This year's WWE 2K video game - WWE 2K17 - is set to be released on October 11th and former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar will be on the cover of 2K's annual WWE game.
As for who will be in the game, we still don't know. Obviously guys like John Cena, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins will be featured in the game, but, to be honest, 2K hasn't been the best at including some of WWE's newest stars in their annual title.
Last year, WWE fans were outraged at the fact that Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Bayley weren't included in the game. A year before that, fans were annoyed that Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins were put in the game as members of The Shield, when the group had disbanded six-months prior to the game's release.
Unlike in 2K's other major series - NBA 2K - WWE 2K doesn't receive live roster updates, and, other than last year with Samoa Joe, the game won't include people who debut just a few months prior to its release. So, we could see this year's WWE 2K game be released without the following WWE and NXT stars in it.
15 Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio will have been back in WWE for a full year by the time WWE 2K17 is released, which means that there's a chance that he'll be included in this year's game. But, there's also a chance that he won't be, which would probably end up disappointing a lot of the game's buyers.
Due to his abrupt exit from the company, Del Rio wasn't involved in last year's WWE 2K16. Now, due to the surprising nature of his return, Del Rio may not be involved in WWE 2K17.
As previously mentioned, Del Rio may end up being in the game because it'll have been one full year since his WWE return. But personally, I think 2K will leave him off the roster, but that doesn't mean that he won't be part of the game's downloadable content, which is typically released a few months after the game is released.
14 Kurt Angle
WWE was criticized for not letting Kurt Angle be involved in WWE '13, which featured many Attitude Era stars. Of course, Angle was under contract with TNA / Impact Wrestling at the time, so WWE couldn't have put him in the game.
As previously mentioned, Brock Lesnar will be on the cover of this year's game, which suggests that the game's main storyline will be the career of "The Beast" and Angle should be in the game if that ends up being the case, because he was Lesnar's greatest opponent.
Lately, Angle has been hinting that he may return to WWE at some point next year. Some fans are hoping that he'll end up returning this year and that he'll be a surprise draft pick in next month's WWE draft. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Angle won't be returning for the draft, so we may have to wait until next year to see Angle back in a WWE ring and back in a WWE video game.
It looks like Ryback's WWE days are over, at least for now. A couple of months ago, "The Big Guy" demanded a raise and he was sent home, which probably means that he won't be in this year's WWE 2K game.
2K could end up putting him in the game, much like they did with CM Punk after he left the company. But, they ended up having to pay Punk a boatload of money because of that and they probably don't want to do that again, especially since Ryback isn't quite on Punk's level in terms of star power.
WWE does want to add depth to their roster before the brand-split happens next month, so they could end up bringing "The Big Guy" back, and if they do, then he'll be in the game. But if not, he'll probably be left off the game's roster, and the game's buyers won't be able to create the Goldberg vs. Ryback dream match.
12 Jerry "The King" Lawler
Jerry Lawler has been a mainstay on WWE's commentary team for almost two-decades and he's finally back to his old ways as a heel commentator on SmackDown. However, due to his current situation, he may not be involved in this year's game.
On June 17, Lawler and his fiance were arrested due to a domestic violence situation, and WWE ended up suspending "The King" indefinitely. The situation is still ongoing and it may not be resolved any time soon. So, if you're hoping to hear Lawler's voice on commentary in this year's WWE game, you may end up being disappointed, unless the domestic violence case is resolved prior to the game's release.
Also, there have been rumors that WWE wants to have younger faces on commentary, so Lawler getting suspended may have been just what the company was hoping for and now they can ease one of the younger commentators into "The King's" spot.
11 Matt Hardy
If the theme of this year's WWE game is, in fact, the career of Brock Lesnar, then Matt Hardy should be in the game, because he was one of Lesnar's first major opponents back in 2002. Sadly though, due to the fact that he's still under contract with TNA / Impact Wrestling, he probably won't be in the game.
Both Hardy brothers have expressed interest in returning to WWE, and they'll probably end up doing so within the next year. But, right now, they're both still with TNA, and they will probably continue to be with TNA until the company goes out of business, and due to their financial issues, that may be sooner rather than later.
WWE does like to put legends in their annual video game, so there's at least a chance that Matt will end up in the game at some point in the future, but just don't expect him to be involved in this year's WWE 2K game.
Tazz was the color commentator for SmackDown in the early-2000s, which is where Lesnar's career took place prior to him leaving for the NFL. But, Tazz hasn't signed with WWE since leaving TNA, which means that he probably won't end up being in this year's game.
So, expect the current commentary team - Michael Cole, JBL, and Byron Saxton - to commentate the story mode, no matter what it is. If it does end up being the story of Lesnar's WWE career, then Tazz's voice will be missed because he's the one who made the "here comes the pain" saying famous.
Now, you can probably all look forward to, and loathe the fact that Byron Saxton will be stealing Tazz's line in WWE 2K17's story mode. But, if 2K doesn't go with Lesnar's career as the game's main focus, then not having Tazz do some commentary won't be that big of an issue.
9 Jim Ross
Jim Ross's voice has been used in previous WWE games, but, as of this writing, we haven't heard that he'll be involved in this year's game, which suggests that he won't be calling any of the action in WWE 2K17.
Of course, Ross was fired by WWE a couple of years ago, but he has still remained involved in the WWE 2K video game. But, due to the fact that Jerry Lawler, who was JR's broadcast partner for many years, probably won't be in the game, there's a good chance that 2K will choose to not involve good 'ole JR in the game.
Last year, Ross called all of the action in the game's story mode, which featured feuds between all members of the previous year's WWE Hall of Fame class. He also called all of the action in the story mode which featured the career of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
8 Jeff Hardy
Much like with his brother Matt, Jeff was one of Brock Lesnar's first big opponents in 2002. He's also one of the most popular WWE stars of all-time. He, like his brother, has expressed interest in returning to WWE after he's done with TNA, which will probably be within the next year. But, he probably won't be involved in this year's video game.
Again, it's not confirmed that 2K is planning on telling the story of Brock Lesnar's career, but if they are, like they have in past games, then it'll be odd to leave out both The Hardy's and Kurt Angle. But, who knows, maybe they'll be added as DLC if they return to the company at some point this year.
As previously mentioned with Matt, we'll probably see Jeff and the Hardy Boyz in a WWE game in the future, but they probably won't be in this year's game, because at that point, TNA will probably be out of business.
7 CM Punk
UFC president Dana White has said publicly that the UFC and WWE are on very good terms, and it appears that they'll be working together after Brock Lesnar fights at next month's UFC 200. But, just because WWE and UFC are on good terms doesn't mean that CM Punk and WWE are.
As previously mentioned, 2K decided to put Punk in their annual video game nine-months after he quit WWE, and it cost them a ton of money. So, they probably won't do that again unless they get permission from Punk himself, which isn't going to happen.
Will CM Punk be in a future release of the game? Probably. History tells us that everyone eventually returns to WWE, even if they left on bad terms. So, Punk will probably return to WWE at some point, which means that he'll be in one of the future games. Will it happen this year? No.
6 Owen Hart
Owen Hart hasn't been involved in a WWE game in nearly two decades, and don't expect that streak to end this year. 2K has regularly included the legendary Hart Foundation in the annual title without its second most popular member, Owen.
There are some pretty well-known issues that have prevented WWE from using Owen for anything, including a WWE Hall of Fame induction, which he unquestionably deserves. Until those issues are worked out, which probably won't be anytime soon, we won't be seeing Owen in the WWE Hall of Fame or in one of WWE's video games.
However, 2K could end up surprising us by finally putting Owen in the game with the rest of The Hart Foundation members. But, I just don't see it happening this year. If Owen were to be involved in this year's WWE game, he would undoubtedly be one of the most used characters in the game.
5 Austin Aries
Austin Aries' debut in NXT shocked everyone and he's made a huge impact there over the last couple of months. But, sadly, 2K isn't he greatest at providing the wrestling fans with the most up-to-date roster, which means that Aries probably won't be included in this year's WWE 2K game.
He may end up being DLC for the game, much like Samoa Joe was last year. But he probably won't be included in the game's original roster, which will probably disappoint fans of the NXT product, and wrestling fans from around the world.
Aries will possibly be the NXT Champion by the time the game is released, so 2K may be forced to include him in one of the game's DLC packs. He also may be on the main roster due to the brand-split. So, again, he'll have to be made available as downloadable content for the game at some point.
4 Bobby Roode
It's no secret that Bobby Roode will be appearing on NXT television at some point in the near future. He's already made his NXT debut at a few live events, so he's obviously signed a WWE contract, unlike his Beer Money teammate James Storm, who debuted in NXT and ended up back in TNA just a few weeks later.
Unlike with Samoa Joe last year, Roode probably won't even be available as DLC, which will disappoint a lot of the game's buyers. He'll probably make his NXT television debut well-before the official roster is announced this coming August, which may lead some fans to believe that he'll be in the game, and those fans will only end up being disappointed.
If you're eager to play as Bobby Roode in a WWE game, then sadly, you'll probably have to wait until next year, because I don't see him being included in this year's game.
3 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan was pulled from last year's game after a transcript of his racist rant was leaked. He was obviously fired by WWE as well. As of this writing, Hogan hasn't been reinstated by WWE and he probably won't be anytime soon.
It's clear that WWE will bring him back at some point. Triple H has even said that WWE will bring Hogan back when the time is right. But it probably won't happen until next year at the earliest. So, that means that Hulkamania won't be running wild in this year's WWE 2K video game.
Personally, I think 2K should put him in the game. But, they need WWE's blessing to do so and they probably won't get it. So, don't expect Hogan's name to be announced during 2K's official roster reveal party this summer, unless he somehow gets re-hired by WWE in the next couple of months.
2 Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
History tells us that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson debuted too late if they were hoping to be in this year's WWE game. Sure, the game won't be released until October, but, as previously mentioned, The Shield broke up six months before the release of WWE 2K15 and they were still in their Shield attire when the game was released.
Also, the NXT Women's Division began to pick up steam well-before this past year's WWE 2K16 was released and none of those women were put in the game. So, that suggests that both Gallows and Anderson, who debuted just a couple of weeks after WrestleMania 32, won't be in WWE 2K17.
So, you're looking to re-form The Bullet Club faction, you'll have to do so with AJ Styles and Finn Balor, because Gallows and Anderson won't be in this year's game. So, you can look forward to using The Club in WWE 2K18! Now that would be a great box cover.
1 Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura might be the most popular star in NXT and he has the potential to be one of the biggest stars on WWE's main roster. He had quite a memorable debut back at NXT Takeover: Dallas, where his match with Sami Zayn electrified the crowd, as it was one of the best matches of this year.
Nakamura will probably be on the main roster by the time the game comes out, but he probably won't be on the WWE 2K17 roster. Again, that's just based on the history of WWE 2K, so we may end up being surprised, but I don't see it happening.
Could Nakamura be included in one of the DLC packs? Sure. But he probably won't be on the game's original roster. So we may have to wait until December of this year, or even next spring to play as Shinsuke Nakamure in WWE 2K17.