As weird as it may sound, there are people out there who apparently believe so. This wasn’t something I was aware of until I read the following clip from the game’s Wikipedia entry:
"It was the first (and to date, only) video game based on the National Wrestling Alliance (at the time, WCW was a member of NWA). After the Road Warriors left WCW for the World Wrestling Federation, they were replaced on the box front, instruction booklet, and cartridge label by Sting.” [X]
At first I didn’t think much of it since Wikipedia isn’t site known for it’s accuracy, but I did want to look further into this to see if it was true and if it wasn’t, where this info would have came from…
WCW Wrestling was released for the NES in March of 1990 and featured both Road Warrior Hawk and Road Warrior Animal on the box’s front cover and instruction manual. Since the Road Warriors left WCW and made their official World Wrestling Federation debut a few months after the game’s release, having the game completely repackaged wouldn’t be so far fetched, right? I mean, the only other instance I can think of regarding something like this was whenever Nintendo re-released Punch-Out!! for the NES without Mike Tyson’s name anywhere on it as their license for that character had expired. In WCW’s case, it would be something similar but involving the wrestling company’s unwillingness to advertise stars for their biggest competition.
After searching through eBay auctions and Google searches, I could not find any trace of a WCW Wrestling box or cartridge featuring Sting. I threw a question over to NESguide on Twitter regarding the existence of an alternate version of the game, and he directed me over to a website devoted to maintaining a detailed database of every video game to be released for the original Nintendo.
According to NintendoAge, an alternate cart for WCW Wrestling does NOT exist. There wasn’t a re-release years later with Sting replacing the Road Warriors. There aren’t any rare carts of this floating around the country waiting to be discovered and sold for an insane amount of money. Never happened, case closed.
But surely, this had to come from somewhere, right? I mean, could there be something more to this?
As it turns out, World Championship Wrestling themselves actually did advertise a different version of WCW Wrestling. Instead of having a photo of The Road Warriors show up in their official WCW Magazine, a hack cut-and-paste job with Sting in their place was shown inside their official WCW merchandise catalog:
Taken from WCW Magazine [April 1992]
There’s no evidence to suggest that these carts were actually made and shipped out across the country. Anyone who ordered the game from the magazine would just have received the only version of WCW Wrestling that ever existed — with The Road Warriors on the box.
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