Total Extreme Wrestling
is a series of simulation computer games based off of Professional Wrestling
. It was started in 1995 by British programmer Adam Ryland initially as a card game but quickly became a computer program due to the complex rules and long setup required. It was initially called Extreme Warfare
The series gained a bit of popularity when Extreme Warfare Deluxe
was released, but gained an even higher level of fame when Extreme Warfare Revenge
was released in 2002.
The series jumped from freeware to a professional product in 2004 when the first Total Extreme Warfare
was released. The series soon changed its name to Total Extreme Wrestling
Games in the Series:
- Extreme Warfare: The initial release of the series and reportedly very basic compared to what the series would become. Nine different versions were released. Somewhat difficult to find...
- Extreme Warfare Deluxe: Coded entirely from scratch instead of using the code from the previous version. Enhanced the financial and game world.
- Extreme Warfare Revenge: The final version of the series to be initially released for free. Overwent four major revisions with minor changes along the way. Notable in that several actual wrestlers mentioned playing this game.
- Total Extreme Wrestling: Released via .400 Software for the 2004 version and with Greydog Software for 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Greatly enhances the game from Revenge, adding in more realistic development territories and more micromanagement when it comes to event times. 2005 was eventually made freeware to promote TEW 2008 and other games made by Ryland.
This series provides examples of...
- After Action Report: A significant number of players run these, and references to some of the more popular and influential ones can be found in the game - see Ascended Meme below.
- And the Adventure Continues: The game can run potentially forever, with characters who retire from the game being replaced.
- Ascended Meme: A number of diary characters, gimmicks and aliases have been referenced in the official database.
- Author Avatar: A borderline example, as Tommy Cornell—a very famous and successful wrestler and promoter in the created universe—is named after an eFed character that Ryland once played.
- In Extreme Warfare Revenge, applying the "Ryland Effect" gimmick to a wrestler essentially turns him into one of these. Naturally, it's the most over gimmick in the game.
- Competitive Multiplayer
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Several of the restrictions that apply to the player don't apply to the AI.
- Expy: Countless. Ryland has admitted that a number of characters were originally inspired by real life wrestlers, generally as composites rather than direct counterparts. Threads debating who in real life may have inspired which character are always popular on the forums.
- Fictional Document: Ryland has written a series of articles on the characters, promotions and history of the Cornellverse.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Just like in Real Life, there are injuries that can severely limit a wrestler's ability to work. You can expect to see someone never be the same after a long injury.
- Game Mod: Several for all iterations of the game, most of them being based on several earlier years in wrestling. The Alternate Universe mod iDomination is also fairly popular.
- Holiday Mode: In Extreme Warfare Revenge having a show on a certain date such as Christmas, Valentine's Day and certain other holidays unlocked special angles that could only be used on that day. A non-holiday example was the creator's birthday, where a segment could be selected where he comes out and beats up a wrestler of your choosing.
- Just One More Level: Or show, in this case.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Every game prior to Extreme Warfare 2001 is almost impossible to find online. Also, due to .400 Software's closure in 2006, Total Extreme Wrestling 2004 is Lost Forever save for those who held on to their purchased copy.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: More than 2,000 in the Cornellverse, which comes packaged with the game. Some mods contain much more than that.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The owners of the companies can impose some stringent hiring rules, quite apart from preventing you hiring anyone they don't like.
- Professional Wrestling: Simulates being the booker (matchmaker) and owner of a professional wrestling promotion.
- Pro Wrestling Is Real: One of the few wrestling games that subverts this. You choose which wrestler wins the match and how (in most versions).
- Retraux: The Death Of The Territories mod, set in a stylized version of 1983, comes with a graphic pack that gives the user interface a more "1980's Wrestling" feel. The normally red background is replaced with a wall of old promotional flyers and pictures from the era.
- Spin-Off: Ryland released two more similar games with sequels: Wrestling Spirit; a game in which Pro Wrestling Is Real and you control a single wrestler throughout his or her career; and World of Mixed Martial Arts.
- Status Quo Is God: The details may change, but the game world broadly remains the same from version to version for reasons of Competitive Balance.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: There are a few workers and federations that are clearly based off of current or historical things in the real world.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Dozens of companies, thousands of wrestlers, and lots of mods available to put players at almost any point in the last thirty years or so of the real world wrestling business.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Due to copyright issues, the freeware's habit of having a default scenario based off of the real world couldn't happen once the game went up for sale. Ryland responded by creating his own fictional world.