World Wrestling Entertainment games have been a large part of the video game world for decades due to their customization, simple controls, and the usage of iconic characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, and The Rock.
As the series has switched developers and spanned over a handful of franchises, there has been a constant in most of the newer titles to be released: the overall stat ranking philosophy that comes with every WWE Superstar.
These rankings have added a new layer of depth that paints the game with a more realistic portrayal of the wrestlers as they all feature their own unique wrestling style and the overall attributes have generally been fairly accurate as the developers seemed to have been fans of the company and paid close attention to their ratings.
However, as the saying goes, nothing is perfect, and there have been a few instances where the ratings of these characters have been questionable, to say the least with some as they completely miss the boat on truly representing some of the greatest wrestlers in the world.
Even now as we enter the new era of sports simulation gaming, some of the most recent releases have been some of the most obscene offenders of these frustrating inaccuracies that have left passionate fans to argue the true ratings of their favorite wrestlers to ever perform in the WWE.
25 Shocking: The Big Show - 92 [WWE ‘13]
Starting off the list with one of the longest tenured veterans of the WWE locker room and an iconic figure for many fans of WWE, it is The Big Show. WWE ‘13 might hold a treasured spot in the hearts of gamers for the fan service in bringing in Attitude Era stars of the yesteryears, but developers THQ made a complete mistake on giving The Big Show an overall of 92. It is just a tad too high for him, and even with his ever-growing list of achievements, there is just not enough justification to explain this overestimation as he did not necessarily have a good run as a main competitor at the time. This rating also puts him at the same attribute as Brock Lesnar, who was (and still is) experiencing main event success.
24 Shocking: JTG - 84 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2008]
Definitely a lesser known name in the squared circle is the tag team specialist JTG, who was a part of a duo with fellow wrestler Shad as part of Cryme Time, a team that was stereotyped to be thieves from poor neighborhoods. During their run as a team, the two failed to capture a championship in any division during their years in the league and never really blossomed into a successful tag-team. This made it all the more confusing when JTG received a more than generous 84, which placed him in a questionable place on the ladder of attributes in the game. He is actually just one point below former WWE Champion JBL and is actually an entire point above former World Heavyweight Champion The Great Khali (who stands at 7’1’’).
23 Disgraceful: JBL - 85 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2007]
Speaking of former WWE champion and future Hall of Famer John Bradshaw Layfield, his rating was strangely low for a longtime despite the amount of screen time and surprising success he experienced after his mid-card run early on. Even after feuding with franchise star John Cena and breaking the record for longest WWE Championship reign, he still found himself with a measly 85, which basically makes it so that a lot of the wrestlers in the game that would normally be lucky to get a match. This also makes it difficult for fans of JBL to use his character as he finds himself in a distinctly inaccurate position of disadvantage and renders his special maneuver the Clothesline From Hell relatively useless for gamers that wish to recreate some of his most memorable moments.
22 Shocking: William Regal - 89 [WWE 2K15]
Leave it up to the title that transitioned the franchise from the last gen to current gen to make some pretty notable mistakes that hamper the game (such as removing most of the extra features and fan favorite modes). Still, the overall ratings of WWE Superstars in this game are odd, such as the inclusion of giving William Regal (a wrestler who has taken the role of general manager at this time) an overall attribute score of 89. This puts him a few points above some of the most vicious competitors that have seen much more mainstream success, and overall popularity in the game and this attribute does not seem to match up with his less-than-favorable match record. Regal might be a classic wrestler who has been crucial to developing young talent, but this is just too much of a stretch for even his best fans.
21 Disgraceful: Goldust - 75 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2011]
Goldust, portrayed by Dustin Runnels, was a large part of WWE’s transition into an edgier product during the early 1990s and has remained a fairly important name to many fans of wrestling as being one of the most instantly recognizable wrestlers to ever be a part of the business. While he may not have ever captured the main title, he still had much success as a tag-team competitor and captured both Intercontinental and Tag-Team Championships during and after his prime. Still, even in 2010, Goldust deserved much more than this terrible rating of 75, something that makes him look like a complete scrub when he is one of the most seasoned veterans on the roster, and he honestly deserves much more respect than this horribly inaccurate rating.
20 Shocking: Cactus Jack - 91 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2007]
Wrestler Mick Foley has been known to portray a couple different characters over his years but never really got the attention he deserved as a hard worker until he was Mankind, winning the WWE Championship in the 1990s and justifying those grinding years. Prior to this, however, he was known under the alias as Cactus Jack, a hardcore wrestler that did not necessarily have the skill to win, but the drive. He mainly put on hardcore matches that featured blood and violence to the most extreme extent, but never captured the glory he got with his days as Mankind. This is why the rating of 91 is just too high, as Cactus Jack was unable to capture tag-team gold in the 1990s, but is somehow listed as a better wrestler than the likes of John Cena and Batista.
19 Shocking: Good Ol’ JR And Michael Cole - 71 [WWE ‘12]
Commentators are NOT wrestlers and mostly stick to sitting down in a chair and calling moves that they themselves could probably never perform on a nightly basis if given the task to do so, having said that, the overall rating of 71 is just so ridiculously high that there is just no explanation. If they were rated on their abilities to call the match, then why is one of the most legendary voices in all of wrestling listed as 71 and Michael Cole’s spoon fed dialogue receiving the same? Even if they were not rated on their profession, and were rated as wrestlers, this still does not place them much lower than some of the main roster’s talent like David Otunga and future WWE champion Husky Harris (now known as Bray Wyatt).
18 Disgraceful: Shane McMahon - 77 [WWE 2K17]
As covered before, Shane McMahon is one of the most notable snubs of all-time in WWE games history. But the rating of 77 is just a complete slap in the face to all of his achievements and all of the things he has done since semi-retiring many years ago. While being the son of WWE chairman Vince McMahon, Shane still made a huge impact as a singles competitor in the 1990s and went on to challenge the immortal Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 and gave the Dead Man a hellacious fight despite losing. If someone can compete with the Undertaker, they definitely deserve to be on the same level as some of the biggest main eventers and the developers at 2K should definitely up his overall attribute rating after having a stellar match with AJ Styles at Wrestlemania 33.
17 Shocking: Jimmy Wang Yang - 86 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2009]
After seeing the disgraceful rating of the legendary Shane O’Mac in WWE 2K17, this next entry in this list seems like a troll pick by the developers to give the players an opportunity to win with someone who did not win too much; Jimmy Wang Yang. Seemingly a joke character that played on the reverse stereotype of an Asian wrestler trying to fit in with American culture, this mid card wrestler found himself at the bottom of the barrel when it came to competitive success, but was given the ridiculous rating of 86. This makes him higher on the overall list than former Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston and at the same average as the World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry and former World Heavyweight champion and Royal Rumble winner Rey Mysterio.
16 Shocking: Hulk Hogan (80s) - 96 [Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006]
Hulk Hogan may be the most iconic professional wrestler of all-time and is regarded as one of the pioneering personas that led the WWE to success at a time where wrestling was close to fading into obscurity. While this in itself is not a shocking fact, his dominance in his heyday is usually argued as relative, but the amazing rating of 96 puts everything into perspective as its one of the biggest ratings to ever be given out in WWE game history. Some will argue that it may be too high considering he had a few clean losses (most notably against long time rival Ultimate Warrior) but those doubters need to realize that Hulk Hogan was practically untouchable in his era. The sheer difference in culture since then is the real shocker here.
15 Disgraceful: Daniel Bryan - 84 [WWE ‘12]
One has to look at WWE’s flagship introduction video to see some of the biggest legends of all time being represented in a short time, and Daniel Bryan has been a part of the introduction since his historic win over Randy Orton, Batista, and Triple H all in the same night at Wrestlemania 30. Even when he was just getting started in the WWE with his main singles run, he found success by gaining the United States championship, joining a list of former winners like John Cena, Chris Benoit, and Matt Hardy. This makes his overall rating in WWE ’12 as 84 to be a completely disrespectful representation of his illustrious career as even before his WWE days he was touring the entire globe for over a decade and he deserves to be above the likes of R-Truth, Sin Cara and Dolph Ziggler.
14 Shocking: Road Warrior Animal & Hawk - 90 [Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain]
Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain is one of the best wrestling games to ever be released, and while it may not have the same cult status as No Mercy it is still a solid hit for many fans that played this when it released. However, as it was one of the earliest games to use an overall rating system and it was quite clear that it had a few bugs it had to get rid of before becoming slightly more accurate as years would go on. Sure, as a team the Road Warriors Hawk and Animal were one of the most legendary duos that ever wrestled, but as singles competitors, they were just decent, usually sticking to tag team matches for that reason. The rating of 90 for both is just too high, putting them above legends Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and even The Undertaker (we will get to that).
13 Disgraceful: Arnold T1 - 85 [WWE 2K16]
The addition of the Terminator as part of the pre-order and downloadable content for WWE 2K16 was a complete corporate cash-in and a blatant tie-in for the release of the film Terminator: Genisys, as was the Terminator-themed entrance of Triple H at the prior year’s Wrestlemania. However, the game is not clear on if it is Arnold Schwarzenegger in a costume of the cyborg assassin, or the actual character of the ruthless killer. If it is the ruthless killer, it would seem to be a modest rating of 85 that seems to take away from the grandeur of his robotic likeness. In the film, it took a compactor that crushes steel to stop this machine, but apparently, someone like Dolph Ziggler could just suplex him.
12 Shocking: Finlay - 88 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2008]
Fit Finlay is a mainstay in the wrestling business and has been a part of many companies in his career and now holds a very important training and scouting position as part of WWE. During 2007, when this game released, he was experiencing a career renaissance that saw him find popularity for his rough and tough gimmick and his intense matches on the mid card where he put over younger talent. And as he put over the other wrestlers that had promising futures, it became apparent to most fans that his rating of 88 was just a bit much to believe when he had yet to capture a championship or even get a couple of clean wins over fellow mid carders. Sure, he could have won a couple big matches like his ladder match at Wrestlemania 23, but being a few points behind the likes of Stone Cold and John Cena is unbelievable.
11 Disgraceful: CM Punk - 87 [Smackdown Vs. Raw 2009]
During the end of the 2000s. CM Punk was being well groomed to be one of the company’s biggest stars and relished in this as he did a great job putting on some stellar matches many years prior to his global recognition after his infamous “pipe bomb” but the rating of 87 in this game would not tell you that. Down 5 points from his spot in Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, one has to wonder what was in the minds of the developers that added up these stats to get this less-than-favorable result. Even if Punk was still young and upcoming, he had already had main event matches with some of the biggest names in the company like Undertaker and Jeff Hardy just to name a few.
10 Shocking: Jake Roberts - 87 [Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006]
Today’s fast paced wrestling is usually judged on the quality of storytelling both outside and inside the ring as a whole, and no one has been a bigger part of that than Jake “The Snake” Roberts. His contributions to the psychology of wrestling that has made it most interesting melodrama to watch, but he failed to capture gold in the WWE and basically never got the chance to showcase his brilliance on a main event level. So giving him the overall of 87 is just a little too generous, even for starry-eyed fans as this makes him just a few points below multi-time WWE championship winners Triple H and John Cena, and unfortunately for Jake Roberts, the ratings are not based on the cultural impact on the business.
9 Disgraceful: Bray Wyatt - 85 [WWE 2K16]
Speaking of in-ring psychologists that changed the world of wrestling, Bray Wyatt has been an entity of his own that has found a cult-like following in his “fireflies” and has had main event matches with big names like The Undertaker, Roman Reigns and the face of WWE himself John Cena. Giving him this awful rating of 85 puts him below mid carders like Cesaro that would never get a match against the Dead Man on the grandest stage of them all and he is just one point above his lackey, Erick Rowan. Sure, Bray had relied on the support of his stable and did not seem to have many wins, he was still given the air of legitimacy that only a handful of hard working wrestlers ever get a chance to feel.
8 Shocking: Luke Harper - 90 [WWE 2K15]
As mentioned, WWE 2K15 was a disaster of a release for many fans of WWE, and some of the horribly inadequate Superstar ratings are a big part of what immediately turned fans away. Luke Harper, someone who barely had a grasp on the Intercontinental championship and mainly served as Bray Wyatt’s underling during his main run on the WWE roster, so giving him the amazingly inaccurate rating of 90 was just unforgivable. Harper is far from a terrible wrestler, but he has a higher rating than Hall of Famers Edge, Randy Savage and even the UNDERTAKER (even if it was the 1990s version only). What were they thinking when they thought he was worthy of such a high rating and why did no one speak up to question this weird addition?
7 Disgraceful: Trish Stratus - 50 [Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain]
Women’s wrestling has received a lot more legitimacy and care from the WWE and the company has wisely stepped away from their male-dominated era by shedding some light on the talent that has come out of the ladies’ division. This was not the case for a long time, and seeing the ratings of female wrestlers in the past is a clear example of this one sided view that the WWE held at the time, as future Woman’s Revolution leader Trish Stratus was listed at a completely disrespectful 50. She may not have won some of her biggest matches leading up to this, but this is a testament to both her progress as a performer and the strides that females have made to make themselves be known in this modern era.
6 Shocking: Kurt Angle - 94 [Smackdown Vs. Raw 2007]
Kurt Angle is a multi-time WWE champion, an accomplished amateur wrestler with a gold medal, and now a Hall of Famer and is now getting the recognition for his efforts by the company he left for TNA in 2008. This is what makes his game-high overall of 94 that much more impressive (and surprising) as the most fierce and decorated competitor in the WWE at the time had switched brands to their biggest rival and left a huge hole to be filled. Kurt Angle is good, but it is shocking how high on the pedestal WWE was prepared to leave him on before he walked away from the company. One has to wonder just how high his rating would have been the next year had he stayed.
5 Disgraceful: Shinsuke Nakamura - 86 [WWE 2K17]
WWE 2K17 is infamous for its shameless use of downloadable content to give the developers some extra cash by holding out on giving the fans some content that should have been in the game in the first place. So when Shinsuke Nakamura was announced as DLC, fans were pissed off to learn they had to spend an extra couple of bucks just to play as this legendary Japanese wrestler. Then they were even further enraged when they saw his rating as 86, putting him below some of the most mediocre Superstars and making this former IWGP champion at the same level of tag-team wrestlers like Kofi Kingston. Seeing as he was already dominating NXT, it seems like a troll choice on the developer’s part to give Shinsuke such a terrible rating.
4 Shocking: Cesaro - 90 [WWE 2K15]
As well noted, WWE 2K15 made some terrible decisions when it came to Superstar attributes, but almost none have been as shocking as the astoundingly stupid inclusion of Cesaro’s overall of 90 is just plain absurd. No one is trying to take away from his excellent prowess in the ring or his status as a true fan-favorite despite Vince McMahon trying everything to hinder his popularity. Still, an overall of 90 puts him above wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, and just about some of the best wrestlers to ever grace the ring. Cesaro still has a lot to prove before he can be compared with such greats and while he making great progress, this was overzealous, to say the least.
3 Shocking: The Undertaker - 98 [Smackdown vs. Raw 2011]
No one can take away from the immortal legacy of The Undertaker, and his presence is beyond immeasurable in the world of professional wrestling, and he has become a pop culture phenomenon and icon of his own right due to holding the longest streak at Wrestlemania. So most (keep that in mind) rating overall in the early 90s and it is also very fitting to see him carry the highest ever overall rating in the history of WWE games at a whopping 98 in this 2010 title. What makes this shocking is knowing that only a very select few have ever gotten even a few points as close to this coveted rating, and with his retirement looming after his loss to Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 33 it only makes it that much more obvious that no one may ever be rated that high again.
2 Disgraceful: The Undertaker - 85 [Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain]
And here we go again with Here Comes The Pain and the rocky start to a very important feature in attribute overall ratings, as this is probably the most disgusting rating to ever be given to the most important wrestler in WWE history. Just as we talked about the appropriately high rating he received in Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, he received a measly 85 in this game and could not be more inaccurate and disgraceful to the legacy that The Undertaker has left behind. Even if he suffered a few main event losses at the time, they were too huge names like Brock Lesnar and Kane, usually under dubious or hellacious circumstances. This is by far one of the worst gauges of talent to ever be done in the history of any sports game, as even those who do not watch wrestling know how important his stamp on the world has been.
1 Shocking: Bobby Heenan - 96 [WWE 2K1]
Okay, this one is kind of a debatable one, but if one looks solely at the statistics of the characters in the game, even something like this seems inexcusable. Bobby Heenan is one of the most legendary wrestling managers to ever live, but it just does not make any sense to have him listed at a daunting 96. This makes him the highest rated character in a game that features former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar on the cover of the game and just about every big legend to ever step foot into the squared circle. He may not be a playable character, but it is still one of the most shocking ratings to ever be seen by fans of the WWE, and is probably the highest rating that any character that has never really wrestled a match will ever get.