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Video Game: Saturday Night Slam Masters

CWA: Capcom Wrestling Association - The world's largest among the bunch of wrestling associations which mushroomed in 1980's. With its legendary champion disappearing, CWA is going to host a world tournament called "CWA Crush Carnival." Use your tactics and techniques to beat out terrifying contestants.
Game description from the FM Towns version.

Saturday Night Slam Masters (Muscle Bomber: The Body Explosion in Japan) is a wrestling/fighting game released by Capcom in 1993 for the arcades. The original game is a typical wrestling game set on the viewpoint used by fighting games, with the winning conditions being either a 3-count pin, 20 seconds ring out or forcing the opponent to give up. The story revolves around the CWA (Capcom Wrestling Association), which was formed by 8 different wrestling groups all led by Victor Ortega. When Ortega suddenly vanishes, the group falls into chaos and the BWA (Blood Wrestling Association) takes advantage. A tournament is started to find the new chief of the CWA. The game itself has no actual story, and the endings are just the winning character bragging about his victory.

The original has a roster of 10 wrestlers, almost all of which have dub name changes. They are presented English name first:

  • Alexander the Grater (Sheep the Royal): Hailing from Australia, a former rugby player who moved to America and gained notoriety for being way too violent. After being kicked out of football, he turned to pro wrestling.
  • Biff Slamkovich (Aleksey Salazof): An Ukrainian wrestler from a bureaucratic family who trains under Mike Haggar. He hates when people don't take wrestling seriously. Alex bears more than a passing resemblance to him.
  • El Stingray (El Stinger): Mexican masked luchador with a highly flashy and acrobatic style, which he's very proud of.
  • Gunloc (Lucky Colt): American wrestler very popular with the crowd. He trains alongside Biff with Haggar, and has the bad habit of hitting on Jessica whenever he can, gaining the hatred of Jessica's boyfriend Cody. The English localization threw in hints about him being related to a certain Street Fighter character, which were picked up by Street Fighter: The Movie, where the cyborg character Blade is revealed to be him, as well as Guile's brother (rather than being hinted about it).
  • Jumbo Flapjack (Kimala the Bouncer): A BWA wrestler from Chicago and the dragon to Scorpion. He enjoys seeing blood dripping from his victims. Before joining Scorpion he worked first as a bouncer and later as a wrestler's bodyguard, in both cases losing his job after getting a bit too violent.
  • King Rasta Mon ("Missing IQ" Gomez): Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Rasta Mon lived peacefully among monkeys until he was found and his abilities tested, which led to him joining pro wrestling. He has a monkey buddy, Freak, which serves as his manager.
  • Mike "Macho" Haggar: Everyone's favorite Metro City mayor, in his pre-elections wrestling career (changed in the English version as being post-mayoral career; Haggar comes out of retirement to show all the young punks in the CWA what a real wrestler is).
  • The Great Oni (Mysterious Budo): A flashy and speedy wrestler from Japan, which excites the crowd with his style. He's got a rivalry with El Stingray due to their fast and flashy styles.
  • The Scorpion (The Astro): The mysterious leader of the BWA, whose past is unknown. The closest the game has to a big bad.
  • Titanic Tim (Titan the Great): An English wrestler who uses his large size to intimidate his opponent. He's acquaintances with Birdie and at times they formed a tag team nicknamed "500 Trillon Power."

Following ports for the SNES and Mega Drive, an Updated Re-release titled Muscle Bomber Duo was released in arcades, focusing on the tag team mode of the original. Finally, a third game was released under the name Ring of Destruction - Slam Masters II (Super Muscle Bomber: The International Blowout in Japan), which ditched the wrestling mechanics for a pure fighting game experience (in other words, it featured round-based matches and victory by K.O.), under the excuse of Scorpion changing the rules. Outside that, the game follows the same non-plot as before, now with Ortega coming out of retirement to hold the final bout for the championship. The ten original wrestlers are joined by four new ones:

  • Black Widow: Hailing from Germany, she's the only female wrestler, albeit she's actually hiding that fact (she uses a masculine voice in-game and all, and her ending has her ditching the act).
  • Rip Saber: A Canadian BWA wrestler and former military, which uses any means necessary to attain victory.
  • The Wraith: An Indian wrestler with a ghastly appearances, who fights using his long fingernail and a host of snakes hidden within his clothes.
  • Victor Ortega: Legendary wrestler and the founder of the CWA, he retired after finding no one able to beat him, and is later invited by Scorpion to participate in the third game, prompting him to return to pro wrestling. He's seen in the first two games in the intro and endings.

This game provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The Japanese flyer for the original Muscle Bomber gives out extensive backstories for all the playable wrestlers and as well as some of the non-player characters (including Harry Hicks, the referee). Naturally, in typical Capcom fashion, the backstories in the English version of the game are not exactly consistent.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Green-skinned Wraith, though he's meant to look like The Undead.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Black Widow.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Rasta Mon's monkey Freak is said to have a basic understanding of human language. Then again, he's also Rasta Mon's manager.
  • Arachnid Appearance and Attire: Black Widow.
  • Ascended Extra: Ortega started out as just a story-only character, but became the final boss of the third game.
  • Badass Beard: Ortega.
  • Badass Mustache: Haggar, who else?
  • Bald of Evil: Jumbo Flapjack and Alexander.
  • Beard of Evil: Jumbo Flapjack.
  • Berserk Button: Titanic Tim hates being called a "disco reject"; apparently he hears that a lot due to his clothing.
  • Blood Knight: Ortega.
  • Breath Weapon: Jumbo Flapjack.
  • The Brute: Alexander and Jumbo Flapjack.
  • The Cameo: Jumbo Flapjack and Biff Slamkovich appear in Ken's stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2, along a bunch of other "Capcom universe guests" for his then girlfriend Eliza's birthday party.
    • At times, Jessica would appear and enter the ring to cheer with her father in his victory pose.
    • Balrog (the boxer, that is) and Zangief each appear in the background of a stage in Slam Masters 2 — namely, in their hometowns of Las Vegas and Moscow, respectively.
  • Captain Ersatz: Several. Ortega = Hulk Hogan, El Stingray = Lizmark, The Scorpion = Tinieblas, Alexander the Grater = Big Van Vader, Great Oni = Great Kabuki, Jumbo Flapjack = Earthquake/Kamala, Rip Saber = Bret Hart, etc.
    • Expy: Jumbo Flapjack is basically Zangief with a sun-and-moon motif and also from Mr. Heart. Gunloc, King Rasta and Rip Saber share several traits with Guile, Blanka and Rolento, respectively and Titanic Jim is basically a British Raoh.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Rip Saber, reflected in his movelist in which he employs things such as hand grenades to fight.
    • Jumbo Flapjack will choke out opponents with his wrist tape and he breathes mist.
    • King Rasta Mon and the Wraith both bite opponents in some of their grapples.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Every player in Team Battle mode. Strangely enough, mirror matches were not allowed until the Duo version, even though every character has a different palette for each player in Team Battle mode in addition to the standard palette used in Single Match mode.
    • Player 1 - Red.
    • Player 2 - Blue.
    • Player 3 - Yellow.
    • Player 4 - Green.
  • Dumb Muscle: King Rasta Mon, or as his Japanese name puts it, "Missing IQ."
  • Canada, Eh?: Rip Saber; the English version of Ring of Destruction says he's Australian, though. That said, Kimala had previously gone from American to the Canadian Jumbo Flapjack. Jumbo's always talking about felling logs, and even says "eh?"
  • Comic Book Time: The Japanese backstory sets the series before the events of Final Fight and based on Haggar's age difference between both games, the original Muscle Bomber is supposed to be set in 1983 (six years before Final Fight). However, the games never actually make any attempt to make it look like they're set in The Eighties (particularly Aleksey Zalazof is established to be from the former Soviet Union and the game uses the current tricolor flag of Russia instead of the red and yellow Soviet one). The Japanese flyer for Super Muscle Bomber actually establishes that the game is set in 1994.
  • Contortionist: Wraith, on top of his size and super natural powers, is also supremely flexible.
  • Dub Name Change: As seen above, all of the wrestlers in the first game except Haggar (who merely lost the "Macho" nickname).
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Several techniques, Haggar being the best known example with his Spinning Clothesline and Spinning Piledriver.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Ortega does this for being the final boss in Ring of Destruction.
  • Fat Bastard: Jumbo Flapjack and Alexander.
  • Final Boss: Scorpion at first, Ortega in the third game.
  • Finishing Move: Each character has both a signature and hidden finisher.
  • Fanservice: Aside from all of the macho men (for the ladies and maybe some guys), there's also Black Widow's reveal. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the only female of the cast sheds her concealing disguise to reveal herself wearing nothing more than a leotard cut to resemble a training bra and thong.
  • Fragile Speedster: El Stingray.
  • Garbage Wrestler: Rip Saber utilizes foreign objects such as shovels and hand grenades in his special moves.
  • Genre Shift: The original Slam Masters was a typical 2D wrestling game with limited depth movement in which players were required to pin their opponents to win a match. Slam Masters II on the other hand plays like a typical 2D fighting game with multiple attack buttons, a single-fighting plane, victory by KO, and a round-based format.
  • The Giant: Titanic Tim, officially standing over 7'9". His bio lists his style as "Giant Wrestling", which as you can imagine means he mostly fights by being really huge.
    • The Wraith is 7'2", taller than everyone except Titanic Tim, though his fighting style is based on contortion and supernatural powers.
    • Jumbo Flapjack probably also counts by virtue of his girth, but at a listed height of 6'7" he's also pretty tall. That being said he doesn't fight like one that much, though his super grapple is a giant swing.
  • Heroic Build: Everyone. Not for nothing the art is done by the author of Fist of the North Star, Tetsuo Hara.
  • Husky Russkie: Biff is actually an inversion, being a more balanced character and not even the tallest.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Black Widow.
  • Inevitable Tournament
  • In-Series Nickname: All wrestlers are given nicknames in their bios. Also, certain tag teams in Duo are recognized by the computer and given a specific nickname, like Biff and Gunloc being the "Hyper Cannons."
  • Jack of All Stats: Biff Slamkovich.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: El Stingray was technically this for being the shortest wrestler, standing at 5'6". He's an ankle biter.
  • Latin Lover: In one of his losing quotes, El Stingray bemoans that the ladies won't appreciate his newly messed-up face.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Jumbo Flapjack is quite agile for a man of his size.
    • Ortega is also a particularly fine example of this trope. While he's not fat like Jumbo, he is still easily one of the largest and heaviest men in the game, but has movement speeds on par with speedsters like Oni, Stingray and Scorpion.
  • Market-Based Title: Strangely enough, the second game (Muscle Bomber Duo) kept the original Muscle Bomber name for its World version, while the third (Super Muscle Bomber: The International Blowout) is localized as Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II.
  • Masked Luchador: El Stingray and Scorpion.
  • Mighty Glacier: A few, Titanic Tim being the most prominent.
  • Mirror Match: Absent in the first arcade game.
    • Added in the Genesis version, where each character has four palettes that are selected depending on which button of the standard Genesis controller the player uses to pick their character. The standard palette for each character is selected by pressing the B button.
    • In Muscle Bomber Duo and Ring of Destruction, the characters' color palette are automatically assigned depending on the player selecting the character (unlike in the Street Fighter series, in which players get to choose their palette). Because of this, Player 2 in Ring of Destruction always uses the character's alternate palette no matter what and all the players use alternate palettes in Muscle Bomber Duo to make it easier to distinguish everyone since all the matches are 2-on-2.
  • Mission Pack Sequel: Muscle Bomber Duo is this to the original Slam Masters.
  • Moveset Clone: Biff and Gunloc have nearly-identical movesets, though uniquely enough for this trope most of their shared moves have different inputs between them. They also have unique projectile attacks and stock grapples. This is justified as both were training partners and rivals.
  • Multiple Endings/Cliff Hanger: In the first game, simply beating the game has your character challenged at the championship ceremony by three unnamed wrestlers who, judging by their attire, have formed a Power Stable. Beat the game without continuing, and instead you are challenged by a returning Victor Ortega. Either way, you don't get to play, or even see, the fight; instead, the game ends as the new challenger(s) climb into the ring, with the phrase "The next battle begins..."
  • Mysterious Past/Shrouded in Myth: The Scorpion.
  • Non-Player Character: The game's referee, Harry Hicks. He's even graced with his own bio. Also Jessica, as well as Ortega in the first game only.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The names of the English versions are all over the place.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: All of the characters' and backstories were changed in translation in the overseas version of the first game. The setting was even changed from being set before Final Fight to being set afterward.
  • Prequel: To Final Fight (in the Japanese version at least).
  • Professional Wrestling
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: Not that it would really matter, you wouldn't want them breaking the fourth wall in the middle of a show would you? And a management sim doesn't scream "put quarters in me".
  • Raised by Monkeys: King Rasta Mon.
  • Rated M for Manly: Like it even needed to be said.
  • Retired Badass: Ortega.
  • The Rival: Oni and Stingray have a rivalry over their flashy styles, while Gunloc and Biff are both rivals and training partners.
  • Samus Is a Girl/Sweet Polly Oliver: Black Widow.
  • Shared Universe: By virtue of the fact that Mike Haggar is a playable character and various Street Fighter II characters (such as Chun-Li, Honda, Zangief, and Balrog) can be seen in the backgrounds of certain stages.
  • Shock and Awe: Scorpion can somehow generate lightning, thought he's only seen using it the intro and his taunt.
  • Shout-Out/Continuity Nod: In Hugo's ending in Street Fighter III 2nd Impact, his opponents in a tag team match are presented as either Biff and Gunloc or Black Widow and Haggar.
    • Biff Slamkovich mentions a "Comrade Zangief" in his losing quote.
    • Haggar's Limit Break in Namco x Capcom is named after this series.
    • In the Creative Closing Credits of Capcom's RPG game Breath of Fire II, a group of bouncer Mini Bosses are given names. Which ones? Kimala (Flapjack), Gomes (Rasta Mon), Titan (Tim), Sheep (Alexander), and "Astoro" (mangled Astro, a.k.a. The Scorpion).
    • The logo for Super Muscle Bomber, the Japanese version of Ring of Destruction, uses the same font to spell "SUPER" that was previously used for the Super Street Fighter II logo. The SUPER word sprite also appears whenever a successive special throw is performed right after a taunt.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Black Widow is the only female character.
  • SNK Boss: The Scorpion.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Out of all the women in Capcom fighting games, Black Widow is the largest, dwarfing them all at 6'6", 209lbs. Judging by her ending, at least 60% of that height is in her legs.
  • Tag Team: One of the play modes, made the central focus in Muscle Bomber Duo.
  • Title Drop: At least in the original version, as it's the In-Series Nickname of Ortega ("Master of Muscle Bomber").
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Most characters.
  • Wild Child: King Rasta Mon's backstory describes him living like an animal in the mountainous forests of the Dominican Republic well into adulthood until he was discovered by civilized people.
  • Wild Samoan: Rasta is from an Atlantic island rather than a Pacific one, but otherwise, he's a perfect example of the trope, fighting with bites and headbutts and running around with a monkey.
  • Wrestling Game: Only applies to the original game and Duo. Slam Masters II is really more of a competitive fighting game with wrestling gimmicks.
  • Wrestling Monster: The Wraith. Yikes.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The Great Oni has pink hair.
    • Played straight in Muscle Bomber Duo with Biff, Gunloc, and Oni's 2P palettes for having exactly blue hair. Their 1P, 3P, and 4P palettes respectively give them pink, yellow, and green hair.
    • Biff and Oni have white hair in their 2P palettes from Ring of Destruction.

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alternative title(s): Muscle Bomber; Saturday Night Slam Masters
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