The mid-90’s were pretty weird when it comes to wrestling games. Technology at the time was more focused on getting relatively picture-perfect visuals and actual, non-midi audio into the game than creating anything playable, and Acclaim pretty much cornered the market on unplayable. While WCW vs. NWO was working towards gameplay perfection, WWF was pushing their brand experience.
In 1993, Acclaim produced Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game, which was a fun arcade beat-em-up that doubled as a good bit of kayfabe propaganda for the WWF. The fighters really hit each other, and their special moves were less lethal versions of Mortal Kombat‘s fatalities, which were all the rage at the time. In 1995, Acclaim followed-up with the Playstation 1, Sega Saturn and PC version of the game titled WWF: In Your House. The whole gimmick was that the stages were in the homes of the fighters. Funny enough, each house had their own ring that was themed just like the fighter! Undertaker had a spooky dungeon with skulls on the turnbuckles. While Wrestlemania was perfectly acceptable as a quarter eater, In Your House sucked. It was awful, even if you could visit Stu Hart’s dungeon.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t be nostalgic for pre-Raw is War times. And it also doesn’t mean we can’t be nostalgic for bad videogames for some reason. These were the days where technology entranced us, and damn the naysayers. We were hearing Vince McMahon call the action NBA Live-style. Naturally, it’s impossible to look away from these pictures showing off some blue-screen sessions for In Your House.
Here’s the Undertaker, contemplating the no-doubt intricate script that likely has him doing spooky sit ups and Tombstone piledrivers.
Next up is Goldust, with a producer likely telling him to be slightly more sexual so the cameras can pick it up.
And finally, here’s the late, great Owen Hart, posing for a dive off the virtual turnbuckle.
The rest of the photos are an extremely cool look at the yesteryear (and dawn) of WWF video games. Head over to Flickr to see the rest of the album. There’s an ornery Undertaker and and even a tired Bret Hart to gaze at. And finally, because you deserve it, here’s WWF: In Your House in action. The first matchup is a doozy, with the bizarre Goldust taking on the bizarre Goldust.