WOAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH TAKE A LOOK AT ME!
Earlier this morning, the digital preservation community Hidden Palace dropped a huge list of unreleased versions of games including a localization of Curse, and a prototype of Earnest Evans that features an unused intro and ending. One of the most interesting games on the list, however, is a localized version of Thunder Pro Wrestling Retsuden published by DreamWorks and starring the noted conspiracy theorist and Minnesota governor himself, Jesse Ventura.
Titled Jesse “The Body” Ventura Wrestling Superstars, the game features a cast of generic wrestlers surrounding Jesse, with such names as Sumo, Storm, Rockin’, and my personal favorite, a Jushin Thunder Liger knockoff simply named Death. While the game was submitted for approval to Sega of America and set to release stateside for the Sega Mega Drive, development of the game was abandoned for unknown reasons.
What makes this interesting is that its release would have predated the first ever Fire Pro Wrestling game to make it to the states by 9 years. It wasn’t until 2001 that the twenty-second Fire Pro Wrestling made its way to the Gameboy Advance.
Very little is known about the game, its development, or why it was cancelled. It’s rumored that this game was originally developed as intended, as a western Fire Pro Game starring Ventura, and that the assets were repurposed into Thunder Pro Wrestling Retsuden after development was cancelled. A June 1991 issue of GamePro magazine reinforces this theory, claiming that the game would be out in July. However, considering that Japanese games rarely get developed to be primarily western releases, and the build date on the ROM of March 2nd, 1992 being so close to the Thunder Pro release of the 27th, this doesn’t seem very likely.
You can download the ROM yourself and play it for yourself here.