The final wave of WWE 2K17 roster reveals is in and for the second consecutive year, 2K has introduced the largest list of playable characters in the history of WWE games. With over 130 unique character models announced, this year’s edition of WWE 2K is sure to pack a punch, giving you complete control over your own WWE Universe.
Meanwhile, as DLC packages have yet to be announced, there seems to have been some missed opportunities for the game’s initial main roster. Some of it may be timing and some of it may be a result of relationships in need of some mending. But if the past few years have proved anything, it’s to continue to be optimistic for the impossible. The blockbuster additions to the WWE 2K franchise of guys like The Ultimate Warrior, Sting, and Goldberg have proven to setup a gateway glimpse back onto WWE television.
The power of WWE Games is real folks. 2K Sports is a marketing power house and probably won’t give us too many new blockbuster names on one title. They know it’s better to stretch them out over individual marketing campaigns to promote future versions of the game.
So while 2K won't flash all of their marbles in one edition, fans will have to keep on yearning for juicy DLC packs to pick and choose from until “next year.”
Here are 15 notable omissions from WWE 2K17’s main roster who need to be in the game. Number 1 may surprise you.
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15 Eddie Guerrero
Latino Heat is a wrestling legend. Despite his personal life troubles, Eddie had many supporters and friends in the squared circle and beyond. In fact, his widow, Vickie Guerrero, most recently appeared on WWE television just prior to this year’s draft stating her case for the General Manager position. She was escorted out of the building never to be seen again.
This begs the question, if the Guerrero family remains close with WWE, then why isn’t Eddie in the game? Guerrero last appeared in WWE 2K14 as a playable character and hasn’t been included since. Eddie isn’t blacklisted anywhere and continues to be adored by fans all around the world.
Imagine squaring virtual Eddie off against the likes of AJ Styles or Shinsuke Nakamura. One can only dream of such a thing, but 2K can make it happen.
Here’s to hoping Eddie is coming our way soon in the form of a DLC addition.
Where did X-pac go? Did “X-Pac heat” hit the 2K studios? Months prior to his inclusion in last year’s edition of the game, Waltman had gone public on Twitter urging his former WCW and WWE colleagues to essentially boycott 2K Studios. One could only assume it had a lot to do with money.
Fast-forward to now and it seems he’s been swapped out for fellow DX member, Road Dogg Jesse James, who was excluded from last year’s game even though he is employed by the WWE.
X-Pac has been silent on his Twitter page about 2K17, so maybe there’s a chance he comes back our way via DLC in an Attitude Era pack of some sorts. He wouldn’t be the focal point of it, but he would surely help to round it out. X-Pac’s unique in-ring martial arts style is a welcome addition to any WWE video game, regardless of how you feel about him.
With Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels already in the game, X-Pac is the lone DX member missing from action.
Or is he…
Before you roll your eyes and assume this will never happen, give it some real consideration. The last time Chyna was in a WWE video game was back in 2000 for ‘WWF Smackdown 2!: Know Your Role’. If she was going to end her WWE Games career with a bang, then it might as well had been on that one; a surefire classic.
Since her departure from the company in 2001, WWE had held a grudge against Chyna for literally, the rest of her life. It affected her immensely both personally and professionally. The fact they actually acknowledge her contributions to the wrestling world now, may fall in line with her winding up on a WWE 2K roster in the very near future.
Stephanie McMahon has already confirmed Chyna will indeed be inducted into the Hall of Fame at some point, and what a time to capitalize on some momentum in honoring her career with a nod welcoming her back into the WWE Games family. That would be a real treat for fans. Because WWE cares about that, right?
12 Scott Steiner
It’s time to bury the hatchet with former WCW champion, ‘Big Poppa Pump’ Scott Steiner.
While Steiner established himself as one of the faces of WCW after splitting from his brother Rick, his WWE run proved to be tumultuous. After a thunderous and goosegump-riddled debut at the Survivor Series 2002 pay-per-view, it really became hard to watch a man fall from such prominence after being given chance after chance to show what he’s got in the WWE ranks.
Perhaps we judge him unfairly and he was merely a victim of the Triple H booking power trip, but ultimately, WWE wanted ‘out’ after releasing him from his contract in 2004 while he was sidelined from an injury.
In 2012, WWE.com listed ranked him at number 10 in their “Top 50 greatest stars in WCW history” countdown, but in 2015, prior to WrestleMania 31, he once again found himself in bad graces with the company after a reported airport incident involving Hulk Hogan’s wife.
WCW success, a tepid WWE return, and untimely incidents during a post-wrestling career. Sounds a lot like Scott Hall too and he’s in the game.
Must be nice to have friends in high places. Put Steiner on the 2K roster.
11 Crash Holly
Crash Holly was the ultimate underdog to root for and, not to mention, a WWE Hardcore legend. His untimely death shocked the wrestling universe and really made us look back and further appreciate what we had in Crash.
Crash Holly was always the type of character you could easily skip over in WWE games. His player rating was always low, his gimmick wasn’t powerful, his entrance was generic, and he was small in size. Besides, why pick Crash when you could select the bigger and stronger version in Hardcore Holly?
In today’s day and age of video games, a character like Crash Holly can actually stand a chance of winning against all of your friends. Many more elements are now factored into a character’s strength and weaknesses. Crash would be your ideal candidate for any match involving weapons and the recently announced for 2K17, backstage area.
10 Young Brock Lesnar
Some people may not realize that Brock Lesnar debuted in the WWE in early-2002, at the tailend of The Attitude Era. He was a young phenom who was branded, “The Next Big Thing.”
Lesnar splashed onto the scene by interrupting matches and F5ing whatever was in his way. Paul Heyman would be seen trailing behind him shouting instructions up ahead and into the ring. Young Brock would make quick work of his opponents in matches, before being thrusted on to the ranks of main event status. This part of Brock Lesnar’s career is an intricate part of WWE history, as he went on to become the youngest WWE champion ever at the hands of The Rock at SummerSlam 2002.
Come on, if we can have several versions of Stone Cold’s vest and numerous variations of Triple H’s ring tights, a young Brock Lesnar alternate skin can’t be that hard to produce.
Rhyno not being included in the game this year is surely a head-scratcher. In his current stint with the company, Rhyno has been under the WWE umbrella since early 2015 when he debuted on the NXT roster. Since then, he reunited briefly with other ECW originals to feud with The Wyatt Family and is now half of Smackdown Live’s hottest impromptu tag-team alongside “free agent” Heath Slater.
It’s possible 2K studios didn’t know where Rhyno, real name Terrance Gerin, stood on WWE’s main roster, since he is currently running for office in his home state of Michigan as a republican. How you can physically do that while being on a WWE roster is beyond me, but kudos to Rhyno for being able to do so.
Nonetheless, it’s obvious Rhyno is on great terms with the WWE brass as he rides through his current stint with the company successfully. Whether as a legend or rightfully on the main roster, there really doesn’t seem to be a logical reason for Rhyno not to be in the game.
Besides of course, an ECW DLC.
8 Bobby Roode
The more we see former top TNA talents in a WWE video game, the more endless the possibilities become for fantasy matches galore. See: AJ Styles, Samoa Joe. Add Bobby Roode to that list.
Bobby Roode’s “glorious” entrance alone has video game material written all over it. His exclusion from the game this year may have just been a case of bad timing. WWE 2K gamers have missed the boat on Bobby Roode and vice-versa. Roode had been on board with WWE since around WrestleMania weekend when he was shown on-screen at NXT Takeover: Dallas. He didn’t, however, make his televised NXT debut until August 3rd of this year.
It’s only a matter of time before Bobby makes his way up to the main roster, so if we just let this one pass, he is sure to be a lock for the game next year. Patience is a virtue.
7 Ken Shamrock
It’s hard to imagine The Attitude Era without thinking of Ken Shamrock. His exclusion from the game this year is very disappointing, given he was in the game last year.
During his wrestling career, Ken Shamrock was a guy we all loved to hate. His character was that of an angry brawler, stemming from his background in mixed martial arts. Very few understood him. Perhaps even the WWE, who seemingly dropped the ball on their former Intercontinental champion.
Shamrock has claimed he was a model employee while in WWE and was skipped over by The Rock for a shot to be WWE champion. He wants back in to settle unfinished business in the ring, but never hears anything back from the powers that be at Titan Tower.
Shamrock’s exclusion from the game this year may have been his response to WWE not returning his phone calls.
It’s a loss for us gamers, but certainly understandable.
Continuing along on the theme of The Attitude Era, Faarooq’s initial exclusion from WWE 2K17 is another odd omission. Especially after all the hype surrounding The Nation of Domination being included in last year’s stellar cast of characters. Faarooq’s Nation of Domination brother, D’Lo Brown, has also been removed from WWE 2K17’s roster.
Like Road Dogg, Ron “Farooq” Simmons is currently employed by the WWE and has been for a while now, gracing our screens with the occasional “Damn!” Simmons enjoyed many high points during his WCW and WWE careers, respectively. Reinvention was good to him throughout the years, as he remained one of the most consistent faces on WWE programming, especially as one half of The Acolytes with Bradshaw (JBL).
JBL on the other hand, did make it into the game as a playable character, even though he will also be manning the commentary.
It really is smelling like an Attitude Era DLC pack could be coming in the months following the game’s release.
I really battled with this one to see if I could spin a convincing argument as to why Batista shouldn’t have been removed from the game. But quite frankly, the things he has gone on record to say about his former employer does in fact give WWE brass the reason to yank him from the virtual ranks.
That being said, Batista should entirely be in the game. His newfound success in Hollywood is something he has worked hard at to achieve and we all know how much WWE loves mainstream crossover appeal. They gave him the credentials to be outspoken. He’s a former world champion living the Hollywood dream. They helped him get there, just as they did with John Cena and The Rock.
Many former talents have openly expressed criticism like Batista has and the WWE has shown more and more they are capable of looking the other way.
But alas, the WWE will bow down to no one. They pick and choose their battles. The mending of this relationship may take some time, but it will happen nonetheless. Hold off on those Batista bombs.
4 William Regal
William Regal’s current stature in the WWE hierarchy is pretty much a reflection of his gimmicks, untouchable and second to none.
Regal has had a hand in the development of nearly all the NXT talent walking through the doors of WWE’s Performance Center in Florida, as well as the newly minted NXT graduates wrestling in WWE arenas all around the world. Regal's contributions to the wrestling business have far surpassed anything he has done during his own wrestling career, which is entirely a compliment.
While fans may not rush to play as William Regal or any of his alter egos, his exclusion from the game comes at a time where his value in the company is at its highest. In that sense, he will be missed, but perhaps 2K Sports is keeping him up their sleeve for an NXT DLC.
It’s just odd to know they have his character models laying around for users not to see again.
3 Rob Van Dam
The whole F’n show. Mr. ECW himself. Rob-Van-Dam.
The versatile Rob Vam Dam would be an amazing addition to the 2K ranks. His in-ring style is fast and fun to use. His durability in the ring would make him a sweet choice for the matches we know and love him for; ladder matches and anything involving weapons.
His presence would also bring much needed ECW representation to the 2K series. The Stone Cold story mode last year looked like it would uncover some more ECW visibility, but by the looks of it this year, no progress was made on that front. Since giving ECW it’s own game might be out of the question, there probably won’t be a full-fledged attempt to showcase ECW until 2K decides to feature it in their story mode.
Rob Van Dam was one of the faces of a wrestling revolution. His presence could help to give the ECW faithful someone more familiar to navigate through the game with.
2 Kurt Angle
The bottom line here is Kurt Angle is a free agent. While the WWE have been reluctant to bring him back onto their programming, the conversation here is strictly virtual.
The WWE 2K series has become more than just a video game. It is a cathedral of the wrestling industry celebrating its past and its present. The fact that gamers get to toy with it at their own expense is the icing on the cake. WWE 2K17 stands to represent the talent WWE has great appreciation for. But much like a relationship, things can get mangled, feelings are caught, arms are crossed, and that's where we are in the Kurt Angle saga.
There are very few reasons why one of the most coveted stars in WWE history shouldn’t be in the game. But the fact that he isn’t retired and signed to a WWE legends deal could be holding him hostage from sniffing a roster spot in WWE 2K.
Kurt Angle to WWE games would be such a big deal that it would require clearances on many levels from the helm at WWE. After that stage is passed, 2K Sports would surely roll out a massive marketing plan to campaign the newest blockbuster addition. This stuff takes time. By the point most games are released, the next game is already being worked on.
It’s amazing how despite his 10 years in TNA, Kurt Angle and WWE go together like white on rice. It's time for him to come back home.
1 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan doomed himself the second he uttered the racial slurs he came under fire for. When the tape came out, he had no choice but to back pedal and apologize. As a minority myself and a fan of wrestling, I can tell you this, I am willing to let bygones be bygones as long as I can separate Terry Bollea from the Hulk Hogan character.
There is no denying Hulk’s place in history. I would even go as far to say that the WWE would have folded without him. He’s been punished and humiliated for what he did. Now it’s time to let him back in where he belongs. What a perfect way to inch him back into the company by doing a soft reintroduction into the game; no campaigns. This would be the measuring stick as to how fans would perceive such an idea and I think many would be pleasantly surprised to see him welcomed back with open arms. It’s like when a loved one returns from jail in the movies.
Put Hogan back in the game, because unlike WWE programming, those who don’t want him can skip on over him. Or, they can feed him to The Brothers of Destruction.
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