Wrestling video games often get praised for their diverse cast of characters and plentiful rosters, but it’s not always that way. Sometimes they get it really, really embarrassingly wrong, and in those instances, it’s important to call them out for what they are: awful.
Whether it’s a low-level wrestler who should’ve never been even been considered for inclusion, or a wacky special character from outside of the wrestling sphere, there have been several cases of wrestling video games inserting playable characters into their titles that really shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Want some of the worst offenders? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
This list features those playable characters in wrestling games that boggled everyone’s mind, either due to their loose links with the product, their awful real-life counterparts, or their completely random inclusion. We're talking crossovers, people who work in wrestling who have no place being in the ring, and even weird things like sailors and floating hats. These are the 15 worst characters in wrestling games–some of which are so horrendous, that even The Rock can’t smell what they're cooking.
15 Terminator (WWE 2K16)
On paper, playing as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator sounds cool. However, in reality, it’s anything but cool. Featured in WWE 2K16 as a bonus character, The Terminator is just too silly for a modern day wrestling game.
Those lucky customers (if you could even call them that) who bought a pre-order of the game got this film favorite as a playable character, but his sluggish, slow movement is the complete antithesis of the current in-ring product put on by the WWE. One match with this lumbering protagonist, and you’ll quickly realize that this is just a cheap PR stunt for the movie.
Oh, and you can also play as an alternative version of his Terminator 2 depiction. However, don’t go expecting it to be any better. Put simply–it’s not.
14 Vince Russo (WCW Backstage Assault)
If you’re a wrestling fan, then you’ll know the name Vince Russo. Whether you love him or hate him–the former editor turned wrestling writer creates much debate due to his unconventional methods and managerial decisions. But a wrestler? Yeah, we’re not buying it.
This controversial figure was never a wrestler, but you wouldn’t know it judging by the moves he’s capable of pulling off in WCW Backstage Assault. Seriously, have you ever seen Vince Russo deliver a body slam, much less a crucifix powerbomb? The answer is a resounding no, but inexplicably, he can in this turgid wrestling title. The unrealistic move set only serves to make his already silly addition in the game even more ridiculous.
Sure he won the WCW World Title, but most would concur that it was one of the most ludicrous moments in wrestling history. However, the fact that he’s featured in WCW Backstage Assault as a playable character is an even bigger slap in the face to fans of the product.
13 Kitana Baker (Backyard Wrestling)
Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This at Home was a truly horrendous depiction of the popular sports entertainment brand, and it was made even worse by some of its roster decisions. Spearheaded by hip-hop outfit Insane Clown Posse (yay…), this bargain bin title featured "other industry" stars, rappers, and third-rate wrestlers. Oh, and a model called Kitana Baker? Yeah, it’s lost on us too.
Best known for posing in Playboy and Miller Lite commercials, the inclusion of Kitana Baker just doesn’t make any sense in any sort of logical level. Okay, so the guys behind it thought she was fit, and she appeared three times as an extra on WWE television, but that’s where the wrestling credentials end.
Baker would later go on to file a lawsuit against the game’s developers, claiming that she never gave away her likeness to be used in the game. It’s more proof that anything associated with this game is just bad news.
12 Suicide (TNA Impact!)
Why introduce a new character in a wrestling game when you’ve got the likes of Sting, Kurt Angel, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, and more all included? We’re miffed by it too, but it’s not so much that fact that he was featured, but more because of how big of a role he played in Midway’s TNA Impact!
Yes, Suicide was his name, and to play the game’s story mode, you had no choice but to choose this glorified luchador. Sure he looked pretty cool, but past that, there’s not many other reasons for why he should’ve made the cut. Wrestling fans want to play as the brand’s established talent, so why base the core mode of the game around a fictional character?
Even more ridiculous is the fact that he became a fully-fledged wrestler on the actual TNA show. With that kind of decision making, it’s probably no surprise that the company is currently foundering…
11 Kwang (WWF Raw)
Millennials probably won’t remember Kwang, but for those of us who grew up during one of wrestling’s worst eras that name is enough to send shivers down your spine. Not because he was scary, but because he was just downright awful.
Released in 1994 for several platforms, WWF Raw was a pretty average title which wasn’t helped by just how bad the product was in the mid-‘90s. However, the inclusion of masked ninja Kwang was a prospect no wrestling fan was chomping at the bit for. He was a lower-tier wrestler at best, and it was made all the worse by the game’s omission of actual great talents like the Steiner Brothers, Tatanka, and the phenomenal Mr. Perfect.
If you had the 32X version of the game, you got a code to unlock the character. Or here’s another idea–don’t even bother.
10 Michael Cole (WWE '12)
I’m not going to lie–I’m really not a fan of Michael Cole. The WWE commentator bores me with his repetitive lines and lack of enthusiasm. So imagine my disappointment when he gets included as a playable wrestler in WWE games. Well, sadly, he’s made numerous appearances, but the worst is his depiction in WWE ’12.
It was around the time when the wrestling promotion was trying to give him more of a character, turning him heel, and having him fight at WrestleMania. It was also around the time when he was at his most unbearable, so we’re sure not many players picked him in the game. Well, unless it was to pummel his head in using Stone Cold Steve Austin or something.
Seriously, who wants to play as a commentator in a wrestling game? It just takes up a spot that would otherwise go to someone who actually, you know, wrestles.
9 Koko B Ware (WWE Legends Of WrestleMania)
THQ’s 2009 title WWE Legends of WrestleMania was actually a lot of fun thanks to its over the top portrayal of wrestling. However, while many of the PPV’s greats are here, there are a few eyebrow-raisers. Case in point: Koko B Ware.
Besides bringing a parrot to the ring, there’s not much beyond this limited wrestler’s persona to warrant his inclusion in the game. The “bird man” wasn’t a main attraction at WrestleMania, but was considered more as a gimmick. If Koko B Ware is worthy to go in, then why not The Red Rooster too? It’s just as ridiculous.
It’s nothing against the wrestler himself, as wrestling fans know that the gimmick is given to the performer by the creative team, but THQ should’ve known better. After all, it was their decision to feature him in their ‘80s throwback fighting game.
8 Druid (WWE SmackDown! Vs. Raw 2011)
Admittedly, The Undertaker’s druids are a really nice touch for his bone-chilling entrance on WWE television. Although, they weren’t that great that we wanted to play as them in a wrestling video game.
Unfortunately, that’s what we got in SmackDown! vs. Raw 2011 when the decision was made to include one of the cloaked figures for use in the game. To unlock him, you had to complete all of the challenges on the Road to WrestleMania story mode–which means putting in quite a few hours for a not so tantalizing unlockable.
Even worse were his moves, which made the option of altering move-sets a necessity. Even then it’s not worth it. One match with this gloomy figure, and you’ll be wishing he was an extra for The Deadman’s entrance again.
7 The Kat (WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role)
Remember The Kat? The one that just whipped her clothes off every time a camera was on her? The one that was married to Jerry the King Lawler? Oh, so that’s why she’s a playable character in WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role.
Yeah, Lawler must’ve persuaded THQ to include her because she was never a wrestler–unless you count pillow fights and lingerie matches as proper matches. It’s the only wrestling game to feature the blonde bombshell, making it somewhat of a rarity.
Can we just stick to including wrestlers from now on? We’re sure there’s someone that wants to play as Kevin Kelly but the vast majority of us don’t care to.
6 Sailor (WCW/nWo Thunder)
Okay, so the decision to feature The Kat could be forgiven considering the fact that she has loose links with the wrestling product, but Sailor? Now they’re just taking the p**s.
Featured in WCW/nWo Thunder, Sailor was actually a playable character. Now, take a moment to digest that. Yes, a sailor was a playable character in the game, and we’re sure wrestling fans everywhere rejoiced when they heard the news… NOT!
You could find this oddity under ‘The Wackies’ section of the roster, where he was joined by fellow goofy characters like Astronaut, Cowboy, Star Fish, a floating fedora, and even Robot. You know what, just file this whole list of characters under characters we never want to use in a wrestling game.
5 Fred Durst (WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It)
“If only we could flyyyy” sang Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst on the band’s hit single ‘My Generation.’ However, after seeing him in WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It as a playable character, we’re sure many wrestling fans were singing “if only we could reverse the decision to include himmm.”
Yes for some bizarre reason, the divisive rapper was featured in the game–despite his only real claim to fame in the wrestling world being when he played The Undertaker down to the ring at WrestleMania XIX. To unlock him, you had to beat 20 opponents in Slobberknocker mode with The Undertaker–no mean feat for such a bad unlockable.
Apparently, the reasons for his inclusion in the game came from Durst himself. In exchange for THQ using ‘Rollin’ in the game, Durst requested to be featured as a playable character in it. Oh dear…
4 Joe Bruiser (WCW Vs. NWo: World Tour)
Wrestling fans secretly love it when there’s a hard to unlock wrestler in a game because it gives them extra incentive to play. However, in the case of WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, that secret character was… Joe Bruiser?
Yeah, so nobody you would know, but what’s worse is he was a boxer–kind of defeating the purpose of a wrestling game. The fictional creation was based on Muhammad Ali, but ends up coming across more like a cheap knock-off compared to the real thing.
Even more infuriating is how long it takes to unlock him, with gamers having to complete all of the levels plus one additional level to unlock Mr. Bruiser. Seriously, couldn’t they have just used a wrestling legend instead?
3 Turok (WWF War Zone)
In terms of western wrestling games, few titles were as influential as WWF War Zone. Released in 1998, War Zone dropped just as the WWF were kicking ass and taking names later with talents like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Triple H, and more, all spearheading the company’s much heralded Attitude Era.
However, we’re not completely letting it off the hook. No, developers Acclaim’s regrettable decision to include comic book character Turok was not a clever one. He was accessible by using a cheat code, but really, there’s no point. The developers just gave him The Rock’s move-set and a create-a-character entrance so he doesn’t even feel unique.
I guess if you’re a massive fan of the Turok game and you can’t get enough of the dinosaur hunter, then there might be some merit in it. If you’re a wrestling fan though, who really cares?
2 Head (WWF Attitude)
Dear goodness. It’s hard to explain just how wrong this inclusion was in WWF Attitude. While it was a fantastic wrestling game, it also featured one of the most ludicrous additions to ever be included in a wrestling game (or any game for that matter): Head.
Wrestling aficionados know Head as the bizarre mannequin head that wrestler Al Snow brings to the ring with him. So yes, it’s an inanimate object, but it didn’t stop developers Acclaim (they’re at it again) from including it as a playable character in the game.
How does it work playing as just a head? Well, weirdly enough, the model also has hands and feet–making this already stupid idea all the more idiotic. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Just downright dumb.
1 Dummy (WWF Wrestlemania 2000)
Ever wanted to play as a crash test dummy in a wrestling game? No, us neither, but it didn’t stop the team behind WWF WrestleMania 2000 from bizarrely including it in their title. And yes, it’s just as bad as it sounds.
To achieve this dumb feat, you first had to go into the edit menu and clone any female character onto an original slot. Then, go to appearance and select the attire to 0, and voila! You now have your very own crash test dummy for use in the game. How wonderful…
Forget playing as Dummy–the real dummy is the person who thought this was a good idea. Newsflash: it isn’t.