Along with the Monday Night Wars on TV, there was a war going on among wrestling fans over whether to buy one WCW or WWE-branded video game. Not every fan could afford to buy both games, so the decision often fell on the line-up and as a tie-breaker on the extras.
Although the WWE video games take the top spots among most arguments for the “greatest wrestling games of all time,” there are a few games from the WCW series that stand the test of time as well. fans of WCW/nWo Revenge alone will claim its place on any list. One thing that both series had in common was the long list of wild unlockable characters. This list explores ten that used to make fans shake their heads but now leave them in nostalgic bliss.
10 WCW Champion (Andre The Giant) – WCW Wrestling
WCW wrestling is to date the only video game in which the NWA has been involved. At the time of its release, WCW was still a member of the NWA and would remain so until 1992. The game’s cover art features the Road Warriors, although by the time of its release in 1990 they had left.
WCW Master can be unlocked as an in-game “final boss”, the opponent must be the champion and is a clear rip-off from Andre the Giant. Although his name or image is not used, it is clearly Andre as he competed wearing a mask under the ring name “Giant Machine”.
9 dr Frank – WCW/NWO revenge
A lot of fictional characters have been added WCW/NWO revenge. One of the most memorable unlockable wrestlers was Frankenstein. In the game, his official name is Dr. Frank, a choice made to avoid copyright issues as Frankenstein will not enter the public domain until 2027.
There was a clear addition of humor, but overall Dr. Frank holds a special place in the memory of Revenge Fans who remember his finisher, the Dr. Frank Spin (a move similar to Claudio Castagnoli’s spin).
8th Joe Bruiser – WCW Vs nWo World Tour
Everyone who played WCW vs nWo World Tour A lot more than they should will remember unlocking Joe Bruiser. He was a clear rip off from Muhammad Ali and was quick to knock out opponents.
To unlock Joe Bruiser, you had to beat the original levels and then win the (Whole World Wrestling) WWW.
7 THQ Staff – WCW/NWO Thunder
Any kid who grew up playing video games in the 90’s will remember the letters “THQ”. The video game released both WCW and WWE video games. WCW/nWo Thunder was known for its list of crazy unlockable characters and the THQ staff was one of those unlockable characters.
They used a picture of the actual members of the production team but gave them fun ring names including: Zoomie, Reanimator, Sleep Dep Ed and Wrestling Matt.
6 Bruiser Brody – Virtual Pro Wrestling 64
The tragic death of Bruiser Brody will forever overshadow his great career as a wrestler. His legacy has grown in the decades since his death, but he hasn’t appeared in many video games over the years.
Virtual Pro Wrestling 64 was basically the Japanese version of WCW vs nWo World Tour and featured Brody as an unlockable legend.
5 AKI Man – WCW/nWo Revenge
A lot of mysteries surround wrestler AKI Man in WCW/nWo Revenge. He’s clearly a nod to AKI Corporation, one of the game’s developers, but his looks are often compared to many of the other Japanese wrestlers on the roster.
Tons of changes were made to many of the Japanese wrestlers to circumvent copyright and it is speculated that AKI Man was one of them who was changed into this character at some point in development.
4 Vince Russo – WCW Backstage Attack
The final WCW game, much like WCW’s past few years, was not well received. For a change, straight out of the book by Vince Russo, who booked David Arquette as the WCW Heavyweight Champion, there is no in-ring gameplay.
Vince Russo is an unlockable character in this game, and it wasn’t uncommon for fans to unlock him only to hit him with a chair in the later days of WCW Nitro when he was on a tirade.
3 Mid Gene – WCW Nitro
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is a WCW icon on the same level as Sting and Ric Flair. He has been the voice of the company through WCW’s ups and downs. He was featured as an unlockable character on WCW Nitro.
Beating Tournament mode on Normal or Hard difficulty with Ric Flair will unlock Okerlund in one of the few games where he is a playable character.
2 Steve Austin – WCW: The Main Event
WCW: The main event is sometimes a forgotten WCW release. It was released on the Gameboy, so the gameplay is very limited. One notable thing about that 1994 release was that it was the first wrestling game to feature Steve Austin.
Austin is an absolute must-have in WWE video games and always there when Legends make the list. Interestingly, Steve Austin first made his debut in a WCW game.
1 The Wackies – WCW/nWo Thunder
That WCW/nWo ThundeThe roster could be the biggest WCW roster of all time. Along with a slew of WCW stars, it included a bunch of additional unlockable charters known as “The Wackies”.
These strange fictional charters included everything: an astronaut, a sailor, a pig man, Siamese twins, a horse named Hoof Hearted, a cow, a starfish, several insects, a skeleton, and many others.