Wrestling gaming has come a long way, but sometimes the classics just hit harder.
That's the case for "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams, who knows a thing or two about hitting hard. So does All Japan Pro Wrestling, and it probably shouldn't be a surprise that Williams was partial to their video games. When speaking to FightfulGaming.com, Williams gave the Dreamcast game the tag of his favorite ever.
"If I had to say, the best wrestling video game of all time was Giant Gram 2000 for the SEGA Dreamcast. It’s very good. It’s All Japan Pro Wrestling, around the time when NOAH was first starting to form, but still had full roster of all the guys. Giant Gram 2000, it’s hard to get into, but if you’re somebody who likes wrestling for that sort of style of wrestling, like the All Japan / Kings World Style with counters and the fires up and all that, they incorporated all of that into a video game engine, I think, perfectly. So, it’s very nice," Williams told Fightful in an exclusive interview.
For those who are feeling ambitious, you can pick it up for less than $30 on Ebay. It received unanimous rave reviews, and even featured stateside favorites like Dr. Death, Bruno Sammartino, Bobo Brazil, Bruiser Brody, Vader, and others like Johnny Ace and Bart Gunn. The art of the game was something that Williams appreciated.
"I’m just gonna nerd out here, but the problem with wrestling video games is that everybody likes wrestling for good matches. A lot of the time you want to see an epic contest with all these peaks and valleys and all that stuff. But, the other thing in video games you’re usually playing to win. So, those two don’t always mix up well. In Giant Gram, they found a way to mix a competitive arcade game with an engine that makes good wrestling happen. So, definitely check that out, if you can find it," said Williams. "I agree, I agree. Definitely I think as a big wrestling nerd who was really into the epic matches, I think the simulation stuff is more appealing to me. The Fire Pro Wrestlings and Giant Grams, even though Giant Gram is kind of arcadey."
In his later years, Williams has stepped away from gaming a bit, but it's coming back, as much a circumstance of the times as anything.
"As a kid, huge. From that time frame, from like the 90s and early 2000s, I probably know among the most about wrestling video games that you can. Nowadays I haven’t had all that much time to play video games, but during this pandemic its definitely fired back up and I’m getting back into it. So, yeah, for sure. Yeah. It’s certainly a goal. It’s tough to have those goals at a certain point because, before you know it, things are just happening that you didn’t even take the time to really say, “Oh, I wish that would happen.” It’s just like, all of a sudden these things in your career happen and you’re like, “Oh, wow. That just happened. I should have looked at that as this big goal.” So, maybe it’s something that will happen in hindsight. If I happen to be in a video game, maybe it’ll hit me. It’s one of those things you saw as a kid and then eventually you’re living it. It’s sort of insane. It’s definitely a goal," Williams told Fightful.
Williams is currently signed to Ring of Honor. As of now, they have no video game deal in place or even in the works, but appearing in a video game is something that is on the bucket list of Williams. At times, he feels like he's already appeared in a game.
"I also think it’s really amazing and flattering and very cool when anybody creates you in a video game. I think it’s one of the neatest things about being a wrestler. It’s so crazy to see anybody go through the trouble of creating you in a video game. It’s super awesome. It’s super impressive and amazing to see. It’s almost like you already have been in a video game when that happens. Because sometimes it looks better than the guys who were modeled into the game. So, it already feels like its happened," Williams told us.
You can see Tracy Williams on ROH's HonorClub, and our full interview at the top of the page.