Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite game is, I always say WWE Raw Deal. That might come as a shock to some since I love the Decipher games so much and have been so heavily involved with Star Wars since its release in 1995. Raw Deal is what got me back into gaming. It brought the characters I loved watching as a kid and as an adult to life and it let you take on their characteristics, use their moves and mimic the way they talk while playing against your opponent.
The play group that I got involved with in 2003 had 14 players and was run by a guy trying to make it into the WWE Tough Enough competition. He would take the decks we had assembled and each week he would come up with a story-line for each one of the the wrestlers we had. Belts were on the line. Respect was on the line. Smack Talking was on the line. We had crazy matches; drink a nasty soda with each damage you take, rip up a card in your deck with each damage taken, get hit in the back by a metal chair, and the best of all, The Royal Rumble where after a round – a new wrestler entered the ring. Each week was something to look forward to. I got into the game with Big Poppa Pump then moved onto Shawn Michaels and for some reason, Right to Censor. I eventually bought collections online because no one wanted to trade their good cards locally and the local store didn’t carry singles. I had over 25 wrestlers ready to rumble at any time.
Utah had an amazing scene for a few years. Here is all this excitement for the game out East in New Jersey, Chicago, Nashville and a random small town in Provo Utah was rocking it. We wanted to be recognized by the rest of the community for our great players but we didn’t travel so no one really knew about us.
Eventually our play group started to disappear. Players moved, got girlfriends/wives, changed jobs, worked nights, and then the killing blow is when our GM left to train closer to Florida and the WWE. We tried to keep it going, our 14 went down to 6 and it was never the same. The game was changing at this point too.
Once Survivor Series 3 came we all realized the game was near the end even though SS3 was amazing and a lot of fun. Those of us that had played Deciphers games knew that Reflections sets (huge sets that you must have in order to keep playing or you wont be able to keep up) meant that your game was grasping for money and on it’s last days. Great American Bash came out and we loved it, it was over-powered, gave you tons of new options but we knew it was close to the end. It was announced that REVOLUTION was coming and we weren’t excited. Our 6 players went down to 4. We bought REVOLUTION, tried mixing it, didn’t like having to defend both types of cards and dropped it. None of us bought anything after REVOLUTION 1. The game had officially died in Utah.
I moved away from the college town and don’t have a lot of time for gaming anymore but when our group gets together, we play Raw Deal and LOVE IT. We talk about the good times. The time where a player was so upset he took his full deck and threw it into the wall. The guy that through up because he drank too much eggnog after taking small bits of damage all game. The player that wanted to be slammed through the table and the store clerk that said he would look the other way. Lots of great memories from a game that shouldn’t have been as much fun or strategic as it was.
The game is still alive. There are still pockets of players, mostly back East in the US or in Canada. There is a Players Committee that continues to run the game, promote events and create Virtual cards. There have been many updated wrestlers, classic superstars like Macho Man Randy Savage and team ups like New Age Outlaws.
Over the years my cards have sat on a shelf, I’d pass them and think how cool it would be to have them on CategoryOneGames and have people buying and playing the game again. I’ve bought collections thinking that I’d eventually get to the game but knowing full well the amount of work it will take to get it up and selling on the site.
Starting this week, WWE Raw Deal is starting to appear on CategoryOneGames. We will be working on and adding Superstars daily and should be able to get through most of them by the end of this next week. After that, I will be adding on the rest of the cards in the game as I’m able to and hopefully by the end of July, every WWE Superstar, Belt, Throwback, Rare, Ultra Rare, Promo, Common and Uncommon will be on the site and ready for purchase. Starter Decks and Packs are currently available. Some Superstar cards are already available and more will be added daily.
The goal is to make it easy to find the cards you need to finish decks, start up a new wrestler and get your gaming group interested in playing again all in one place. We will be looking to purchase cards for cash or trade as the site runs low on them. The prices we have on the cards will be lower than any eBay store seller or any other online store and we will continue to provide the great service and care we are known for.
Whenever a new Superstar or any other cards are added we will post to our Facebook and Twitter pages so make sure your following us to keep up with the excitement and be the first to get the cards you need.