Total Extreme Wrestling 2016 is a simulation game developed and published by Grey Dog Software for PC. This is the sixth installment in the Total Extreme Wrestling series.
In Total Extreme Wrestling - set in the world known as the CornellVerse - players start as either the owner or booker of 40 different companies (at game start) , with over 2,300 completely original characters populating the game world.
Similar to other management-style games, players take control of a fictional wrestling company with sizes ranging from extremely large national companies, to small promotions with audiences of a couple hundred people. Players will be in charge of hiring and firing talent, getting broadcasting deals, dealing with the backstage environment, growing the company's popularity, and most importantly - booking shows. If the player chose to be the booker of the company, they will also have to deal with fulfilling owner goals and sometimes with owners who refuse to pay for wrestlers or have other demands. If the player chose to be the owner, they will have no such requirements.
Show booking is the majority of TEW's gameplay. Players decide which wrestlers will compete, what type of match they will be in, how the match will play out (intensity level, length, any interference, what kind of finish, etc), who will win, and whether there will be any titles on the line. They will also create "angles" (the parts of the show that are not matches) by either choosing one from a list of several hundred preset angles (such as arguments, handshakes, sneak attacks, etc) or creating their own using the "Freestyle Angle" creator - which allows the player to create an angle on the fly with whichever wrestlers they want.
Once all the matches and angles have been chosen, the player organizes them so that what the audience thinks will be more enjoyable matches come on towards the end of the show, and the less enjoyable matches are on towards the beginning of the show. The game then gives a short recap and score of each segment of the show, and an overall grade. Depending on how extreme the difference, if the grade is higher than the company's popularity the company will potentially grow, but if it's lower, then the company will potentially shrink.
Matches and angles are scored based on the skills and popularity of the wrestlers involved. Each company assigns a slightly different value to different skills and popularity depending on the kind of wrestling its audience expects, but overall more skilled & more popular wrestlers will give higher grades than less skilled or less popular wrestlers.
Numerous mods have been made - primarily by members of the Grey Dog community. Some of the mods allow players to play with rosters from earlier versions of TEW (the Cornellverse 2005 & 2010 mods) or based on the Cornellverse's backstory (CornellVerse 1997).
Additionally, there are other fictional mods. Thunderverse is the most popular alternate universe with completely different wrestling promotions and wrestlers from that of Cornellverse, but others - such as TitanVerse - also exist. There are also several mods formed on the idea that characters from comics, film and anime come together as professional wrestlers; a mod which puts members of the Grey Dog forums into the game; and some other 'gimmick' mods.
But the most popular of the mod groups are those built around real world wrestling. There tend to be two groups of these - ones devoted to recreating specific moments, and those devoted to alternate histories. As far as real world historical mods go, there are a couple of mods which have been devoted to actually documenting the real world rosters on a month-by-month basis since TEW 2016 released, so a player could go back to November of 2017 and start playing from then. There are also mods that start at commonly accepted "major historical events" in professional wrestling - such as the Montreal Screwjob in 1997, the founding of WCW (or the eventual WCW buyout by WWF *spoiler alert*), the end of the territories system, etc.
The alternate real-world history mods tend to be "what-ifs" based upon how some "major historical events" might have gone differently - such as the territory system continuing into the 2000's, the Attitude Era not having to be toned down to stay on air, or WCW defeating WWF (usually involving Steve Austin not catching on or Shawn Michaels leaving WWF instead of Brett Hart). There is also an extremely popular mod called Wrath of the Immortals - in which (similar to an All-Star team in a sports game) every major historical wrestler is still alive and in their prime at the same time.
Since TEW historical mods allows for players to make significant changes to history based upon their skill and playstyle, many people playing the historical mods like to see whether they can keep their favorite promotions in business, while others simply want a chance to play with their favorite stars and companies so that they can tell their own stories with them.