Fire Pro Wrestling Returns: The Briefcase Cup – Match 5

Briefcase Cup PlayStation 2 Pro Wrestling Games


IntroductionMatch 1Match 2Match 3Match 4

As our cavalcade of calamitous carnage continues, will anything be able to top the brutality of Match 4? Tonight, we’ll find out, as “The Movement” receives a grueling physical exam from “Dr. Cruelty!” Get ready for some medical malpractice… TONIGHT. Or today, I guess, if you’re reading this at work.



DeathOklahomaOur two loyal readers will note that “Dr. Cruelty” Steel James bears a striking resemblance to “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. As an All-American collegiate wrestler out of Oklahoma State, Dr. Death earned a reputation as a legitimate tough guy long before he ever set foot in the squared circle. A proud Oklahoma alumnus, Dr. Death was known to wrestle in the colors of this alma mater.  At times, he even wore his collegiate singlet to the ring. Visually, this is as spot on as FPWR ripoffs get.

Throughout his career, Dr. Death employed many finishers. Here, he’s using his famous Backdrop Driver, albeit under the pseudonym “Murder Backdrop.” I think you’ll agree that this false name is more than appropriate:

I mean, holy crap. I think I need spinal fusion surgery after watching that.

Why is he “the most feared rival in the States?” That, loyal readers, is a damn good question. Unquestionably, Dr. Death had an impressive run in the US territory system in during the ’80s, winning the NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship, the UWF World Heavyweight, and numerous other accolades. That being said, he’s much more well-known for his accomplishments outside American borders. So let’s make up a reason: Steel James is “the most feared rival in the States” because he’s from America, the most fearsome country in the world, and I can’t think of anybody scarier than him. Here’s a clip of him beating the living hell out of people set to “I Love it Loud” by Kiss:

Like Giant Borgart, Steel James is a proud member of Olive Japan Pro Wrestling. This would explain why his real life counterpart appears in All Japan Pro Wrestling’s officially licensed game. If there’s one thing we can extrapolate from exploring all of the shamelessly stolen likenesses in FPWR, it’s that having your visage officially licensed in Japan should be viewed as tremendous accomplishment.

Still not satisfied that he was BIG IN JAPAN? Okay, let’s do this:

Up until his untimely death in 2009, Steve Williams was the epitome of BIG IN JAPAN. By all rights and measures, Steel James should be a force to be reckoned with.



Andy Spirals should be immediately recognizable as mid-aughts A.J. Styles by his borderline homophonic name. If the name alone isn’t convincing you, then his grammatically repugnant finisher, the Spirals’s Crush, should be clearly recognizable as a tribute to the infamous Styles Clash:

Mr. Spirals’ nickname, the “Movement,” seems to be a failed attempt at capturing the spirit of the “Phenomenal” prefix often affixed to A.J.’s name. FPWR‘s developers may have avoided a lawsuit, but this nickname, almost literally, is pretty crappy.

Like Andy Spirals’ profile suggests, when FPWR went gold, A.J. was routinely “wowing audiences with tricky moves” all across America. His jaw-droppiong performances in the early aughts helped established TNA Wrestling and Ring of Honor as legitimate American promotions. Let’s just take a look:

A.J. Styles may go down in history as one of the greatest American wrestlers never to appear in WWE. He’s held virtually every championship TNA has to offer, not to mention countless other titles across the American independent scene.

These days, it goes without question that A.J. Styles is BIG IN JAPAN; mere months ago, he captured one of the greatest prizes in all of Japanese wrestling, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. But that was in 2014. The very fact that A.J. received a doppelganger in FPWR is proof that he was well-respected and well-known upon the game’s release. But compared to Dr. Death? He was downright small. Things don’t look so hot for Andy Spirals.


Oh God. Mr. Spirals? Mr. Spirals? Can you tell me what time is it Mr. Spirals? Andy, do you know where you are? Can you hear me, Mr. Spirals….? Call it nurse. Time of death: 8:21. There’s just no cure for the MURDER BACKDROP.

NEXT TIME: The Briefcase Cup gets politically correct, as we serve up a healthy dose of INTERGENDER MADNESS.


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