During AKI’s legendary run of producing some of the best wrestling games ever made, they made two for the WWF: WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and WWF No Mercy. The latter is widely recognized by many – including me – as the single greatest wrestling video game of all-time. The former is…the precursor everyone forgot about in the shadow of the greatest wrestling video game of all time. Quite frankly, I have largely blocked out the existence of Wrestlemania 2000 from my mind until the opportunity arose to stream it on the eve of Wrestlemania 35. Playing the game again served as a great reminder for what makes it enjoyable to this day, but also why it faded into obscurity.
Wrestlemania 35 is in the books, but it’s never too late to revisit a classic! I dust off the Nintendo 64 to play the precursor to WWF No Mercy, WWF Wrestlemania 2000! We share a number of stories from wrestling’s past, my experiences with seeing a number of wrestlers at comic conventions, and my predictions for Wrestlemania 35!
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Before WCW vs. NWO World Tour, wrestling video games were very basic. Wrestlers were cartoony, move sets were limited and they primarily offered an arcade-like experience. For video game players of that time, this genre of game was fun for what it was. However, the genre definitely was lacking in the (dare I say it) realism department. As a wrestling fan at the time, I was disappointed in the fact that most of the games in the genre had only a handful of characters, a single shared move list across all characters except for finishers, and limited use of weapons (if there were weapons at all). I wanted to play a wrestling game that felt more like I was actually playing a WWF match, rather than playing a beat-em-up that just so happens to take place inside a wrestling ring.
Then I played WCW vs. NWO World Tour.