A playthrough of LJN’s 1990 game for the NES, WWF Wrestlemania Challenge.

I played through the Super Challenge mode with the “Yourself” character. Like I had a choice.

It feels a bit surreal saying this, but this LJN published (Rare developed) follow-up to WWF Wrestlemania is an awesome upgrade. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not met many people that would call the original WWF game a GOOD game. Sure, a fun game, many people would say, but not a good one. I loved it, even though it was always clearly a super-simple, fairly wonky game.

This game is just as easy to have fun with, but everything has been given a major overhaul. The controls now usually work the way you expect, despite (and maybe partly because) of the added complexity, and the new view angle makes the ring feel much bigger than before. Each opponent’s theme song still plays while you beat the snot of them, but they sound a whole lot better this time around. This game is frickin’ sweet!

And that’s before we even get to the roster! For this followup, you now have access to Brutus “The Barber”, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, The Big Boss Man, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Macho King” Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, the inimitable Hulk Hogan, and finally, our cover hero – The Ultimate Warrior. The match-ups here were literally the stuff of dreams for the eight-year-old me. I would fall asleep thinking about all sorts of wild match-ups, and a game allow me to act them out any way I wanted?

Somehow the game lived up to my impossible hopes. It was amazing then (and I know it wasn’t just me – it was always being featured in magazines and on TV shows, and I never recall reading a bad, or even meh, review about it). It was insanely popular, and it deserved to be. Instead of being among the lesser, “Look ma, we made nine new games in the past six weeks!” type of games (like it’s predecessor ultimately felt like) that Rare would occasionally shovel out, this one had a lot of thought and consideration put into it, and it ended up being one of the best wrestling games on the system. My sister and I played this and the original for SO MANY HOURS as kids, and it’s still so much fun to go back to, even if it poses virtually zero challenge after all of these years.

Just try to ignore that scarlet letter forced upon it’s breast. Or front-box art. LJN is the whore, not this game.
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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  1. Rick Rude's Rude Awakening finisher was the best move on the game. Amazing to think that Hulk Hogan (for me) was the worst wrestler on the game.

    1: Ultimate Warrior
    2: Rick Rude:
    3: Brutus Beefcake
    4: Macho King Randy Savage
    5: Andre The Giant
    6: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
    7: Big Boss Man
    8: Hulk Hogan

  2. They did a decent job with the sprites for the time and considering it was ljn. Hogan would be perfect if he had red knee pads

  3. I always loved choosing Yourself, & miss hearing that music for Yourself 1 & 2!!!!! All of the 8 bit versions of the Superstars' Entrance Theme Music were pretty well done for 8 bit standards!!!!! I miss playing that game, and just seeing that Selection Screen brings back memories!!!!!! I used to own this game WWF Wrestlemania Challenge & the first WWF Wrestlemania game for Nes with Hulk Hogan on the Cover was nostalgic for me!!!!!!

  4. As a kid, I imagined that the music that suddenly began playing as you wore down your opponent was actually your generic character's theme. Lol

  5. 7:35 Jack Tunney has ruled that since Andre the Giant had his body underneath the bottom rope, Yourself has been stripped of the WWF Championship and the title is declared vacant. He has ordered that a single elimination tournament be held to crown a new WWF Champion.

  6. I absolutely loved this game I remember playing it in my cousins when I was a kid one of my favourite games on the nes

  7. If I was Andre the giant and warrior threw me out the ring I had no idea how to get back in the ring as he couldn't climb the post. Or randomly he would jump out the ring and it was game over


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