How I ‘Got’ Wrestling Again

Throughout the PPV Project here in Conquistabores I’ve been going back and looking at the PPV events between 1996 and 1999 that I missed out on at the time. By Wrestlemania XII I was done with wrestling and the sixty minute snooze between HBK and Bret Hart in California didn’t exactly help matters.

Currently I’m up to the tail end of 1998 although King of the Ring 1999 was the first show I remember keeping an eye on results via my 56k modem connection on WWF.com. Each match ending could be streamed but only as a six second chunk. If I wanted to watch extended highlights then I’d have to use the cable connection in college. My interest in wrestling didn’t return due to catching a friend watching Raw or hearing about a classic match. My return to watching wrestling again is due to playing a really bad wrestling game called WWF Warzone on the Playstation 1.

wwfwarzone2.jpg

I probably bought it because I thought it might be a decent fighting game. Perhaps it was because I remembered Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart as they both featured in the game (although by the time it was released Bret was off to WCW). Looking back it was a terrible game with rubbish sound, terrible graphics and limited moves but I probably played it for hours back in 1998. I even had a multitap so four player battles were a regular thing during secondary school.

One of the best parts of the entire game was the career mode in which each opponent would have a full motion video promo before the match. It was a nice touch and properly gave some time to a part of wrestling that most modern games completely ignore. It did mean you sometimes had to listen to Ahmed Johnson shouting at you but you can’t have everything.

It’s via this game that I was reintroduced to wrestlers I caught the start of in the WWF around 1995-96. The Ring Master had become Stone Cold, Mankind had developed his character, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was Triple H. Through playing this game my interest started again and I’ll always have a soft spot for it in my heart for that.

Despite it playing like an absolute dog.

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