wrestling is a fun addition to the SNES wrestling catalog. I played it with my wife earlier this week, and she said she enjoyed it more than Zen Nippon Pro Wrestling 2: 3-4 Bodoukan, which I consider to be a very fine and accessible wrestling game. Somehow, Burning Pro flows a little better for her. It’s definitely simpler. It’s just a fun game that’s based on timing rather than who can mash the buttons faster. I definitely appreciate that. If you’re looking for a fun alternative to Fire Pro and Zen Nippon, give this game a shot! It’s a shame we didn’t get Burning Pro Wrestling in America circa, say, 1993. It would be lionized to this day if that were the case.

SuperNintendoChalmers

Happy 30th Anniversary once again to the Super Famicom and the Undertaker! Two GOATs in their respective industries, indeed. Thanks for all the memories!

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