Pro Wrestling Tycoon. Forget the many sports wrestling games out there, where you play a wrestler who is wrestling – those almost never capture the spirit of the thing. It’s always “well, here’s a match, wrestle the match.” But pro wrestling is so much more than that – and the challenge factor of successfully running a wrestling company so much higher than that of simply winning a match in any case.
The actual engine wouldn’t have to be too difficult: after all, pro wrestling writing mostly depends on a number of scenarios that only vary mildly (the basic feud, the friends-split-up-and-become-enemies, the formation of a heel stable, etc.). You could probably come up with about forty or so possible mini-plots and the player could mix and match them to best effect. In terms of the wrestlers themselves, you could assign ratings for various traits – some for interviews and acting ability (acting ability, improvisational ability, charisma) and some for wrestling ability (selling, execution of moves, large moveset, ability to resist injury) and then some X-factors (motivating factors which make the wrestler happy – some want money, some want outside-of-wrestling-fame, some want to only wrestle great matches, etc.; as well as how much the wrestler demands in salary). You could also do something like how baseball-manager games do and as wrestlers age their traits can shift (and not always simply a decrease, either). And, if you were being honest to the spirit of the thing, there would be the occasional tragic death.
Once you get past the wrestlers, you can start to consider the audience and business models as well. How do you negotiate TV deals? What does your audience demand, and does it vary from city to city? How much money does your company spend on pyrotechnics? What PPV schedule will you use? How do you deal with competing wrestling companies – cooperation deals like the old territory system or WWF/ECW in the late 90s, or total bloodthirsty competition a la the Monday Night Wars? Hell, you could even timeshift scenarios – managing a wrestling promotion in the 1960s-1970s was a totally different ballgame than managing one in the 1980s or today. Put together an “exodus” challenge to mimic the business challenges of losing a number of your top young stars to your chief rival – how do you stay afloat?
The only problem is I don’t see how you would account for events like the Montreal Screwjob or other things that exist only in wrestling and are one-off, non-duplicable events. Which is part of the reason wrestling is the way it is, I suppose, but make the tycoon game that much harder to design.