The WWE 2K series originally began as the WWF Smackdown series on the original PlayStation and was developed by Yukes. Although the series was considered by many to be the lower quality wrestling series compared to the AKI developed WCW and WWE games on the Nintendo 64, it did manage to sell far more copies in comparison. As a result, the Yukes developed series would become the flagship WWE franchise for foreseeable future, and with a new entry being officially announced for the 17th of October 2017, the series is showing no signs of slowing down.
Over the years, WWE 2K games have been released with varying quality, some were great like the WWF Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain and then there was the featureless WWE 2K14. The series has shown some dramatic improvements in its gameplay mechanics with WWE 2K16 and WWE 2K17 and is slowly bringing back more gameplay modes. In addition to the gameplay, what really gets the fans excited about the each entry is which of their favorite wrestlers from the past and present will make it onto the new roster. With guaranteed entries like A.J Styles, John Cena, and Roman Reigns, as well Legends like Sting, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and now Goldberg being very likely to feature again, we're going to look at the wrestlers that fans are unsure about. So without further ado let's take a look at some of the most wanted and unwanted wrestlers in preparation for the just announced WWE 2K18.
15 Wanted: Kurt Angle
Since renewing his relationship with the WWE, it’s highly likely that Kurt Angle will be featured in WWE 2K18. Still, there is a (very small) chance, however, that he missed Yuke’s development cycle upon his arrival, and didn't make the cut in time for WWE 2K18.
Not having Angle on the roster at the stage would be a huge mistake. Even though he’s currently serving as “RAW’s General Manager,” it is expected that he will have a more active and physical role, leading up to next year's Wrestlemania. Kurt Angle, was an Olympic gold medalist, who quickly rose the ranks as one of the wrestling industry’s greatest and talented performers, with no end of memorable feuds in the company.
14 Not Wanted: The Godfather/Papa Shango
The Godfather and Papa Shango are two characters that were performed by Charles Wright. They were included as a part of a DLC pack, paying tribute to his recent induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, they are two of the worst characters in WWE history.
Every once in a while, the WWE likes to introduce theatrical and mystical type characters, and their success is very much depending on who the performer is behind the character. So for every Demon Finn Balor and Undertaker, you have a Boogeyman and a Papa Shango. Papa Shango’s biggest run was a mostly forgettable feud against The Ultimate Warrior, before eventually getting dropped altogether. The Godfather character was based on a stereotypical pimp accompanied to the ring by his “ho’s.” The schtik went over well with the fans, but it did nothing to hide his limited repertoire in the ring. In an age where the women are putting on great shows and getting the in ring respect they deserve – the Godfather character is a relic that should have stayed in the 90s.
13 Wanted: The Hardyz
Now that the Hardyz have finally returned, it would be the perfect time to include them on the roster. It’s possible they may have rejoined the WWE ranks a little too late but there’s always the possibility they could be included in DLC. It would be a great way to include late arrivals and fan favourites.
The lack of tag teams has often been a problem for WWE 2K series. It would be a good opportunity to include the Hardyz on the list, alongside some of the newer talent. Imagine how great it would be to recreate some of the classic ladder matches they had against Edge and Christian, and the Dudley Boyz.
12 Not Wanted: The Bushwhackers
The Bushwhackers were a New Zealand tag team, that was a part of the WWE’s aggressive national expansion, which meant the company wanted to appeal to a broader audience on an international level. Unfortunately, they were brought in to be nothing more than a stereotypical comedy act, and their performances were pretty one-dimensional as a result.
They were mainly used to promote newer more promising wrestling stars, and continued to participate in silly comedy style feuds up until the mid-nineties. They were glorified jobbers, which is what makes their inclusion on the Legends roster all the more frustrating when we’re missing teams like Demolition and The Legion Of Doom. A class action lawsuit against the WWE from both teams, indicates that neither team will be a part of the video game franchise for a very long time.
11 Wanted: The Million Dollar Man
The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase was one of the most charismatic and memorable villains in the 1980 and 1990s, he was also a great technical performer on par with the likes of Bret The Hitman Hart and Ric Flair. So his rather lackluster inclusion in WWE 2K17 was a huge disappointment for fans when he was only included as a manager.
It just didn’t make any sense why they would list an iconic wrestler like Dibiase and not use his in-ring gimmick too, especially when they included Vince McMahon on both the managers and active roster list.
10 Not Wanted: The Ascension
When The Ascension moved from the NXT to the main roster, they changed their look to resemble the Legion Of Doom/Road Warriors. Soon after they cut a promo comparing themselves to LoD, Demolition (and other painted up tag teams) essentially beginning their careers as a cheap knockoffs, and losing all credibility in the process. It’s not their fault as wrestlers because they aren’t responsible for some of the stupid decisions the writers make behind the scenes.
Since their initial push, their status in the main roster has dropped significantly. They’re a team that the WWE either needs to release or go back the drawing board with, because as a team they won’t be missed if they are removed from WWE 2K18.
9 Wanted: Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal has been pushed to the moon since returning to the WWE this year as both a classic and true WWE villain (heel), as well as the face of the company in India. He returned with a seemingly renewed passion for wrestling and a new physique. Coupled with his new "Maharajah" persona, he carries himself like a champion.
Only time will tell if his character will stand the test of time, but right now he’s hot property in the WWE. His inclusion in WWE 2K18 would no doubt help capitalize on his heat with the American fans, and appeal to the Indian audiences, where his merchandise sales are apparently skyrocketing.
8 Not Wanted: Multiple Versions Of The Same Character
It’s awesome to be able to play as different generations of your favorite character, and although it’s a good idea having different versions to represent a specific era, it seems a bit silly when some of the biggest stars take up multiple slots. It’s understandable to want stats that accurately represent a wrestler during different stages of their career, but some versions seem a bit unnecessary. For example, instead of having two slots for Sting ‘88 and Sting ‘91, surely it would make the most sense just to give them a costume swap because the stats should be roughly the same anyway.
Sting Had five different versions of himself, Undertaker had three, and even the Big Show had three, but it got even sillier when another version of Cactus Jack was added as part of a DLC in addition to the other Cactus Jack that was already on there.
7 Wanted: Paige
There’s been some debate as to whether or not Paige will be included on the WWE 2k18 roster, in most part because of the controversy surrounding her private life. Paige hasn’t appeared in a WWE ring since having neck surgery in June 2016. Since then she was issued two Wellness violations, and her boyfriend, Alberto Del Rio, split with the company on bad terms. Worse still, she was the victim of an iCloud hack, in which explicit videos of her were leaked online.
Despite her controversial position, the WWE should show some solidarity by supporting Paige. After all, let’s not forget that she was the victim, as far as the leaked videos are concerned. In regard to the Wellness violations, other wrestlers including Randy Orton and Roman Reigns have been hit with suspensions without too much career derailment. She’s also a solid and popular performer with the fans, and she should be judged on that basis alone.
6 Not Wanted: The McMahons
The McMahons are without a doubt the most powerful family in the wrestling business, and it seems their legacy will live on for many more generations to come. Each member of the family has also been involved with many major feuds and storylines from the Attitude Era and onwards. However, including them as playable wrestlers in every WWE 2K entry seems to be a wasted slot that actual wrestlers can fulfill.
It’s no doubt that Shane McMahon has been involved in many entertaining bouts, pulling off crazy stunts and moves, but let's not forget that these matches were only entertaining because he was carried by the likes of guys like A.J Styles and Kurt Angle — as Stone Cold did for Vince. I’m sure fans would be happier to see their positions taken by a Legend or a member of the current roster.
5 Wanted: Hulk Hogan
Another wrestler who was the subject of a great deal of controversy following the leak of private video footage is Hulk Hogan. In July 2015 Hulk was fired from the company after racial remarks from a leaked audio tape recorded years prior was made public. As a result, Hogan was omitted from the Hall of Fame, his merchandise removed, and his expected appearance in WWE 2K16 was canceled.
Since then, Hogan has been working hard on improving his public image, and the WWE is slowly, but surely, beginning to acknowledge his existence again in its advertising featured on the WWE Network. Hogan’s influence on the WWE’s rise to success can’t be underestimated, and neither can his fan base. You can’t have guys like the Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant, Sting, and Ric Flair without the Hulkster to complete some 80s and 90s wrestling nostalgia.
4 Not Wanted: R-Truth
R-Truth has been in out of the WWE since 1999, and despite finding quite a bit of success with the company, his position in the RAW brand now has now been relegated to nothing more than a “gatekeeper.” Today he's one of the go-to guys to help the younger stars get over with the fans. It doesn’t help that his character in 2017 is incredibly stale. As is his unbelievably annoying entrance music.
The developers at 2K should definitely replace R-Truth either with a legend that was missing from last years line-up or make sure one of the newer rising stars fresh from the NXT is on the list instead.
3 Wanted: Authors Of Pain
The Authors of Pain are a rising powerhouse tag team in the NXT division, and are managed by the same Paul Ellering who managed the legendary Legion of Doom/Road Warriors. The team of Akam and Rezar made a huge impact on NXT Take Over and have been popular with the fans ever since.
The WWE has been slowly building a decent roster of tag team wrestlers, with the majority of them coming from the NXT brand. For the last two years, the WWE 2K games have included a “rising stars” DLC pack helping showcase some of the new talent, so it’s possible that The Authors Of Pain will find themselves included in the main game.
2 Not Wanted: Bo Dallas
This is a difficult entry because his absence due to the WWE creative (seemingly) having not clue what to do with him. He’s a charismatic, and talented second generation wrestler, but he’s cursed with being lumbered with the awful Bo Dallas character.
The WWE needs to completely repackage him and have him return refreshed at a later date, because at the moment he spends most of his time in boring matches that serve as little more than filler for the remainder of the card. Being the real life brother of Bray Wyatt, surely it would make sense to team them up and have come back as another member of the Wyatt family.
1 Wanted: Bobby Roode
A wrestler that wrestling fans have been dying to see get promoted from the NXT to the main roster is Bobby Roode. Like Samoa Joe and Austin Aries before him, he found mainstream wrestling fame in rival promotion TNA. However, it wasn’t until he became the face of NXT, possessing one of the most unique and entertaining entrances in the WWE that fans have really started to take notice.
Although he seems quite content with being the main guy in the NXT brand, it surely won’t be long before he is making the move into RAW or Smackdown, because as a wrestler he does have the total package of experience, ability, and charisma. Getting him in WWE 2K18 ready for his eventual leap into the big leagues would be a smart move, especially as he wasn’t in the previous game. In addition, he’s one of the most uploaded and downloaded community-created wrestlers in WWE 2K17.