Exciting Hour - The Prowrestling Network

Arcade Video game published 34 years ago by Taito

Exciting Hour - The Prowrestling Network screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME !
Information for the following ROM(s): excthour


Exciting Hour - The Prowrestling Network © 1985 Taito Corp.

A match of wits and skill with classic ring techniques used in today's popular professional wrestling arenas. The ringside announcer to signal the start of the match introduces the events. The player battles each of his 5 awesome opponents in quest of the championship. Timely use of joystick and buttons maneuvers the player into position and activates all the standard as well as spectacular moves including : Pile Driver, Sunset Flip, Rolling Sole Butt, Lariat, Plunger, Flying Body Press, everything to weaken the enemy for a pin-fall win for the count of 3, or keeping the challenger out of the ring for a twenty count. After each win, the player takes on the next opponent for another three-minute period. If he defeats all of the opponents, he earns the right to the Championship Belt and goes on to the next four in defense of his title. Colorful, fast-paced action plus realistic sound effects of hits, moves, count-down and crowd cheers adds to the atmosphere and excitement associated with the current rage of professional wrestling.


Game ID : TA-0015

Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
Sound CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.2 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (2x) General Instrument AY8910 (@ 1.5 Mhz), DAC

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 2
=> [1] Punch, [2] Kick


Exciting Hour was released in October 1985 by Taito under license from Technos.

This game is known outside Japan as "Mat Mania - The Prowrestling Network".
A 2-Player version of this game is known as "Mania Challenge".

In the game, if you look closely at the audience in the background, you will see a variety of recognizable characters including a boy in a Union Jack t-shirt, Darth Vader, Superman, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (look to the far left when outside the ring) and ZZ Top is very prominently present in the middle of the crowd.

In the game :
* TWA stands for Technos Wrestling Association.
* Insane Warrior's name is misspelled as 'Insane Worrier'.
* Coco Savage's name is misspelled as 'Coco Savege' at the top of the intro screen, but is spelled correctly in the announcer's scrolling message.
* The Piranha's name is misspelled both at the top of the intro screen and in the announcer's scrolling message as 'The Pirania'.

Blues Bloody, the champion in this game, is very obviously a copy of Hulk Hogan. Other wrestlers are copied from superstars of the early 80s: The Insane Warrior is a copy of Road Warrior Animal, Coco Savage is probably Kamala The Cannibal and The Piranha is probably Mil Mascaras. The main wrestler ('You') bears a striking resemblance to Kerry Von Erich. These are guesses, but all the mentioned wrestlers were very popular about the time this game was released.


* Moves list :
First, basic moves :
Joystick - Move Around
Button 1 - Punch (P)
Button 2 - Kick (K)
Both Buttons - Run

While Opponent is Standing :
P+K - Dash at opponent.
P (while running) - Shoulder Block
K (while running) - Flying Press

To grab the opponent, run towards him.

While holding on to opponent :
P - Irish Whip (Throw opponent)
K - Pile Driver
P+UP - Body Slam
K+UP - Suplex

After Opponent has been thrown :
P+Opponent's direction - Elbow Smash
P - Back Body Drop
K+Opponent's direction - Clothesline
K - Reverse Mule Kick

While Opponent is on the ground :
P - Pick up opponent
K - Pin Opponent

While on the Turnbuckle :
P - Knee Drop
K - Sunset Flip

You can do three moves (two in later matches [late 30s on]) to your opponent before needing to ram him with the old 'faceblock' maneuver. However, the moves appear to be broken into categories :

Big moves - Piledriver and Brainbuster (Suplex)
Medium moves - Clothesline, Elbow, Backdrop
Small moves - Body Slam, Spinning Kick

Doesn't seem to count - Shoulder Block, Flying Body Press, Rope Moves

The 'count' works as follows. Usually you get one of each class of move in order from big to small. You can always substitute a lower move for a higher one. At certain times you will get only medium and small, especially the first series when facing Karate Fighter or The Piranha after match 5. Sometimes you won't be able to do three. You can tell because your opponent puts up a small, ineffective resistance to your second move.

Once per match, you CAN do two big moves in a row. You are guaranteed to be able to do a third move afterwards. In the first five matches, the triple is generally between 2:30 and 2:15.

* Miscellaneous notes :
1) You can only climb on the turnbuckles in the top-left and top-right corners.
2) Running towards the ropes and pressing the K button will cause you to jump out of the ring (should only be done while an opponent is out there).
3) The maximum number of jumps off the rope you can do is three - any more and the opponent will get up regardless of the amount of damage inflicted.
4) Fight as little as possible outside the ring; you run the chance of being thrown to the other end and facing a ring out loss (especially with Coco Savage and the Piranha - they are dirty fighters!).
5) When an opponent throws you, you have the choice of pressing P to do a shoulder block or K to do a flying press. The move you select should depend on the opponent's reaction - if they throw you and run, press K repeatedly to beat them with the flying press. If the opponent is standing there, it is almost a sure sign that you will be receiving one of their 'stopping moves' (i.e.: Coco's Haymaker or Piranha's choke hold). For this, press K repeatedly. If the opponent has not prepared their signature stop, this usually means they are just going to punch or kick you. Pressing P will give them a shoulder block and knock them down. Try to decide on which move you plan on doing once you see their reaction.
6) If you start to get the 'upper hand' on your opponent (which isn't that hard to do), throw him into the ropes and when he bounces back, let him collide into you (you should be the first one to get up), pick him up and do a pile driver, pick him up, throw him into the ropes and let him collide into you, pick him up and pile drive him again. You can do this for as long as you like but make sure to pin him before the time runs out. For a sure pin, just climb the top rope and land on him three times then pin.
7) A change in the music in the game indicates you are in danger of losing the match!

* List of opponents :

1) Insane Warrior
Signature Move : Body Press
Difficulty : Very Easy
Comments : Comic relief for the game. A very easy opponent to beat up and a good learning partner.

2) Karate Fighter
Signature Move : Rabbit Punch
Difficulty : Easy
Comments : Another opponent to use as a practice partner.

3) Coco Savage
Signature Move : Slingshot (grabs you by the ankles and throws you across / out of the ring).
Difficulty : Very Difficult
Comments : A dirty fighter. Will knock you down by giving you a shoulder block or knocking you on the head. Will cheat by getting you near the ropes and giving you plenty of shoulder blocks!

4) The Piranha
Signature Move : Elbow Drop
Difficulty : Moderate
Comments : The dirtiest fighter in the game. A very difficult opponent to fight with outside the ring.

5) Blues Bloody
Signature Move : Leg Drop
Difficulty : Moderate
Comments : The champ. Likes to body slam and throw opponents out of the ring.


[JP] Sony PS4 [PSN] (june.12, 2014) "Arcade Archives - Exciting Hour [Model CUSA-00782]"
Sony PlayStation 4 [PSN] [AS] (may.21, 2015) "Arcade Archives - Mat Mania Exciting Hour"
Sony PlayStation 4 [PSN] [KO] (nov.20, 2015) "Arcade Archives - Mat Mania Exciting Hour [Model CUSA-00782]"

[JP] Sharp X68000 (feb.25, 1994) "Shusse Oozumou"

Game's ROM.