Just when you thought Bill Goldberg was the cover boy for this year's edition of WWE 2k17, think again. There's a reason Goldberg was being arrested on the outskirts of Suplex City. Well, that's because this is Brock Lesnar's neck of the woods and The Beast Incarnate know's there's only room for one man to grace this year's cover.
As confirmed by Paul Heyman in a State Of The Union address conference call, Lesnar is "the next big thing" to star in this years video game franchise.
"I applaud 2K Sports for putting Brock Lesnar on the cover, it's the smartest thing they can do for their merchandising, it's the smartest thing they can do for their license, it's the smartest thing they can do for their shareholders. The game comes out universally on October 11th, and on the cover will be BROCK LESNAR."
Every year, fans wait in suspense for 2K to reveal the cover for this year's game. Over the years, we have seen some big names grace the cover including The Rock, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin. However, not all fans agree with the decision to having certain superstars be the main attraction for a particular year's game. With that said, Paul Heyman's prize client might be the star of this year's game, but there're a fair share of things we love and dislike about it. Lets examine those reasons.
15 Love: Another Accolade Added To The List
Let’s take a look at Brock Lesnar's Resume: WWE Undisputed Champion, check. Conquered The Undertaker's undefeated streak, check. UFC champion, check, UFC 2010 video game cover, check. Now, WWE 2K17 video game cover boy, big check! Just when you though Brock Lesnar has done it all, think again.
For the second time in his career, and the first of the 2K series, Lesnar graces a WWE video game cover. Only a select few superstars have been selected to headline a WWE video game and now you can add The Beast Incarnate to the two-time section of that illustrious list. The other game that he graced the covert of was WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain, which was released on PlayStation 2.
14 Dislike: He’s A Part Timer
One of the most talked about issues in the WWE Universe is the issue of part time wrestlers getting things handed to them, regardless of their commitment to the business. In this case, Brock Lesnar, who only fights very rarely, graces the cover of the this year's game, but how deserving is he? Does that amount of time he puts into the WWE product compare to the amount of effort guys like Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens have put in. Does a guy who had a handful of matches deserve this accolade more than them? This is where the debate is not so clear. Do we want a cover athlete who's popular or deserving?
Whether we like it or not, part-timers will always be in the picture.
13 Love: "WWE 2K17: The Pain Is Back"
As we mentioned before, the last time we saw Brock Lesnar on the cover of a WWE video game was back in 2003, where he was the star of SmackDown Here Comes The Pain. This happened to be one of the best wrestling games of the franchise, receiving a 9.1/10 and competed for sports game of the year. While we have no idea how good this year's game will be, we as fans can hope that we see many improvements and new modes to make this game better than ever. We can also hope it compares to the last game with Lesnar on the cover, as that was an absolute classic.
It's somewhat of a long shot to say that the game will be better just because Lesnar is on the cover, but we can hope, can't we? Most things that include Lesnar are better in the WWE, so why shouldn't that apply to video games?
12 Dislike: This Was Not The Year Of Suplex City
More often than not, a superstar is usually selected to grace the cover of a video game following a successful year or a year worth talking about. If this was 2015, we could not possibly question such a decision, as he headlined WrestleMania and had a standout year. It would be even better if this happened in 2014, when he ended The Undertaker's streak.
Superstars like Randy Orton, CM Punk, and John Cena all found themselves on the cover after thriving and making huge impacts during their respected runs. Unfortunately for The Beast Incarnate, he did not have a year to brag about. During 2016, Lesnar has a winning record of 2-1, and a Royal Rumble appearance under his belt. Although the numbers are good, his impact on the WWE Universe in 2016 wasn't as good as his previous years.
11 Love: Possible Lesnar and Heyman Showcase Mode
Now that we know Brock Lesnar will be on the cover, what new features will we see? How about a possible Brock Lesnar Showcase mode/? Paul Heyman seems to like the idea and that became apparent during his State Of The Union address conference call.
"I tell you what, I'm stumped on this one. Who's the publicist here? I wish I had an answer here, but there damn well better be a Brock Lesnar showcase in the game, which comes out on October 11th. It's a great question and I don't know the answer. But I'll find it out."
The best part of the new 2K games are all the new features available. Having a Brock Lesnar showcase mode where you can embark on his entire journey would be something new and refreshing to the mode. It gives fans a chance to play with a character that has yet to have anything specifically dedicated to him.
10 Dislike: Defeats The Purpose Of Having Goldberg
When Goldberg was announced as the pre-order bonus for WWE 2K17, the initial reaction was that he had a great chance of being on the cover of the game. Goldberg had a year-long run in the WWE between 2003-2004 that was nothing short of a disappointment, but his run in WCW was legendary, as he was one of the few homegrown stars they created during The Monday Night Wars. Fans were also hopeful that Goldberg being on the cover would lead to a WWE return for Goldberg, but that doesn't seem overly likely now.
Having him possibly grace the cover would have been a dedication to his entire professional career instead of his poor WWE stint. After the recent announcement that Brock Lesnar would star on the cover instead, it left some confusion to those that envisioned it differently.
9 Love: He’s Legitimate
Logically, when you're choosing someone to be on the cover of a sports video game, you have to think about the following: is he the best, is he believable and is he marketable? When you think of the complete package in the WWE at the moment, you can't help but think about The Beast Incarnate. He’s simply the real deal. The baddest man on the planet does not need the WWE Championship around his waist to prove that he is WWE's most valuable and best property. Despite the fact that he isn't always around, whenever he emerges, fans lose their minds and Lesnar attracts plenty of attention. He's likely the biggest draw in the WWE today.
There's no doubt that every time he makes his return to the ring, all eyes are on him and who will be taking a beating from him next.
8 Dislike: He Could Go Back To The UFC
Despite the fact that he’s 38 years old, Brock Lesnar has shown no signs of aging. Lesnar is still in top shape and seems to be getting better with age. With that being said, there is still a genuine possibility that Lesnar could head back to the UFC full time once his contract with WWE expires. Lesnar has been out of the Octagon since 2011 and has a lot to prove in his upcoming fight with Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on July 9th. If that match goes well, it's entirely possible that he completely switches over.
With only two years left on his WWE contract, the possibility of a UFC return could be in his future. If that is the case, having Lesnar star on the cover could be a let down to those who support and idolize him for his work in WWE.
7 Love: It’s Someone We Didn’t Expect
As crazy as it sounds, I don't think a majority of fans expected to see Brock Lesnar as this year's cover boy. Especially after Goldberg's reveal as the pre-order bonus for the upcoming game. Also due to the fact Stone Cold Steve Austin graced last year's cover, fans expected more nostalgic picks to come.
Before his recent suspension, fans were even worried that Roman Reigns, who was getting a huge push (that people see as undeserving) would potentially grace this year's cover of the 2K franchise. Well, for those who were worried, you can now rest assure that The Beast Incarnate is here and he's proven there's only one man for the cover.
6 Dislike: He’s Out Of His Prime
Over the years, we seen the dominance and punishment this man has brought to his competitors. Brock Lesnar is known for his size, power, strength, and German Suplexes, of course. There’s no arguing that he’s still the most dominant man in the WWE today, which makes him a huge fan favorite, but he’s certainly not the freak of nature he used to be. Since his recent return to the company back in 2012, Lesnar has showed off a slimmer body and wrestles at a significantly slower pace, though we can also blame that on having a series of matches with an older Undertaker. Even though Lesnar has accomplished a lot during his second WWE run, he will be remembered for the destruction he caused from 2001-2004.
5 Love: He’s Marketable
Brock Lesnar is a loved by the WWE Universe, with his massive build and incredible strength that make him one of the most entertaining and must see superstars of all time. After dominating the WWE and UFC, Lesnar has created a large fan base around the world, which few others athletes can compare with. As a part time wrestler and full-time ass kicker, having Lesnar on the cover will not only be a huge success for the franchise, but it could bring back old fans that once watched the product, thus making the game a must buy. This was likely the idea with including Stone Cold Steve Austin last year and, by all accounts, that game sold quite well.
Not only that, with an upcoming match at UFC 200, Lesnar can win over some fans that criticize the WWE of being “fake,” I assure you, Brock Lesnar is very real and makes for good business for the 2K franchise.
4 Dislike: He Doesn't Represent The Company's Current Direction
The WWE has changed a lot in the past 15 years. Stars like Triple H, John Cena, and even Brock Lesnar are all heading out of their primes and a new era in the WWE is in making. Nowadays, stars like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor are becoming the next big things that the company has to offer. These superstars represent much more than the future of this company, as they represent a new breed of stars that will change the landscape of the WWE forever.
If the company had any intentions on advertising the future of the WWE through their video game partnership, then having Brock headline this year's game could be a mistake. Seth Rollins or AJ Styles would have likely been better choice to represent the new generation
3 Love: Could Hint For Another Push
In this day and age, the WWE Championship changes very frequently. In 2016 alone, we saw the WWE title change hands five times. All those title changes revolved around the three former members of The Shield and the COO, Triple H. WWE seems to be struggling to find a champion that can hold the title for months and be recognized as the face of the company. Before Seth Rollins held the belt for a long-time, the company had Lesnar as the champion and it absolutely worked.
Lesnar is scheduled to make his long-awaited return in August, just in time for the biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam. There is no definite plan to what the WWE has in mind for The Beast Incarnate, but a return to the title scene could be a possibility. With the recent announcement of him being the star of this year's video game, we could be seeing the first steps towards one last title run.
2 Dislike: Far More Deserving Candidates
When you take a look back at 2015 and 2016, a few names come to mind, like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose, who all had a tremendous impact. Even those superstars that didn't have a fantastic year like Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt are all pure examples of superstars that have earned a shot at being on the cover of 2Ks WWE series.
Choosing the cover of a video game is no walk in the park, but at the same time, the game is based on the current year's product, so it would only make sense that you would put someone who impacted that year in a way that can't be ignored. Time and time again, legends and part-timers end up on the cover over those who work day in and day out throughout the year. It not only can be offensive to those stars who strived that year, but the fans that believe that their hero would get the well-deserved recognition.
1 Love: He's Brock Lesnar
Love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar is the real deal. For 15 years, Lesnar has brought the pain and has put on some of the best matches in the history of the company. He’s legitimate in every characteristic possible and sells out arenas in a matter of minutes. He's fought and beaten the best the WWE has to offer. Lesnar is excited for his opportunity and this is what he had to say about it.
“My career has been defined by dominating every opportunity presented to me. I am excited for my newest opportunity representing WWE 2K17 as the franchise’s ambassador and honored to serve as the WWE 2K17 cover Superstar.”
He’s been the face of both WWE and UFC during his run and has earned the reputation as the baddest man on the planet. He’s conquered streaks that no man's ever conquered and he's always been the spotlight of any show he's on. At the end of the day, we have to recognize all he has accomplished and be satisfied that he gets to grace this year's WWE 2k17 videogame.