While horse racing may be the sport of kings, wrestling is undoubtedly the sport (entertainment) of champions. Whether you're a newcomer to the lycra-clad ballet that is modern wrestling, or you've been watching since the golden age, you've probably played a WWE game along the way. WWE 2K18 may have its problems (it's not Know Your Role or No Mercy), but in some ways, it's exceptionally solid. Its advanced create-a-wrestler mode allows you to guide your own avatar, or freakish monstrosity, from no one to the title, while the varied match types mean you'll never get bored.
If you want to reenact the craziness of Armageddon 2000's six-man Hell In A Cell brawl, or pit legends against one another, you'll find the opportunities here. That being said, these are the more obvious options, and there's a lot more depth hidden below the surface. For example, did you know you can create a famous fast food icon in immaculate detail? Or put your opponents through flaming tables like some kind of infernal one-man Dudley Boyz? How about throwing your opponent through a table from the top of the cell? Or taking The Shield's triple powerbomb to dizzying new heights of brutality?
In this list, I've pulled together some of the most messed up things you can do to your opponents in 2K18. Some of them just boggle the mind, really. The Attitude Era may be dead and gone, more's the pity, but its stupidity and incredible brawls can live on forever. Want to know how? Read on.
25 Bring On The Colonel
Did you know that in some territories, there’s something of a battle for the taste buds between KFC and Popeyes? Well, in WWE 2K18 you can solve the battle for fried chicken supremacy once and for all, because you can play as Colonel Sanders himself. Yes, really, the world’s most famous Kentucky Colonel is in WWE 2K18. While he isn’t a default character, you can find all the right blend of herbs, spices, and facial hair in the create-a-wrestler mode. The news was announced via Kurt Angle dressing as the famous mascot for WWE’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-view. This isn’t some cheeky easter egg, this is something WWE planned meticulously. I’m just saying, if you wanted to make a generic version of Popeye, it wouldn’t be too hard. How should they solve it? My mind’s on a hardcore bout.
24 Triple In Every Sense Of The Word
Remember the days when Triple H was a regular star of the squared circle? He had it all. This is a guy who once tore his quad muscle and had to finish the match in a leg lock. He is not to be trifled with. As a tribute, how would you like to see him back in the ring not once, but three times? There are two versions of Triple H in-game, new, bald Hunter and old Hunter with the hair that doesn’t quite render properly. Now if you put old noodle-head and Baldy McBalderson in a tag team together, and have them work their way up through the ranks to become champions, they’ll be presented with the championship by none other than…Triple H. That’s right, Triple the H, Triple the Hunter, Triple the Glory.
23 Beaten Into Hamburger
Now, while we all know wrestling is fake (sorry, everyone), the risks are real. Taking chairshots and getting thrown around doesn’t do anyone’s spleen a whole lot of good. WWE 2K18 is pretty good at telling you when you need to lay off on the hits. When the opponent’s health is two levels past red (AKA the oh-god-stop-I-need-a-Tramadol status), the referee will interrupt your ceaseless wailing on them. After you’ve smashed into them with the force of an unmarked Lincoln Towncar, the ref will check on the opponent to make sure they’ve not tapped out of life and into the great hereafter. This is the game essentially telling you you’re wasting your time, but it’s a nice touch. If you want, you want, you can also just go right ahead, turning every match into Triple H v Ric Flair circa 2005.
22 Adding Tension
Near pinfalls are one of the highlights of the wrestling experience. Those tight, tense moments in PPV, where the whole audience collectively clenches because it looks like the match is going to be over too quickly. You might think that in the world of wrestling games, what you see is what you get, and there’s no way to simulate this tension. Well, you’d be wrong, Mr/Miss Presumptuous Wrestling Fan! If you’re enjoying the match and don’t want it to be over just yet, you can press down on the dpad during a pin to make your opponent kick out. This is particularly good for when you’re wrestling a PPV and after all the build up, don’t want your fifteen minutes of fame to be over just yet.
21 INTO THE CROWD
If you've ever been to a wrestling PPV, you may have had the joyous experience of having the brawl spill out into the audience area. This is truly the most electrifying moment of the most electrifying sport, with the paying customers having the chance to get up close and personal (though hopefully not too close), with their favorite stars. If you want to give the virtual audience a similar thrill, you can in WWE 2K18. This is one of the game's new OMG moments, which use a stored finisher or three to perform spectacular feats. You only need one for this, and when you have it, stand by the barricade and hit the "OMG" prompt. You'll be brawling in the audience's laps in no time.
20 Give Rusev His Imperial Pomp
Whichever agent came up with the idea of booking Rusev in the WWE made a very smart move. It's a promotion with a history of hoo-rah Americanism, so having a URA Russian (though he's actually Bulgarian) in to counter it is incredible. Rusev's entrances are best when he's introduced by longstanding manager Lana amidst a wave of Russian patriotism worthy of a Soviet May Day Parade. If you want to have this ridiculousness in your game, it couldn't be simpler. All you need to do is select Rusev in your matchup, and pair him with Lana as his manager. Sadly, he still doesn't come out amidst fireworks and clutching a Russian flag, but I can only hope that will be included in WWE 2K19, if "Rusev Day" continues.
19 A Touch Of Gold
Speaking of tag teams, one which only fans will really remember are Golden Truth. This team, made up of Goldust and R-Truth never really came to much, but they were an entertaining little sideshow for a while. While not available by default, this team also get their own entrance preset in WWE 2K18. To see it in all its glory, all you’ve gotta do is create a tag team composed of Goldust and R-Truth, and you’ll be rewarded with this incredible thing. It’s overblown in the most wrestling kind of way, with R-Truth rapping his way down to the ring with the help of the most heavily made-up hypeman ever. It’s terrible, stupid, and very, very funny. Try it out, you will not be disappointed.
18 Become A Virtual Billionaire
Earning Virtual Currency (VC) in WWE 2K18 can be a drag, but you need it if you’re going to unlock items or build up your superstar. Luckily, there are some ways to earn it quickly. The easiest way is to play a bunch of one-sided singles matches, i.e. super heavyweight v cruiserweight, while aiming for strong ratings. Once the match is over, hit rematch, and grind away again. Another way to earn is to keep switching your wrestler’s apparel every few shows in career mode, to keep audiences buying your shirts, for which you get a cut of the sales.
You can also earn double VC in every single match if you max out your rating as a Company Man. Sure, being a corporate suckup might not feel right, but all that cash will.
17 It’s All In The Name
WWE’s Hell In A Cell matches will always be some of my favourites. I was introduced to WWE (or WWF, rather) by the six-man Hell In A Cell at Armageddon 2000. The most intense moment of that match was when The Undertaker hefted Rikishi off the cell like the world’s heaviest sack of potatoes, and that’s a move you can recreate in WWE 2K18. While special cagetop finishers have been removed, you can still chokeslam someone off the top, or, if you want to be even nastier, the game will help you out. You can pick up your opponent and powerbomb them through the announce table by carrying them to the edge of the cage and hitting X/A. Unluckily for them, unlike Rikishi, there won’t be a conveniently padded truck waiting for them if you do it a second time.
16 Stop, Drop, And Spray
Ah, the humble fire extinguisher. Like the sledgehammer, the steel chair, or the ring bell, it’s one of those weapons that’s a hallmark of wrestling. As such, it makes sense that in the game’s backstage brawls, you can grab one and go medieval on someone with it. However, did you know that you can also use it for its intended purpose?
If you grab the extinguisher and press L1/LB, you’ll spray your opponent with it. You can do this up to three times before you’re left with something that’s essentially just a bludgeon. Unfortunately, there are no inferno matches in 2K18, so you can’t show a sense of social responsibility and put out a burning wrestler, but still, I’ll take being able to spray it around like it’s freshers’ week.
15 Squashing The Jobber
So, if you’re not au fait with wrestling lingo, you’re still going to understand what a squash match is. Not the kind that involves bouncing balls off a wall like a competitive version of that scene from The Great Escape, no, a squash match is when one wrestler completely dominates the other. See pretty much any match Roman Reigns took part in around two years ago, when his opponents barely raised their arms. In WWE 2K18, you can create your very own squash matches. You can find the “squash match rate” in the slider options, putting it all the way up will let you…well, squash your opponent.
If you’re playing as someone like Lesnar, and set it all the way up, you’ll earn a finisher in about three to four moves. You can end the match in seconds. This is also a very sneaky way to earn VC fast.
14 A Championship Of The Damned
One of the tragic facts about wrestling is that its stars tend to die all too soon. Whether due to drug abuse, the ridiculous physical damage they take over their life, or the stress of the job, many wrestlers meet an early end. They don’t, however, disappear from the games, so how about making a new championship, one where you discover who reigns in the afterlife? The game allows you to create custom championships, and to fight for them in various match types, so why not make a horrendous post-mortem battle royale? Once and for all, we can answer the questions we’ll never see solved nowadays: Eddie Guerrero or Dusty Rhodes? Macho Man or Andre the Giant? Who will wear the coveted belt? You decide.
13 GET THE TABLES
Remember back when ECW was a thing? It was the hardest of the hardcore wrestling franchises, with matches routinely involving brutal weapons and incredible crowds. One of my favorite moments in the franchise’s history was when everyone’s favorite table-obsessed tag team, the Dudley Boyz, put Spike Dudley through a flaming table at Heat Wave 1999. Now, while the Boyz themselves aren’t in the game, you can recreate this with your favorite superstars if you so choose. To light a table on fire, you just need to have a stored finisher and have a table set up, stand by its corner and press triangle or Y. After that, you can powerbomb someone through it and create a classic moment that would never be allowed on today’s WWE.
The game’s custom match mode is better than ever, which opens up some wonderful opportunities. While the legendary “I Quit” match mode is missing, along with a few others, many other attitude-era standbys make a welcome return, and you can mix and match them to a ridiculous degree. Want to create a first blood match in a steel cage? You can. Want a submission match with falls counting anywhere? Go for it. If you want to have three run-ins per match, in a no-DQ match with knockouts enabled (which sounds kind of deadly to me), then go hog wild.
This, for me, is part of the charm of wrestling video games. Yes, wrestling on TV may have gotten pretty tame (remember that time Brian Pillman threatened Steve Austin with a gun?), but you can get as brutal as you like in the virtual world.
11 You Rated Them What?
I know that WWE are going to want to push their new talent, but if you want to get infuriated, enjoy a look at the various wrestlers’ ratings. Seth Rollins is rated at 92. Apparently he’s eight percent away from being the perfect wrestler, meanwhile, Chris Jericho, one of the finest technical wrestlers of all time, is rated at 87. Goldust, a hardworking industry man, gets a rating of 76, meanwhile, Shane McMahon, a man of, let’s say, limited athletic ability, and even more limited fashion sense, gets 84. That’s the same rating as Rusev, for the sake of comparison. What this kind of suggests it that the ratings are mostly just arbitrary, so hey, sure, why not make your created wrestler a 99-rated superstar? They may as well be.
10 Not What Home Depot Had In Mind
Know what’s impressive? Aerial moves. Do you know what’s even more impressive? Aerial moves from the top of a ladder. If you add a ringside table to this, you get one of the coolest moments in wrestling. If you wanna do this, you’re going to need the “top rope diver” skill, and a finisher stored. Once you’ve got it all worked out, simply lay an opponent across the announce table, and ascend to the heavens (well, at least 30 feet,) and dive down like a graceful swan of muscle and pain.
This isn’t the only spectacular move you can do from the top of a ladder, either. You can also do your finisher from there, if you’ve got it rigged up correctly in the custom-move set. Particularly impressive is the Attitude Adjustment from the top of a ladder. That’s going to leave a mark.
9 The Neverending Pain Train
Samoa Joe is a wrestler with a lot of experience. He spent several years fighting his way through the Ring Of Honor franchise, before moving on to TNA (remember them?) and then wound up in NXT. He has so much potential that WWE let him beat Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt for heaven’s sake, and one of his best moves? A folding powerbomb into a Boston Crab. Now, for those who aren’t aware, neither of these moves are fun: but the Boston Crab, in particular, is a wince-inducing submission. If you wanna do this moveset as Samoa Joe in 2K18, you need to have two finishers stored, and then hit triangle/Y as normal. You’ll powerbomb them, pin them, and then if they escape that, hit them with the Crab. Ouch.
8 Breaking The Ban
As I mentioned earlier, I’m very glad that the restrictions of modern wrestling aren’t part of the games. Take banned moves, for example. Now, a lot of these were banned for good reason, because they are astoundingly dangerous, but no one can deny the Piledriver, the Shooting Star Press, or chair shots to the head are dramatic, impressive, and athletic. Luckily, all of the above are featured in WWE 2K18 in all their glory. You can find the moves while creating your wrestler, though some you’ll have to save VC to buy (see above for quick ways to get it,) or use them as part of established wrestler’s movesets. The golden era of much riskier wrestling never went away in the WWE 2K video games.
7 Triple Powerbomb Made Even Worse
The Shield were a great tag team a few years back, weren’t they? Before WWE started pushing Roman Reigns as the new Cena, you could always expect athleticism and great audience participation from a match with the lads. One of the greatest moments in any of their bouts was their triple powerbomb, which you can do in Singles matches by having Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose at ringside with Roman Reigns. However, if you wanna make things even worse for your opponent, you can do the move in hardcore matches. Set up a table in the middle of the ring, and prepare for a modern take on the 3-D, the perfect way to end a hardcore match if ever there was one. Seeing that they're starting to get back together, I bet we can expect even more stuff like this to come.
6 New Uses For Ladders
Say what you like about getting slammed through a table, it cannot compare to the pain of getting thrown on to a ladder. Like yes, the table hurts, but it’s wood, it’s got a lot of give. The ladder meanwhile, is unforgiving steel. If you want to leave your opponent in a world of hurt, and possibly a back brace, you need a ladder bridge. To set one up, just grab a ladder, and place it between the ring and the crowd barriers.
Next, make sure you have the momentum of the match on your side. Walk your opponent to the ladder bridge, and wait for the “OMG” prompt to come up. When it does, hit it, and powerbomb your opponent into next week and the nearest hospital.
5 Breaking More Than Just Your Opponent
Wrestling rings may look solid, but really, they’re just stretched canvas reinforced with wood. Some of the most spectacular moments in wrestling have come about from them being, let’s say, misused. Whether it’s from a wrestler making a surprise entrance by emerging from below the ring or, as in this case, a wrestler being slammed so hard they go clean through it. You can do the latter fairly easily in WWE 2K18, once you know how. To do so, you need to have a mammoth three finishers stored up, and be playing as a super heavyweight. Once you have them stored, you’ll need to wait for the OMG prompt to flash up, and you’ll do a ridiculous superplex which will collapse the ring and award you a KO victory.
4 Speared Like A Fish
The humble Spear is a wrestling move as old as time, but probably mostly remembered for its use by Edge. Now, while the rugby tackle bodyslam may be painful in the ring, it’s even worse when performed on to a solid object. The backstage brawl mode provides you myriad opportunities to do just that. Whether you want to give your opponent the surprise of their life and hit them into the breaker box, or smash them through a TV, it’s not difficult to do. You’ll need to have a finisher stored and wait for the OMG prompt to appear yet again (not your finisher prompt). When it does, hit it, and you’ll career into your opponent at high speed, knocking them into whatever object appeals to you. This can also be done to the pods in the Elimination Chamber.
Cars have a long and storied history in wrestling. Whether in the use of unmarked Lincoln Towncars in knocking down countless superstars, or, as in this case, using them to brutalize your opponent. Just watch Triple H pedigree Chris Jericho on to the top of a car, or the Undertaker chokeslam the Great Khali at full force on to a vehicle, and you’ll understand why this is so impressive. You can do this with a wide variety of finishers in WWE 2K18, so let your combative imagination run wild! Again, you’ll need a finisher stored and to be in the parking lot area. Now, while this move uses finishers, it still counts as an OMG moment, so you’ll need to hit that rather than the finisher prompt when you’re on top of the car.
2 Hell Out Of A Cell
Hell In A Cell matches, as I mentioned earlier, are one of my favorite match types. While the idea of being stuck inside a cage with 200-500 pounds of wrestler may sound like a bad time, do you know what’s even worse? Getting thrown out of the cage. The cells are traditionally sealed with padlocks and chains, so you need to be thrown with a ridiculous amount of force to break them, which can’t be good for your face, or your anything, frankly. To do this to your opponent, store a finisher and then OMG them by the door. Doing this also opens the whole area up, allowing you to climb up to the roof, slam someone through a table, and even throw them off the top, as mentioned earlier.
1 They're Back
The WWE 2K18 roster is pretty exhaustive, but there's still some glaring holes. Luckily, you can add some of these with a minimum amount of effort on your part. The developers have left a lot of the wrestler's signature entrances in the game, so even if you may not be able to play as Kenny Omega, you can make him up and set his entrance to Alpha Omega.
Ryback's entrances are featured under Silverback 1 and 2. If you want to inflict a storm of pain on your opponent as The Hurricane, use Super Hero. Other wrestlers whose entrances are featured under generic names include Eli Drake and Austin Aries. Even though it's kind of a disappointment that these wrestlers weren't in it from the off, it's a very nice touch.