Video games have had some pretty crazy cross-promotions over the years, and SEGA themselves have had their share (Sonic Forces and Hooters, anyone?), but one of the wilder ones that is seldom spoken of these days is that time Shadow the Hedgehog participated in a Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling event sponsored by SEGA Sammy to promote his then-upcoming self-titled game.
At least, few spoke of it until recently, when an image from said event was posted to Twitter by Cybershell, seemingly kicking off a storm of recollection and details. The event was “SEGA SAMMY Presents ‘PANCRASE 2005 SPIRAL TOUR'”, with Spiral 10 in particular getting the spotlight.
While we have fond memories of Jim Ross losing his mind over Skittles, SEGA Sammy went all-in on their promotion of the wrestling/mixed martial arts event, branding the turnbuckles with the Sonic Channel logo and URL and even adorning the ring mat with key art from Shadow the Hedgehog. In the latter case, the mat was reportedly stained with blood by the end of the event, which presents a mental image too ridiculously amazing to even truly contemplate, but no images of the bloodstained antihero have surfaced yet.
The main attraction, however, was the official SEGA mascot costume of Shadow himself, who was out there cutting promos and doing commentary, and even indicating he might like to get longtime rival Sonic into the ring. (Given SEGA’s more recent portrayal of the character, it seems likely he might be a lot more interested now than he was then.)
Dave “Badnik Mechanic” Luty has a much more in-depth look at the proceedings that was recently posted to his YouTube channel:
UFC has the rights to stream Pancrase events in the United States, so if you have a subscription to their service, you might even be able to find the whole thing there!
In addition, the video also looks at the time the official Sonic and Mario mascot costumes squared off in the ring at an Australian event, but details of that event are even more scarce.
Oh, and because Brett might kill me for not mentioning it, here’s the legendary Minoru Suzuki putting the Ultimate Lifeform in an abdominal stretch: