Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame Charter and Purpose
2012 Hall of Fame Introduction
It is, however, in the spirit of recognizing and honoring the dedicated individuals who in some way made memorable impressions on the rest of us, either with their programming moxie or contributing some other entertainment or resource for us as sim fans, over the years, that we present this Hall of Fame. Secondly we pay tribute to the sims that have passed the test of time and the ones that have come out on top and see which ones maintained a glimmer of potential in the memories of older fans.Here, then, is the Professional Wrestling Simulator Hall of Fame.
Dave Fenwick, David Tiemroth, Tony Graziano, Lord Hart, Geoff Ulam, Lance Haffner, Kieron Parr
The 2012 Steel Hall of Fame entries are essentially honorable mentions, as they all received at least 1 vote but not enough to garner a full 1 percent, so they are all "tied" here. First up is Dave Fenwick for his Career Sim and infinite spellings of his last name, and apparently easily-forgotten hacking hijinx. David Tiemroth gave us Suplex, one of the first sims I ever played. Tony "Graz" Graziano was a polarizing figure, sometimes when there wasn't even a second side, but you could never ignore him. Lord Hart ... had a bear on his head, in one photograph and served in PWSE as many different functions. Geoff Ulam was a young and idealistic young fan and PWSE assistant, including in the forums, and I still talk to him today. Lance Haffner was the only other person known solely for a commercial sim, but as he never associated with the sim community for his Rampage Wrestling, and this is an honorable mentions, I'll simply honorably mention him here, along with Kieron Parr, who wrote a bit for PWSE as well as kindly filling in a few other spots as well when needed.
Download David Tiemroth's "Suplex"
Geoff Ulam's "Stalwart Blue"
Jamie Goehring, Carl Aldrich, Mark Burns, Frank Crabtree, Richard Batt, Ryan Chartrand, Bruce Bolos (1%)
These 2012 Hall of Fame entrants are the last that registered as whole percentage votes, all tying. Jamie Goehring is best known of course for 5th Generation Wrestling Wrestling Sim (5GWS), "Hollywood" Carl Aldrich gave us HCWS, Mark Burns and Bruce B. Bolos are two of the few that turned out wrestling sims for the Apple/Mac, "Blaise" Frank Crabtree, when he wasn't busy Picking and Grinning, was working on Squared Circle Wrestling, about the same time that Richard Batt was working on Battio Games' productions like Total Wrestling Promoter and WCW Promoter, while Ryand Chartrand, in his guise as Tommy Mauler, was kind enough to work with me, Jason Patterson, on my own weird project, Freestyle Online.
5th Generation Wrestling Sim Site
Ryan Chartrand's Twitter
Chance Webster, Tom Filsinger (2%)
Although I believe these are no less important in the history of simulators, they are either farther removed from most sim fans' memories or interests, in that Chance Webster was the founder of cdWeb's Wrestling Sim Guide, probably the oldest direct inspiration for the PWSE (he was also an invaluable asset to PWSE for a number of years), and Tom Filsinger, creator of the Champions of the Galaxy card and dice game (not strictly a "simulator").
Champions of the Galaxy Site
Brian Brinegar, Jody O'Halloran, Phil Parent, Stuart Smith (3%)
The following inductees into the 2012 Hall of Fame as Copper Bison grade achivements denote they all contributed enough to the sim community as a whole to receive the same percentage of votes and are tied. Brian Brinegar of course is best known as the most notable member of Geeksoft, publisher of the Zeus Pro simulator. Jody O'Halloran is also known as ESWFCommish because, coincidentally, he created the Edge of Survival Wrestling sim. Phil Parent turns out to have been "RaveX", known best for producing data sets for Extreme Warfare, among other personal projects, and of course Stuart Smith, another Brit who helmed the PWSE website for many years.
Zeus Pro Site (Geeksoft)
Oliver Copp (4%)
Unique in being the only German coder and only one known solely for a commercial simulator, Oliver Copp has always been a very academically-inclined and detail-oriented person, and all his products reflect that, in the thoroughness and logic inherent in the design of their components. He very kindly open-sourced the original Qbasic/DOS version of TNM 6.2 a few years back, and now focuses on TNM7.
The TNM site also listed a number of wrestling simulator links and resources for a long time, which was no doubt a help to a lot of fans and authors, and he rounds out the main primary recipients of the Individual Contributions portion of the 2012 Hall of Fame with the Bronze award.
Gary Liebler (5%)
"Gaz" has worked on various things in his illustrious career, from helping out with the PWSE, to creating Sim Download, to a few incarnations of Trivia Rumble, to the solid Pro Wrestling Nexus (PWN), which was sadly a victum of circumstance as the general sim community started to fade in the mid to late 2000's. He has, however, remained active with his own coding and Exevent Games and with various other figures and companies, recently with Black Dragon Games, a dedication which, although he was not initially a known figure in the early years of sims, still earns his place in the 2012 Titanium Hall of Fame. Congratulations Gary!
Gary's Exevent Games
Adam Jennings (13%)
Another English gent named Adam with a pro wrestling interest and a knack for coding, Jennings helmed the only real competition to Ryland's massive juggernaut, and Promotion Wars indeed lived up to its name, becoming a solid rival in a lot of ways with the other Adam's longer-historied sim. With a similar fanbase of creative and eager proponents, Promotion Wars spawned its own fan mods and forums like EW, and a somewhat officially announced sequel primed the wrestling sim world, but the cancellation of same took the wind out of the PW sails as Mr. Jennings was saddled with more offline/real-world obligations and responsibilities and unable to seemingly be quite as active in his community as Ryland, besides not having near the experience or past versions of his sim, dropping him to a respectable 2012 Silver Wolf Hall of Fame induction.
Promotion Wars Site
Matt Dickie (20%)
Around the year 2000, right before the deadly Y2K bug struck and killed almost the entire world by having our blenders strangle us with their cords while we slept unsuspectingly, MDickie began releasing some still primitive but promising graphics-based wrestling games - you can call them "sims" in that they simulate being a wrestler, but they are in the style of the usual hand-eye videogames rather than the keypress-fests that most sim fans were used to, and I think that is what is responsible for MD being largely glossed over by most fans and sim site figures (including PWSE, unfortunately).
Regardless of any opinions on the programmer's personal views, his turned out increasingly improved games and eventually released all his stuff for free and is continuing to do so, even open-sourcing them and making them available for portable platforms. Just that amount of innovation and go-it-alone fortitude is enough to secure him the 2012 Gold Hall of Fame spot.
Adam Ryland (32%)
Starting in 1995 with the original Extreme Warfare series, Englishman and inventor of the Brainwave Interface Device, Adam Ryland, turned his wrestling card game idea into a DOS/Qbasic program instead, and history was born - a history that would eventually lead to his producing commercial simulators like for Grey Dog Software.
Adam Ryland and Grey Dog Software
With a rabidly loyal following of active and creative fans, Mr. Ryland's community interaction during his initial release of dozens of versions of EW, and just his effort in general, more than justify his place as the 2012 Platinum entry into the Pro Wrestling Simulator Hall of Fame.
Rampage Wrestling, Champions of the Galaxy, Ring King Wrestling Sim, Total Extreme Wrestling (1%)
More honorable mentions, this time for the simulators themselves, rather than the figures - again, these are all tied at 1% each. While it was packed full of wrestlers and moves, Rampage Wrestling had a lot of "sameness" and as a DOS "press a key" game, could only go so far. Champions of the Galaxy, again, is overlooked due to its non-standard medium of play. RingKing's wrestling sims were very popular at the peak of them, but I think suffered a large blow during the Great Internet Glitch (1998-2001), when HUGE masses of simulators were lost, belonging to many people, seemingly at random. It seems like everybody's hard drives failed at once and nobody had backups, and while they were not cutting edge rocket-surgery, RingKing's stuff was solid and a great bit of textbook nostalgia. Oddly, the last entry here is actually another Ryland sim, being his Total Extreme Wrestling, a commercial sim.
Champions of the Galaxy Site
Total Extreme Wrestling Site
5th Generation Wrestling Simulator (4%)
Although it has gone through quite a few changes, 5GWS is still active and that by itself earns it a spot in the Hall of Fame, and hopefully that kind of encouragement, along with its already proven up-to-date sleek look and tight interface and attention to quality and detail and just effort and willingness to listen to fans, will really be able to turn out something great, in every new release.
Black Dragon Games Phoenix
Edge of Survival Wrestling Federation (5%)
One could almost copy and paste a lot of what was said for Zeus Pro, in that ESWF was an innovative sim and highly evolved in its longevity, but also in the pure character of the sim, from the fictional wrestlers in it, to the interface itself, the GUI, the humor, the similar procedural logic and integrity that kept it running smoothly, the selection-based user interface, in-the-ring career mode and sophisticated overall coding and user configurability. A true gem. When the award was handed out to Jody "ESWFCommish" O'Halloran, his response was: "And just 5%! sigh. oh well, I was up against some real juggernauts. I regret bothering to try to make a commissioner mode. that took a herculean effort to plop on top of the game. I wish I had have spent more time creating zany career stories to follow. i coulda changed West Texas Rednecks' 'Rap is Crap' angle into a West Texas Bottlecaps Coke/Pepsi feud!" He finished his "official" reply for the awards by saying Geoff Ulam's article was good - high praise!
Zeus Pro (7%)
It is a testament to these older, lower ranked sims, of their solid coding, simplicity, replayability and user-friendliness and character, that they remain well-regarded even years and years later, even with little or no direct support or "activity" for the sim itself.
Zeus Pro Site (Geeksoft)
Zeus was similar to TNM in that it followed a logical componential progression in its design, and obviously owed its heritage to both DOS top-down programming and "new" object oriented programming for Graphical User Interfaces for visual languages.
Placement is based on not only quality and popularity, but also availability (how many people have played a game), so while the open-sourced TNM 6.2 is also represented here, TNM 7 is as well, and it is likely that many of those who voted in the sim poll do not purchase many sims, so it is not surprising that while TNM did blip onto the rader to be entered into the Hall of Fame, it is not a particularly high status, even though the program itself is modern format.
Wrestling MPire (9%)
This is probably about the appropriate placement for Matt Dickie's flagship graphical wrestling game, though this entry also represents all his products in general, as they continued to improve over the years. He was overlooked, and still is not all that well known to many "hardcore" sim fans, due to his releases being more like console video wrestling games, and while they aren't THQ quality, for free, they're a very generous offering from an obvious wrestling fan, to other wrestling fans, with some unique takes and interesting concepts and ideas and potential.
Wrestling MPire Site
Pro Wrestling Nexus (11%)
Maybe it is due to it being one of the most recently active sims, but Mr. Liebler's Pro Wrestling Nexus makes a surprise leap ahead of quite a few other sims one would have expected to have had higher vote saturation, if more older fans had voted.
Pro Wrestling Nexus Site
This is to take nothing away from PWN, as it is a very solid and sleek looking, new, colorful GUI based simulator that any modern computer user would demand, even in a free game, and it delivers, with various modes and features and options, and shows the signs of a dedicated creator, constantly refining his work.
Promotion Wars (12%)
Coming in at a surprisingly low 12% for the Gold Hall of Fame entry, Promotion Wars faded a bit as it was announced no PW2 would be forthcoming, and the EW series kicked into high gear and Ryland was poised to investigate commercial sim prospects.
Promotion Wars Site
Make no mistake, the Promotion Wars fans and community was and still is strong and vocal and imaginative, but its smaller size fanbase and releases makes it the more niche of the two luminary promoter sims, but still significant enough to easily earn its place in the Hall of Fame.
Extreme Warfare (39%)
Along with Promotion Wars, Extreme Warfare brought the "Promoter" style of simulator into existence, allowing players to book matches, fire and hire wrestlers, worry about contracts, merchandising and other backroom concerns that would prove more than immensely popular - it would eclipse all other types of simulator completely, to the point of essentially engulfing all simulator fandom, and while Promotion Wars was a main rival, there can be no doubt which sim had deeper pockets.
EWR Resource Tumblr
Quartz Quagmire Award:
GTI (Tony Graziano), VGI (Hussein F.), Jake Bohnert, "Jetpac", Dave Fenwick
These people, while perhaps providing their share of bad-blood, hard times and frustration due to their various "feuds" and other shenanigans, also provided unquestionably memorable times in sims, and due to their natures and antics alone, provided what, looking back on it now, was some pretty guiltily enjoyable entertainment.
Amber Awkwardness Award:
Straddle. Teri. If that doesn't ring any bells, then you're definitely a newer fan. For the others that do remember the "world's first and only female wrestling simulator", its alleged "design" by a "female apartment wrestler", and the enticing question, "Who hasn't fantasized about their girlfriend being pitted against her pretty best friend?", then you will have to agree, no other sim deserves this award more.
Jade Joker Award:
Thomas J. Cornell / Brainwave Interface Device
For those who do not remember, or want to revisit the idea, a famous sim creator revealed one day that he programmed not just one, but two wildly popular simulators, and then went on to introduce sim fans to a revolutionary concept: the Wrestling Simulator Generator, which would create a wrestling sim from scratch using parameters set by the user. Imagine (or recall personally) the maddening frustration when the beatiful GUI crashed, citing an error due to the lack of a "Brainwave Interface Device". But when you're a likable person with a devious sense of humor, like Mr. Adam Ryland in his guise as Mr. Cornell, fans can't stay mad at you.
Topaz Thunder Award:
Head To Head, Binogeddon
There was a lot of "vaporeware" among sims - things promised that were never released, but none had the tenacity, staying-power and anticipation of the never fully released "Head to Head". EWR outdid most everything in hype, but it also delivered, wth a full, quality game. Head to Head, sadly, never saw a final release, and its own hype made even the less-mentioned Promotion Wars 2 fall by the wayside in the realm of disappointments. Also, while others were more anticipated, as noted above, no other sim site and creator featured the caustically mouthy replies of the New Bino Order, to questions or criticism about when the "Binogeddon Sim" was going to be released. "Never" was apparently the answer.
Opal Homage Award:
Ring King, Carl Aldrich, Douglas Windham
Some of the earlier "golden age" (late 80s/early 90s) sim authors, these three names, and those like them and that worked with them, truly provided a roadmap for other sim creators and helped build interest in sims in general, working together and also striving to improve their previous releases, building fan loyalty and interest.
Emerald Effort Award:
Tony Serino / iSim
Although much more sporadic in updates, with far fewer sims listed or reviewed, and with his own somewhat nebulous reputation over the years, Tony Serino did bring sims to fans, via "in-the-trenches" contact with sim authors and related figures, with very in-depth "news coverage" of sim goings-on, moreso and much longer than any other sim site or writer.
Sapphire Success Award:
Initially a sim author, Stuart Smith provided invaluable and enthusiastic support and help with the PWSE site, code and effort wise, working on layout and logical structure, as well as tirelessly playing and reviewing sims, and staying in the "flow" of the sim world, and then ultimately taking over the reins of the PWSE site and really getting it the notice and direction it needed.
Pearl Pioneer Award:
Chance Webster / cdWeb's Wrestling Sim Guide
Perhaps the most enthusiastic and knowledgable compilers and webmaster, of the most comprehensive listings and reviews of sims for many years, which ultimately inspired the similar creation of the Professional Wrestling Simulator Enthusiast site, which was an imitation and homage to Chance and cdWeb. Chance was also later a hugely supportive and helpful co-member of PWSE, providing coding and web knowledge, as well as sim information.
Ruby Relentlesness Award:
To be blunt, some people would say "Why bother?" and "Don't you know when to quit?" when it comes to people still going on, or worse, making NEW, free, pro wrestling sims. But people like Jamie Goehring, creator of 5th Generation Wrestling Sim (5GWS), the principle is his own enjoyment of the game and of coding and providing fans something fun, in the spirit of the traditional sim author.
Diamond Dedication Award:
Wrestler@Au.Edu / Wrestling Simulation Games and Stuff
This Diamond Award, similar to a Lifetime Achievement, recognizes this site that has been around forever, via Tripod or other free host, and which helped inspire PWSE and a sim community, and which helped recover a lot of old "lost" sims.
Wrestling Simulation Games and Stuff Site
The following material has been kindly written and contributed especially for the
Professional Wrestling Simulator Hall of Fame (PWS HoF).
A Fan Remembers by Geoff Ulam
Click on the above thumnail to see the full Awards image.
Simography Archive and Downloads
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