“Rock’n Wrestle” (known as “Bop’n Wrestle” in the US) was one of the first games to have 3D movement through space. The game allowed for single or dual player modes, using the joystick or the keyboard supporting twenty-four wrestling manoeuvres. You could inflict pile drivers, arm-twists and body slams on your opponent.
You play as blond hero, Gorgeous Greg, named for creator, Gregg Barnett. Each of your ten opponents in the ring (single player mode) has a different personality and a distinctive wrestling style. Energy bars, which get depleted as you exert yourself, monitor your ‘lives’. A round is won when one of the wrestlers is pinned to the floor for three seconds. The next round offers opponents who are tougher than the last. All of this is done to a rock soundtrack.
In addition to the use of characters moving through 3D space “Rock ‘n Wrestle” offered a highly innovative set of context based moves. This meant that if a player lifted up another player it would unlocks a set of moves , or if you threw a player against the ropes it unlocks a suitable set of moves to capitalise on their rebound. Once players understood the possibilities they could choreograph some impressive sequences. Despite the promise of its gameplay and its great graphics and music “Rock’ n Wrestle” felt sluggish compared to the responsiveness of “The Way of the Exploding Fist” and was not as popular as Barnett’s previous game.
“Rock ‘n Wrestle” is believed to be the first wrestling game for the home computer. Beam later had to turn down an approach by World Wresting Federation (WWF), as they were working on a “Sergeant Slaughter” title missing out on being part of the huge, ongoing WWF videogames franchise.
A play in the browser version of Rock ‘n Wrestle for the ZX Spectrum is available from the Internet Archive – ZX Spectrum Library: Games