There have been many great personalities who have worked for World Wrestling Entertainment, formerly known as the WWWF and WWF. Yet, there are still a great number of them who have never appeared in an actual WWE-branded wrestling video game. Sure, a lot of the individuals on this list performed during eras where wrestling video games were an afterthought, but with the current roster selections of modern WWE 2K titles, it seems like a travesty to not have them in the game as downloadable content or unlockable characters.
Some of the wrestlers on this list have appeared in other wrestling gaming series, such as the WCW library of games and the Legends of Wrestling series, which is a group of games published by Acclaim that featured legendary wrestlers. Still, they lacked an official license from the WWE due to the fact THQ held the license at the time. Even the Legends of Wrestlemania game, which would focus on retired wrestlers, failed to receive a sequel, because of lackluster reviews and reception.
Gone are the days where a wrestling game would only feature eight characters. Now, the sky is the limit for developers. So, why not humor us fans with the inclusion of the legendary wrestlers on this list? Besides, how many versions of Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley do you need? Here are 15 great and unbelievable wrestlers who were never in a WWE video game.
15 Rocky Johnson
Doesn't it seem like whenever a new WWE game comes out, The Rock is somewhere on the roster? Even retirement didn't stop developers from including “The People's Champion” as an unlockable or downloadable character. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for Dwayne Johnson's father, “Soulman” Rocky Johnson, who was one part of the first African-American tag team champions in the World Wrestling Federation with partner Tony Atlas. The elder Johnson has yet to make it onto any WWE video game, despite being a Hall of Famer. With modern WWE 2K rosters including several versions of the same wrestler, it is really a travesty that Rocky Johnson can miss the cut every single year. How many Undertakers and Triple Hs do they need? Besides, without this guy, The Rock wouldn't exist.
14 Paul Orndorff
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff found his biggest push in the WWE in the mid-1980s feuding against Hulk Hogan during the height of Hulkamania. His biggest bout would come when he main-evented the first ever Wrestlemania with Roddy Piper to take on Hogan and Mr. T. Because Orndorff left the promotion to join the newly rebranded World Championship Wrestling and spent the duration of his career at WCW, he would never appear in a WWE-branded wrestling game right when the genre was becoming relevant. As many legends have found themselves included on newer WWE 2K rosters, Mr. Wonderful has yet to get the call. It was also a headscratcher why he wasn't included in the Legends of Wrestlemania game, either.
13 Marty Jannetty
Though Shawn Michaels was the face of the New Generation Era, as well as the Attitude Era, his former tag team partner Marty Jannetty has yet to be included in a WWE-branded wrestling game. The high-flying duo was called The Rockers, and eventually propelled Michaels to legendary status as soon as he superkicked poor Marty and threw him through a plate glass window. As Michaels was included in almost every title in the 16-bit era, Jannetty was nowhere to be seen, even though he was still with the company and an essential midcarder. Keen wrestling fans can only hope that the other Rocker will eventually be included in a future 2K title, probably part of a Shawn Michaels or Classic Matches mode.
12 Tony Atlas
One half of the first African-American tag team champions, Tony Atlas was often nicknamed the “Black Superman” due to his incredible strength and physique he developed as a bodybuilder and powerlifter. Due to Atlas's substance abuse problem, a lot of storylines including potential title matches were scrapped during his initial run with the World Wrestling Federation. He would return in 2008 as the manager of Mark Henry during his run in the WWE's revival of ECW. Most recently, he was a part of WWE Network programming appearing in Legends House. Still, Atlas would fail to make it into the modern incarnations of WWE wrestling games.
11 Buff Bagwell
Buff is the stuff, but not enough for a WWE game appearance. Spending most of his career in the rival promotion WCW, Bagwell finally wrestled in the WWE after it was purchased by Vince McMahon. During his time with World Championship Wrestling, he was a part of several great feuds and several memorable factions such as the NWO and The New Blood. As a part of the Invasion storyline, Bagwell would have an uneventful fun with the company before he was unceremoniously fired. Not considered a legend nor an influential figure, it is likely Bagwell will never be a part of any future WWE titles.
10 Tonga Kid
Not many people remember the Tonga Kid. Part of the influential Anoa'i wrestling family, Samuel Larry Anoa'i Fatu, known in WWE as the Tonga Kid, had a solid run in the promotion in the mid-80s, where he feuded with the likes of Roddy Piper, King Kong Bundy, and Big John Studd. While not having the successes that his twin brother, Solofa, who was known as Headshrinker Fatu and later Rikishi, he should at least be included in future titles like the rest of his family. Fellow relatives Rikishi, Umaga, Yokozuna, The Usos, The Rock, and Roman Reigns have all been featured in at least one WWE-branded game.
9 Dynamite Kid
As one part of the exciting tag team called the British Bulldogs, the Dynamite Kid was probably the innovator of the high-flying style in modern pro-wrestling. Just as the British Dog Davey Boy Smith was the muscle, the Dynamite Kid was doing incredible acrobatic maneuvers. Together, the two Brits created one of the most exciting tag teams in the 1980s, an era filled with many legendary duos. Though his time with the company was short, it is still feasible to have him on a future 2K title to allow the current generation of gamers to play as the British Bulldogs. Hopefully, the folks at 2K wouldn't take too long to include this amazing acrobat.
8 Bull Nakano
When Alundra Blayze finally made it to WWE 2K game, it probably gave a small glimmer of hope that her rival Bull Nakano would also be included in a future title, as well. Though her time with the WWE was brief, Nakano, along with Blayze, legitimized women pro-wrestling in an era where most ladies acted as merely ring valets or managers. The back-and-forth feud between Blayze and Nakano was something to behold for wrestling fans during the mid-90s. Unlike with the current Women's Revolution in the WWE, both ladies were larger-built and incredibly athletic. So, it actually looked like the moves hurt. They can probably hurt some male wrestlers in the locker room, as well.
7 Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund is like that cold that just won't go away, reappearing in WWE programming every decade or so to remind fans that he is still alive and kicking. A lot of people don't remember that Backlund had the second longest Heavyweight title reign in the history of the promotion, behind only Bruno Sammartino. He would reappear again in the 90s with a new persona where he would “snap” and put his opponent in a Crossface Chickenwing. He would defeat Bret Hart for his second title reign only to lose it to Diesel at a house show a few days later. Backlund would return again in the following decades, even being Darren Young's newest mentor. Still, it didn't get him into a WWE game.
6 Superstar Billy Graham
No, not the evangelist. Billy Graham, the face that used to run the place. For the lucky few who got to see Superstar Billy Graham in his prime, he was a muscular superman with incredible charisma. His biceps even impressed Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pro-wrestling historians often claim that he was a wrestler who was lived in the wrong era, because he flourished during a time when wrestling wasn't the spectacle it is now, and heavily-influenced Hulk Hogan's charming Hulkamania persona. Though he was featured on Acclaim's Legends of Wrestling II, a title that lacks a WWE license, Graham has yet to grace the rosters of an actual WWE-branded game.
5 Gorilla Monsoon
I never got to see Gorilla Monsoon wrestle in his prime, but I was lucky enough to listen to his color-commentating with Jesse Ventura and Bobby Heenan, which was some of the most memorable back-and-forth banter in televised wrestling history. Trained by the legendary Stu Hart, Robert Marella was a mountain of a man who started with the WWE since the beginning when Vincent J. McMahon broke off from National Wrestling Alliance. Though most of our readers have never seen him in between the ropes, Gorilla became a pivotal part of every major moment in the 80s as the “voice-of-reason” commentator before finally giving way to the newly-recruited Jim Ross. The rest is history.
4 Ludvig Borga
International bad-guys are mainstays in American-based pro-wrestling promotions, usually drawing heat in front of American crowds. During the New Generation Era, a monstrous heel from Finland named Ludvig Borga (Tony Halme) was seemingly unbeatable during his brief stint with the company, even ending the undefeated streak of the very popular face Tatanka. Over his WWE career, he defeated the top wrestlers of the company including Razor Ramon and Lex Luger. Though he was a politician, boxer, MMA fighter, author, actor, and singer, Halme had a lot of problems inside and outside of the ring. Despite his in-ring prowess, his terrible conduct with his coworkers, as well as with the WWE company, will guarantee that Borga will never be in a WWE-branded title, ever.
3 The Rock N Roll Express
Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson are known as the very successful tag team called The Rock 'N' Roll Express who finally made it into the WWE Hall of Fame. Often relying on their speed and agility to defeat bigger and stronger opponents, it showed pro-wrestling fans that you don't have to be 300 pounds in order to be stars in the sports. Their stints with WWE would be brief each time, but true followers of pro-wrestling would know that each one of their matches could be a potential classic. As Hall of Famers, hopefully this would finally mean that they will be in a future 2K game.
2 Antonio Inoki
As a WWE Hall of Famer, Antonio Inoki never officially wrestled in an actual match within the promotion, but he was the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship by beating the then-champion Bob Backlund in Tokushima, Japan, though not truly recognized. Because Inoki gave up the title soon after, the title became vacant, and thus, Backlund was shown to only have one continuous reign. Still, Inoki battled some of the biggest WWE legends including Ric Flair, Backlund, and Bruno Sammartino. Not bad for a wrestler who was never a WWE employee. Still, it would be nice to have him in a future title or two just to get Japanese gamers to buy it.
1 Shane Douglas
A decorated wrestler during the hey-day of wrestling games, Shane Douglas had two terrible runs with World Wrestling Entertainment. Nicknamed The Franchise, Douglas found most of his success with rival promotions WCW and ECW. In ECW, he would hold the World Heavyweight title four separate times with the longest single and combined reigns in that company's history. For some reason, he never gained much traction with the premier brand of American pro-wrestling. Though finding success with TNA and the independent circuit, it is unlikely that Shane Douglas would ever be in any WWE-branded title.