Summer tends to be a slow point for WWE, feeling the post-WrestleMania lull. Which is why the announcement of the year’s 2K game is always welcomed. Fans get a little antsy and the game release lets them channel their energy into who made the game, what their rating will be, and who made the cover. The cover, it seems, is like a quasi-title. It means that the company sees you as a valuable and marketable asset. It also usually comes with a nice little push, as they use the program to push the game and vice-versa. So far, all the cover boys have been just that--boys. Eventually, someone is bound to break that glass ceiling and become the first ever WWE 2K cover girl. Here are 12 we think will have the best chances of it.
12. Becky Lynch
It is safe to say Lynch is beloved these days. Despite WWE’s desperate attempts to try to get us to boo her, the crowd has stayed solidly behind her. There is a sense that Lynch represents grabbing the brass ring. Most of us can relate to that feeling of working so hard but not getting where we want to be. It’s established Lynch as a perfect tweener--she does bad things but we love her for it. Assuming WWE can capitalize on how over she is and let her hold the belt for a long time, she could be a star. A big enough star, in fact, to grace the cover of 2K.
11. Sasha Banks
The second Horsewoman to make this list, Banks is also supremely over. She’s fallen into an unfortunate spot, one similar to Finn Balor on the men’s side. WWE knows she’s over and that she doesn’t need to hold a championship in order to sell merch. It’s a shame because Bank’s NXT Women’s Championship Reign would indicate that she is perfectly capable of being a long-time champ. So far, Banks is a five-time champ but has never successfully defended the belt. WWE could course correct by making her the longest reigning Women’s Champion (of the modern belt). That would certainly be a cover-worthy accomplishment.
Keeping with the Four Horsewomen, Bayley is another who could be a cover star if WWE books her right and gives her the spotlight she deserves. Many have argued that they got her main roster character all wrong. While that may be true, wrestling is a sport where it’s never too late. Bump her down to the bottom of the bottom, have her lose to jobbers, and work her way back up. Then Bayley will become the champion she once was in NXT. In that case, Bayley is capable of being the single most popular superstar in the entire division. She can sell when positioned properly, and as the cover star, she would sell 2K.
9. Nia Jax
Remember when Nia Jax was a monster heel? It seems like too long ago when she was the coolest thing in the division. The “be a star” stuff in her program with Alexa Bliss really set her back. Still, she can throw people around, so it’s never going to be hard for her to have a comeback. Jax has a unique quality to her act, especially as a heel. She’s powerful and aggressive, but so pretty at the same time. She was a model for a reason. Her eyes are captivating and would be powerful looking out of the cover of 2K. Jax represents the perfect balance of beauty, grace, and punching people in the face. What could be visually better than that look (you know the one) on the cover?
We like to hold women to the same standards we hold men to around here, which means the 2K cover ought to go to the most capable wrestler on the roster. Actually, Asuka might just be the most capable wrestler in the company, period. She is a powerhouse, an undeniable master in the art of wrestling. Although she’s yet to hold a main roster championship, possibly due to her lack of English, Asuka’s WWE career will be the stuff of legends. Given more time and championships to go around, she will quickly ascend to the top of the division, her rightful place.
7. Candice LeRae
Deviating from the obvious, Candice LeRae is a wildcard in the realm of WWE. Sure, her NXT booking has been discouraging and she went out of the Mae Young Classic too soon. Still, WWE must know what they’ve got with LeRae. Once she gets a program that doesn’t revolve around her husband, Johnny Gargano, she’s sure to shine. LeRae describes herself as a modern-day Mighty Mouse and her style is the definition of high risk, high reward. She was known in the indies for being utterly fearless against opponents who were twice her size. Her catchphrase said it all: Candice LeRae is tougher than you. It makes her a powerful role model to all the girls who feel so small in this world. She is a WWE star waiting to be born.
6. Nikki Bella
Speaking of fearless. Nikki Bella has found herself in a tough situation recently. She represents the old “diva” era, while wanting to be apart and a leader in this new revolution. Her time is spread too thin for her to really dig in deep to a new role on WWE programming, and we are not particularly kind to part-timers. At the same time, she still means a great deal to her fans, the “Bella Army” as they’re called. She’s also easily the most mainstream women’s wrestler in history and her cross-over appeal has been good for business. Bella on the cover of the game will sell games, plain and simple. Does she deserve it? Absolutely. Does she deserve it more than any of the other women on this list? Probably not. Does WWE care? No.
5. Toni Storm
This year’s Mae Young Classic was stacked to the brim with incredible performances by the women of wrestling. That makes it all the more impressive that Toni Storm made herself stand out. From the moment she entered the ring, she owned it. She captured our hearts, and she showed us why she deserved to win the tournament. Her offense was great but what really propelled her forward was her ability to sell. She made every single one of her opponents look incredibly strong, all while telling a complex story in every match through her in-ring reactions. That’s the sort of wrestlers we need in WWE, ones who can take storytelling to the next level and make us forget that what we’re watching is fake. They’re ready to strap a rocket to her back, and it could very well come along with that coveted cover.
4. Kacy Catanzaro
This former American Ninja Warrior has it all. She’s athletic, charismatic, and downright charming. In the ring, Kacy Catanzaro showed that she was clever and coachable, coming incredibly far after less than a year of wrestling training. Obviously, Catanzaro has a long way to go, no one becomes a great wrestler overnight. Yet, her ceiling is possibly higher than anyone else who has come through the doors of the PC. Don’t take our word for it, Richochet has given Catanzaro his approval, asking her on Twitter to tag team with him. Like Bella, she also has the advantage of being a cross-over star. People know her face and want to see what she’s doing. If nothing else, expect to see her involved in their marketing very quickly.
3. Alexa Bliss
WWE is high on Alexa Bliss, they have been since she debuted on SmackDown Live. Her learning curve has been insanely steep, and it’s been rewarded with championship after championship. Maybe her wrestling isn’t as strong as some of her peers, but she makes up for it with her excellent character work and a face that can tell a whole story with a look. Sure, it also helps that she looks great on the posters. Bliss has risen to the occasion time and time again as the WWE continues to give her huge responsibilities. It would not be the slightest bit surprising if she was the one that they pulled the trigger with when it came to putting a woman on the cover of WWE 2K.
2. Charlotte Flair
It’s been fun fantasizing about all the women who could earn their way onto the cover of 2K. If WWE is going to do it, though, they’re going to go big. They’re going to put it on a standard barer of the WWE and the women’s division. They’re going to put it on Charlotte Flair. Already, Flair is a 7-time women’s champion. She is easily the greatest women’s champion of the generation. Flair has the ability, to break glass ceiling after glass ceiling. That's due to her pedigree, her talent, and her own tenacity and ambition. People might not relate to Flair, but they do respect her. She is the poster child of the women’s revolution, and that’s just fine with us.
1. Ronda Rousey
If there is anyone in WWE who might actually have a better chance than Charlotte Flair, it’s Ronda Rousey. After breaking onto the scene at the Royal Rumble last year, she’s been the cornerstone of the women’s division, whether we like it or not. With no NXT or traditional developmental, she joined the Raw roster, performed at WrestleMania, and almost instantly became the Raw Women’s Champion. WWE really believes in her. Regardless of if you do too, or you’re with Bella in saying she hasn’t earned it yet, she’s definitely stepped up to the plate. Obviously, she understands from her time in the UFC what it means to be a champion and the importance of that role. Her career as a pro wrestler will likely include multiple championship reigns, a WrestleMania main event, and of course, the cover of 2K.