Anybody that’s played Saints Row knows that on the surface it looks like Rockstars Grand Theft Auto but it doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously. It’s goofy, hilarious and over the top. In all the chaos of Saints Row The Third however there’s more than one reference to the world of professional wrestling. The first three Saints Row games were published by THQ before they went belly up in 2012. THQ were also the publishers for the WWE video games. We highly doubt this is a coincidence and many of the people who worked on Saints Row were probably wrestling fans themselves which led them to sneaking some inside jokes into the game.
These little jokes don’t take away from the gaming experience, even for those who aren’t fans of wrestling. We’ve comprised a list of the nods to wrestling that we’ve found but feel free to add your own to the comments section at the bottom of the page where you’ll also find a video of these moments in action. A quick warning however that some of these points may be considered spoilers though we tried to avoid giving away any story details. So let’s ring the bell and get started!
When creating your playable character you can choose from a long list of taunts and compliments to give to the leader of the Saints. These range from generic “bring it on” taunts to the outright ridiculous.
These taunts also include some wrestling related ones though, such as:
The Marine – John Cena starred in a 2006 movie called The Marine and his most iconic taunt is waving his hand in front of his face and claiming “You Can’t See Me”. This very taunt is in Saints Row 3 under the name of his movie and the character will say something along the lines of “Where Did I Go?” or “You Lost Me” while doing so.
Neck Slice – The Undertaker, known as the Dead Man, does the neck slice taunt before going for his finishing move the Tombstone Piledriver. When performing the neck slice in Saints Row the character will say “You’re Dead”.
Angelmania – The immortal Hulk Hogan lends his voice to a wrestling character in the game called Angel. Combining this with Hogan’s use of the word “Hulkamania” and Angelmania is born. This taunt is also the same taunt that Hogan is famous for doing.
Nature Boy – Ric Flairs nickname in the WWE was the Nature Boy and the Saints Row taunt “Nature Boy” is a replica of Flairs strut and woo he would perform in the ring.
Eff You / Eff You Two – These taunts are just the character sticking one or two middle fingers up in the air. They’re generic taunts and in no way suggest they’re related to wrestling but I’m going to add this as a nod to the legendary Stone Cold Steve Austin who use to give the one finger salute quite often to friends and foes alike.
Woo Scream – As previously mentioned Ric Flair use to give a WOOOO in the ring but so did Sting. The “Woo Scream” taunt is more aimed at the way Sting does it, by cupping his hands round his mouth and giving a big old WOOO!
The running attack moves in Saints Row, as I’m sure most have realised, are very similar to moves performed by professional wrestlers. Though these can be a little more over the top in the world of the Saints. There are two variations of both the bulldog (grabbing the head from behind and slamming the face into the ground) and the dropkick. The most obvious however is the float over DDT which I would wager not many would perform outside the ring in a fight. It involves rolling over your opponents back, grabbing them in a headlock and cracking their skull on the ground. There’s also a clothesline, back elbow, seated senton and snapmare thrown in there for good measure.
One of the greatest teams in WWE history was D-Generation X. Starting and ending with two legendary superstars in Shawn Michaels and Triple H but also involving Chyna, Road Dogg, Billy Gun and X-Pac along the way. There’s a radio station on Saints Row called “89 Gen X” which I believe relates to this WWE stable. Off the name alone you may put it down to coincidence but when you see the logos for each side by side it’s hard to disagree, even the colours are the same.
As previously mentioned Hulk Hogan provides the voice for one of the characters you’ll meet in the game known as Angel De LaMuerte. Angel is a Mexican-American former Luchadore wrestler and becomes a member of the 3rd Street Saints. Angel was unmasked and ashamed by his former tag team partner Killbane after they started a gang known as The Luchadores. During cutscenes Angel will thrown in a few recognisable taunts and catchphrases that wrestling fans will pick up on.
During Prof Genki missions players will hear a colour commentator called “Bobby”. Bobby’s voice belongs to Rob Van Dam, an athletic and popular superstar in the world of wrestling. There’s even a time when Bobby mentions TLC matches (Table, Ladders & Chairs) which is a match type in the WWE, one that RVD knows only too well.
The Luchadore Gang
The Luchadores are a gang of masked wrestlers led by Killbane. They’re part of The Syndicate, another rival gang to the 3rd Street Saints.
In the world of wrestling Lucha Libre (meaning free fighting) is a form of professional wrestling popular in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries. Lucha Libre wrestlers are known as Luchadores and wear colourful masks in the ring and perform more high-flying and quicker moves than traditional American wrestling.
When changing your characters attire there are several wrestling related pieces of clothing you can purchase. This may be more linked to the Luchadores gang than general wrestling fans but you can add wrestling masks, tights and boots to your wardrobe giving the player the ability to dress up as a proper looking wrestler if they wish.
When Killbane is in his office and trying to come up with a plan to get back at the 3rd Street Saints he mentions that they need a “Montreal Screwjob”. This references one of the most infamous incidents in WWE history where in 1997 the owner of the company, Vince McMahon, came down to the ring and claimed that Bret Hart had tapped out to a Shawn Michael’s sharpshooter when in fact he hadn’t. This was completely real and not in the script making it one of the most controversial events in wrestling history. The reason for this was that Bret Hart was the current champion and was soon leaving for rival company WCW but didn’t want to drop the title. Vince obviously didn’t want his prestigious title going to WCW so Bret was told he would win. Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon and a handful of other people planned it out which took place in Bret Harts hometown of Montreal.
More a nod to the fact that they’re Lucha Libre wrestlers but when we first meet The Luchadores Killbane says it’s “time for the high spot, boys”. A “high spot” in wrestling is when one superstar will perform a dangerous move off the top rope of the turnbuckle.
Below you will find a video of clips from Saint Row The Third showing some of the points we’ve made above.