The last time we covered some of the things that the world-famous World Wrestling Entertainment wants you to forget about. We really dug into some of the murky parts of their past.
This time around, there we will be no holding back when it comes to the biggest wrestling gaming franchise of all-time and we'll switch focus to aspects that are closer in line with the technical aspects of the game.
Having said that, there is no shortage of controversies that have rocked the WWE gaming universe in ways that have not been covered here, but this list will expose some of the craziest parts of the past games.
Sometimes, these mistakes are catastrophic to the integrity of the way WWE portrays their games, and some are just simple removals that have stripped the depth that fans crave in this modern era of gaming.
If the last list changed the overall perception of any new iteration like the WWE 2K18, then the next list entries will completely alter the way any installment will be perceived for the rest of the franchise’s existence.
Seeing as there is almost no end to the huge company and their plans to expand their global reach, these games will forever remain a staple to the sports simulation genre – a very lucrative corner of the gaming world.
Witness another shameful set of unforgettable moments in WWE games history that they want you to never remember again!
20 Arms Dealing
Starting off with something that no sports simulation wants to ever deal with: the sale of illegal weapons. Okay, it's not assault rifles or rocket launchers, but they are still illegal in standard matches throughout. In the game Wrestlemania XIX, players can purchase extra deadly weapons to use during their matches at some pretty stiff prices (using in-game points). Furthermore, our arms dealer in the game is actually the former WWE talent Stacy Keibler and she seems quite pleased with her profession. In all honesty, it is just a way of adding some length to the game by making gamers grind for extra facets. Those who have read the last list are aware that this is the same game that allows you to throw construction workers into the ocean.
19 A Bar Set Too High
Speaking of No Mercy, the game is so popular that people have added mods to the game and modernized it with HD upgrades on emulators. Providing as an example to the excellence of this simple-style of wrestling, fans can download arenas and wrestlers from all sorts of brands, companies, and even fictional ones as well as characters from Ultimate Muscle. Look at the bigger picture, however, and one will see that this is because practically no wrestling game has come close to the addictive wrestling action of No Mercy. The developers at 2K should be ashamed for never living up the hype of following up a game from almost two decades ago. They have the technology and money to make something even better, but they seem more interested in making a pretty penny via downloadable content.
18 WWE's Gamer Shared More Than Just Games
Xavier Woods is a popular staple of Smackdown Live and Monday Night Raw, along with his popular wrestling group New Day, and has a following on social media and YouTube as WWE’s resident gamer. He uploads videos that feature walkthroughs and Let’s Plays with many other WWE Superstars on a normal basis to provide the fans with an interesting insight into how these other wrestlers unwind. Unfortunately for him, earlier on in this year, he gained some infamy for some grown up films being leaked to the public that showed him doing very un-PG things. Sure, it ended up being swept under the rug, but seeing as he is the most important gamer in the entire company it definitely seemed to put a twist on his public perception.
17 Road To Wrestlemania Closed
Last time that we covered the things that WWE wants you to forget we mentioned the Hall of Fame Showcase mode that was removed for the release of WWE 2K18. This time, we have something different to bring up. It’s the long-lost Road To Wrestlemania mode that saw players follow the various journeys for many wrestlers as they make their way to the grandest stage of them all. Sometimes they even included the option of bringing a customizable character to the fray, which was still fairly new at the time. Now that they have switched to making MyCareer mode the main focus when it comes to single-player action, we will probably never see this again. However, the written storylines with voice work from the actual wrestlers definitely added that realm of reality that they are trying to achieve.
16 The Developers Quit On This Match Type
As mentioned in this list, the WWE has gone into a much more family-oriented and clean aesthetic in hopes to garner more of a global reputation and gain more sponsors for their product. One of the matches that have been cut from the company’s programming is the “I Quit” match, where opponents are forced to beat each other up until one says the words “I quit”. We have not had this kind of match on television in many years, and while it was a staple in the Attitude Era-themed WWE 13 it will probably never return. This is much to the disappointment of many completionist wrestling fans out there that want to replicate some of their favorite moments in WWE history. Do not expect to see this match type to return anytime soon.
15 Tearing Down The Walls
Seeing as we're in the new “PG” era of wrestling that is based on technical skills (as opposed to all-out brawls), it is fitting that a lot of the hardcore elements that were once a staple to the franchise have been cut. Among one of these features, was the inclusion of being able to remove the cell wall from steel cages and use it as a foreign object to batter your opponents with. This particular addition is exclusive to the Smackdown! series on the PlayStation One, when the Attitude Era was in full swing. This kind of action was not uncommon on WWE television at the time. Nowadays it seems like an extra option that will probably not return, but with the Monster Among Men Braun Strowman destroying cages on Monday Night Raw lately, who knows?
14 Literal Street Fights
Speaking of Smackdown! for the PlayStation One, another huge feature that would still be welcome today is the inclusion of being able to fight outside the arena in the game. It does not happen that often anymore, but it still happens every now and again in today’s wrestling world. It might be a little too much to be able to fight in stores (like in that game) but in Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth there is an option to fight in the area outside the arenas where the wrestlers fight. A lot of the dedicated gamers that pay to get these new wrestling games are usually hardcore wrestling fans that want to recreate their favorite moments. This adds to why WWE probably wants you to forget about this because they will probably eventually add it in again in the future.
13 Invasion Of Green (& Red) Men
2010 was a funny time for the WWE games franchise as they were transitioning from an arcade-style beat-em-up to the sports simulation that we know today. This is probably why it came off as a tasteless addition to include the characters of Red & Green in Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 to the main roster. These faceless, generic characters are used in the move set customization menus to demonstrate maneuvers and could easily be created in the Create-A-Superstar mode. This slot could have been reserved for a WWE Hall of Famer, Legend, or even other wrestlers that were on the roster at the time, but instead were given to these novelty acts. Seeing as the series has shifted its focus to bring more importance to the depth of their rosters, this is another dark stain on their past.
12 Not Very Animated
The entire franchise of 3D WWE games have lasted more than a decade and the wrestling engine itself has seen very little change. This has meant that there are still a few animations in the game that have dated back to the PlayStation days of the series, and fans have been quick to notice this. That is not much of a problem, and they are generally pretty solid animations that definitely justify their stay in the game engine. Since the addition of Universe Mode, however, the games have been in need of some more cutscenes that actually progress storylines the way the actual product does every week. While it is important to get the simulation of matches as accurately as possible, there are so many animations from the various in-game storylines that could provide a new level of unique customization to the players. That would finally give Universe Mode that sense of storytelling that the games have lacked.
11 Fire And Brimstone
Fire is not something that is common in WWE, and it is understandable that they do not want people to be able to casually set their opponents on fire on a normal basis. However, as mentioned before, there is a stigma in the offices of 2K to deny their customers the right to replicate moments from the WWE’s crazy past. In this case, however, the crazy past is referring to just a mere 3 years ago when Bray Wyatt faced Kane in an inferno match. It is not as deadly and violent as the name suggests, and the match was featured in the games as recent as WWE 13 which makes it completely within the realms of being in the game. It's time they allow the gamers to burn their enemies as they please!
10 Let The People Referee!
This next match is unlike the other matches mentioned prior to this entry because it is not brutal nor is it a match that is unwelcome in the PG era of the WWE. Unfortunately, the Special Guest referee match is something that 2K has neglected entirely, much to the frustration of their dedicated fan base that has been confused as to why it was removed in the first place. Special Guest referee matches are commonplace and happen on a yearly basis (at the very least) and were a feature in many games in the franchise so there is literally no reason to not have it. There are so many features in the game and advancements in physics that it seems almost cruel to not have such a simple mode that would add so much to the way WWE fans would play out their storylines in Universe Mode.
9 WWE Meets HGTV
Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 holds a special place in many fans hearts as a generally well-received game for having a deep set of options and modes that were way ahead of their time. General Manager mode is still something that a lot of fans yearn for to this day, as a superior predecessor to the stripped down Universe Mode of the modern era of the franchise. Something even further futuristic, that no other wrestling game (including the original fan-favorite No Mercy) has, is a customizable locker room. This locker room holds some of the achievements in an in-game trophy case that has the championships that the player has owned, along with an option to shop for genuine wrestling memorabilia. Add in the option to completely change the architecture and interior design, and you have something still unseen in the franchise today.
8 A Champion No One Knew
Jinder Mahal has been all the talk of the wrestling community for his surprise return to the WWE and his meteorically quick rise to the top as the WWE champion and face of Smackdown Live on Tuesday nights. Usually, this is a welcome addition for wrestling fans but Mahal went from being a complete jobber to supposedly being hailed on the same level as global stars like Shinsuke Nakamura and Brock Lesnar. A testament to his obscurity (prior to this strange push) is the fact that he was removed from the last entry in the franchise (WWE 2K17) just weeks before the game released last year. He might have been fired, so it made sense to remove him but it was clear that they probably just removed him to make sure they did not have to pay a royalty check to the guy.
7 The Worst Commentary Award Goes To...
In this modern age of sports simulation title franchises like NBA 2K, NHL Live, and Madden, being at the forefront of console gaming (and a large part of what sells them to the public), developers have stepped up their game as a collective. Part of this replication of realism in video games is the sound design of these games, and play-by-play commentary is as big of a part of these sports as the athletes and fans themselves. In all these games, they expertly encapsulate the way these announcers perfectly narrate games and it seems like all these franchises have got the perfect formula for it, except WWE 2K. Even with the newest release that features brand-new voice-over dialogue, it still pales in comparison to the other games that have got it down to a science.
6 All-Stars Received No Stars
WWE has not been shy to try and do different kinds of games to venture into other territory and branch out (let us forget WWE Crush Hour). WWE All-Stars was no exception to this and unfortunately suffered the same fate as Crush Hour did when it came to reception and popularity with fans. The game was supposed to be a venture into the arcade style of wrestling games that fans had been (and still are) yearning for but failed to deliver for a number of reasons. The game was lacking in modes and was way too dumbed down to the point where it felt like mindless button mashing. Years later, and the game is forgotten in the minds of a lot of hardcore fans, but at the time, WWE wanted the game to actually be its own franchise with its own style.
5 CM Punk’s Unauthorized Cameo
Last time we covered how WWE has been trying to erase the recent history of CM Punk’s historically popular run in the WWE, but the fans are not the only ones that wanted to see their favorite straight-edge wrestler in the game. Developers of WWE 2K16 actually snuck in a poster of Wrestlemania 29 as an Easter egg in the create-an-arena mode. It was promptly removed upon its discovery in online forums and YouTube videos, but it was clear that it was placed there for a reason. This is despite the developer’s comments that distanced themselves from the situation as a mistake to save face, but fans know better when it comes to the multi-million dollar productions that are given so much time and care to make.
4 Three Stages Of Brutality
Speaking of matches that are not allowed anymore, this unique match stipulation was a rarity even when it was the Attitude Era, for its plain ol’ brutality. The match is a best 2-out-of-3 series (which is common) but focuses on making the stipulations of each of these matches as damaging as possible. The name itself is almost too racy for the modern product and seeing as the match has not even been used in over a decade it is probable we will not see this one either. It might be obscure nowadays but it would be an interesting and nostalgic addition that WWE games fans are always looking for. Who doesn't want to make their wrestlers fight each other in this virtual toy box of Vince’s sweaty fighters?
3 Put Them In A Pine Box
The Undertaker is one of the biggest icons in all of sports entertainment history and has provided iconography as WWE’s most cherished veteran of the locker room. One of the things that have made him such an amazing presence to the WWE Universe is his “Deadman” gimmick that has him coming to the ring with dim lighting and smoke (along with his black duster and hat). We featured the Buried Alive match that he was once known for, but this time it is the Casket Match that is seemingly lost and forgotten in the annals of WWE game history. Few games in the franchise actually feature the match as it is, but seeing as it just ends as soon as an opponent is stuffed into a casket it does not seem that difficult to bring back.
2 The WWE Gaming Dark Age
While replicating Mortal Kombat was shameful as it was, there is an even darker part of the WWE games franchise that seems like ancient history nowadays. LJN, comically known for their streak of terrible game publishing, also handled the publishing of many WWE games on the NES like WWF Wrestlemania Challenge. They were barebones in features, clunky to control, and never anything spectacular to look at (when it comes to the graphics department). Seeing as we have finally transitioned into this beautiful era of accuracy and attention onto this once unimportant game franchise, it is a relief to be in an era free of these LJN atrocities. Fans might complain about overpriced downloadable content and overhyped releases but it will always be a step up from this terrible time for WWE games.
1 They Nintendon't Care
Back in the days of the Nintendo 64, WWE made sure to give the funding to make one of the most iconic titles to ever grace the genre; No Mercy. The game was incredibly in-depth and pushed the boundaries of what video games can accomplish to new heights (that still have not been reached). This was literal as well, as the developers at THQ actually ordered cartridges that were double in memory to store all of the extra options and graphical parts that clearly made it stand out as a truly special title. Fast forward to today, and there is so much buzz and speculation towards the release of WWE 2K18 being released on the portable Nintendo Switch. Many have ignored the fact that it is not as capable in comparison to the Xbox One and PS4 versions, and this is because 2K refused to add more memory to the cartridges.