Throughout time we have had some amazing wrestling related video games and some quite frankly appalling ones and plenty in the middle. Sometimes the storylines carry the game, other times it’s about creating a superstar, sometimes the wrestling games don’t even focus on in-ring traditional wrestling, but the community for these games is as strong and passionate as you would expect from wrestling fans.
Because of the amount of history, there is in wrestling at this point, each game has provided something very different and this has allowed creators the chance to add easter eggs and unlock-able characters into games for fans to really delve into. A lot of times, details can be missed by fans who just get sucked into the main arch of the game and don’t look at other things available to them, but some fans work hard to pick up every little detail available.
There are plenty of facts from wrestling games each time one is created that almost everyone misses out on, and are only revealed through interviews with the people involved and that’s all part of the fun of gaming and wrestling combined.
This list will attempt to provide some of those little-known facts that even the craziest and most die-hard wrestling fans do not know about wrestling video games, looking at story decisions, games fans might not have played, things that were never created and a whole lot more.
20. Shane McMahon Does His Own Motion Capture
For the modern games, 2K uses motion capture to create authentic moves for all the WWE Superstars as well as their entrances, attempting to capture their mannerisms perfectly, which creates a more realistic game. Most of the time, this involves someone learning all of the WWE locker rooms moves and doing them while being recorded, and given how popular the games are, it is clearly working okay.
However, one man who doesn’t allow someone to do the motion capture for him is Shane McMahon. Since his return to WWE and subsequent return to WWE video games, Shane’O has done all of his own motion captures, ensuring that those dodgy punches are as realistic as possible.
19. A Case Of Bad Timing
Sometimes mistakes can be made that lead to very awkward moments in video games and this is a perfect example of that. While the decision itself wasn’t a mistake, the timing of the situation did leave a situation WWE will be hoping all of its avid gamers have forgotten about. Using The Undertaker as Smackdown vs Raw 2007’s main season mode storyline, the story created also involved Chris Benoit, another top star at the time. The only problem was that months after the game was created, Benoit sadly passed away.
While that isn’t a problem in itself, having Benoit in the game isn’t an issue, it’s the storyline that saw Undertaker utter the following words to Benoit: “If you insist on making this mistake, your grieving family will have no one to blame but you when the inevitable occurs,” that might leave a bad taste in your mouth.
18. Video Game Punishment
When you think about the crazy ways that Vince McMahon has punished wrestlers throughout the years, simply removing them from a video game doesn’t really rank that highly, but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.
When the popular game, WWF No Mercy was released, one name was clearly missing, Big Show. During that period of time Show was in WWE’s bad books due to some serious weight issues and was sent from the main roster back to developmental to sort the issue. However, on top of that, WWE removed him from the video game, likely costing him a decent amount of money in royalties. For die-hard fans, Big Show’s character in WWF No Mercy can still be found via GameShark.
17. Crush Hour
It’s strange to think that some fans might not know what Crush Hour is, but because it was so random and before its time, that is a very distinct possibility, especially for younger fans who are new to wrestling fandom. Crush Hour was a WWE game that involved no wrestling at all, and intentionally so, as it featured wrestlers in cars in combat against each other while Jim Ross provided WWE style commentary over the top of the action.
It was silly and bizarre but also utterly brilliant and anybody who hasn’t played it owes it to themselves to find a way of having a go on it. Not only is there wrestlers in cars destroying each other, but videos of Kane cooking and the shampoo commercial that Booker T and Edge once had a feud over, it’s great stuff.
16. One And Done
Over the years WWE has done an incredible job at adding more legends to its video games, allowing fans to play as the stars of yesteryear, but one name that you won’t see and will likely never see is Owen Hart.
That is unless you own a copy of WWF Attitude, which is one the very few WWE licensed game to feature Hart. His death took place just after the release of the game which led to the entire game being dedicated to him. However, since then he hasn’t featured in games due to issues between WWE and Owen’s widow. Hart did appear in the average Legends Of Wrestling game, but that was not a WWE licensed property and only Owen’s likeness was allowed to be used.
15. Triple The Triple H
Over the years Triple H has built quite the reputation for himself for putting himself over and being in the spotlight over the younger talent and in WWE’s latest video game, WWE 2K18, you can live that to the absolute maximum.
In the game, there are two playable versions of The Game, one being the traditional, long-haired version, and the other the modern, bald version of HHH. If two isn’t enough, there is a way of having three, that’s right, three, Triple H’s in the ring at the same time. If you go to put the two versions of Triple H together as a tag team and make your way to Tag Team Championship glory then the pair of Kings will be presented with the titles by a third, suited version of the boss.
14. No Nature Boy
The rivalry between Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair is well documented at this point, with neither man liking the other there were countless problems between them during the Nature Boy’s time with WCW.
One of those problems came when Flair missed some shows to attend his son’s amateur wrestling tournament. Bischoff, seeing this as a breach of contract, decided to suspend Flair which happened to coincide with the creation of the popular video game, WCW/nWo Revenge. It is arguably the greatest WCW specific wrestling game to ever be created, and seeing one of WCW’s biggest ever stars not included in the game is surprising to most fans. Flair returned to television just months after his suspension, but it was clearly too late to be included.
13. Playing With A Head
The title of this entry pretty much tells you all you need to know really, at one point Al Snow’s head was a playable character. That’s right, the doll head that he famously carried to the ring every time, was an option for you to play as in a video game.
Of course, the head came with nobody, but just hands and wrestling boots with an invisible torso, seriously. It was an unlock-able character in the game WWF Attitude, which means that some fans might have missed out on this treat. The head even came with a voice which was a strange auto-tuned type sound and made the whole thing even more ridiculous than it already was, thankfully it hasn’t happened again.
12. Break The Ring
Throughout time in WWE, we have seen the ring be broken several times and in WWE 2K18, the creators have given you the opportunity to do it in the virtual world, and once you know how to do it, it’s fairly simple, unlike in real life.
Just store up three finishers and make sure you are playing as a super heavyweight, while it’s a game, they have kept some things realistic. Kalisto won’t be breaking the ring anytime soon now to be fair. Once you have done that wait for an OMG moment to arrive and it will destroy your opponent (you will win the match via KO) and destroy the ring along with it.
11. WWE Brawl: Game That Never Happened
The die-hard fans of wrestling games have likely played, or at least heard of, every single wrestling game that is available, but not every idea is given the green light and WWE Brawl was one of those.
WWE Brawl was a wrestling video game that embraced a more cartoon-like style, depicting the WWE Superstars with heavy battle armour and actually looked good, and was set to provide fans with something a little different in 2012. However, for reasons not fully explained, the game simply faded away and clearly never came to fruition, leaving everyone wondering what could have been.
10. WWE Champion Missing?
While this entry doesn’t really reflect the video game and more so the company in general, the fact that former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was cut from the video game before he became champion says a lot about how 2K viewed him as a wrestler.
Even though he was fired just before, 2K had to go to some lengths to get rid of a character that many people wouldn’t have played at that time and fast forward a year and he is a main character in 2K18 as a former WWE Champion. Of course, the main reason he was cut was likely to stop him being paid any royalty bonus from WWE, but it is still a fact that many fans might not have noticed, with Mahal’s worth at that time being summed up.
9. The Streak
The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak is legendary and while he may have been defeated on the Grandest Stage Of Them All now, the winning streak that he created on the show is one that will likely never be beaten. However, that isn’t the only streak that the Deadman boasts, in fact, he holds an impressive streak when it comes to video games as well. The Undertaker character has appeared in more wrestling video games than any other wrestler in history.
Racking up over 50 appearances, Undertaker is way ahead of his competition, with a very impressive tally to say WWE now only tends to produce one game a year. Because of his legendary status, The Phenom’s streak is likely not going to be beaten anytime soon, as he will be featured in many games to come.
8. Nintendo Neglect
Whether fans know about this entry will all depend on what console you play on, with gamers who use Xbox and Playstation likely to be oblivious to this fact, but the Nintendo version of WWE 2K18 is actually nowhere near as capable as its counterparts for other consoles.
The new Nintendo Switch has been a very popular console, but clearly 2K didn’t take that into consideration, at least not in time for WWE 2K18’s addition. It is not as capable as the same game on other consoles and that is because of 2K’s own decision. 2K decided to not add more memory to its cartridges and therefore the game wasn’t to the same standard as the other versions. Hopefully a fact that will change for 2K19.
7. Stevie Richards Big Moment
Speaking of WWF No Mercy, Big Shows punishment and subsequent non-involvement in the video game led to a major change within the game itself that left many fans perplexed but provided Stevie Richards with a big opportunity (in the virtual world). One of the game’s storylines led you to the WrestleMania 2000 main event, which was a fatal four-way that featured Big Show in real life. Obviously, Show wasn’t part of the game and therefore the creators needed to put somebody else in his spot.
So in stepped… Stevie Richards. That’s right out of the entire roster at the time, which was loaded, the creators opted for mid-card talent, Stevie Richards. If you managed to stumble across this story, out of the hundreds that were available, I’m sure it left you as confused as everybody else that has played it.
6. Green And Red Men
In Smackdown vs Raw 2010, gamers have the chance to play with the incredibly famous wrestlers, Red and Green. Wait, you haven’t heard of them? Well, that’s not a surprise, as WWE decided to allow you to play as these colored generic characters who are used in the move set custom menus.
Instead of giving an actual member of the roster that hadn’t been included the chance to be developed into the game or making a deal with a legend to appeal to older fans, they simply threw in these random and pointless characters. Not only that, but they were actually available on the main roster straight away and weren’t some random unlockables, they were treated that highly and the decision didn’t go down too well.
5. Fiction Becomes Reality
Wrestling games have often created characters that aren’t real to advance a storyline or due to rights problems, but in this case, TNA decided to take a character that was created in a game, and turn him into an actual member of its roster.
He was a masked wrestler in TNA Impact and became the TNA Heavyweight Champion within the game, but was attacked and awoke with no memory of who he was, which is where your create-a-wrestler came in to provide a new identity via plastic surgery (yes this really happened). TNA then decided that the Suicide character (pre-beating) would be made a member of their real-life roster and despite some hype, never really amounted to much, although several big names such as Christopher Daniels and TJ Perkins portrayed the masked wrestler.
4. Limp Bizkit
There have been some strange playable characters over the years with the likes of The Terminator being available to play, but the oddest playable character in a wrestling video game has to go to Limp Bizkit frontman, Fred Durst.
Durst was playable in both Smackdown: Just Bring It and WWE Raw and even though most fans probably didn’t play with him over the wrestlers available, he was an option to gamers. At that time, Limp Bizkit provided the theme song for The Undertaker and in order to allow THQ to use the song within the games, Durst made his request to be made a playable character, on top of his royalty money, of course.
3. Not Enough Money?
Speaking of strange playable characters, die-hard fans of the wrestling games might not know about one playable character that never came to be, Floyd Money Mayweather. Following the success of his WrestleMania match with Big Show, plans were put in place to add the boxing legend to the next SmackDown vs Raw.
Everything had been put into place, entrances created and a move set determined, it seemed like all the pieces of the puzzle had been completed for what would have been a very popular addition to the game. However, at the last minute, Mayweather decided to pull out of the deal. The reasons for his decision are unknown, but all the work the creators put in didn’t go to waste, as the exact move set was used for Mike Tyson when he was made a playable character in WWE 13.
2. Who Needs A Ring?
WCW did some ridiculous things during its life as a company and that wasn’t just in terms of the product they created on television or the way they treated their talent backstage, but also in the other properties they had and video games were no exception.
During WCW’s final video game prior to the company being sold to Vince McMahon, WCW Backstage Assault made sure it took its place in wrestling game history by being the only licensed wrestling video game to not feature a wrestling ring. For some reason, somebody made the wild decision that for this ‘wrestling’ video game, that the idea of being able to do any actual wrestling in a ring is something fans wouldn’t want to do, with wrestlers simply brawling backstage instead.
1. The Simpsons Wrestling Game
There have been countless amounts of wrestling games over the years, some great ones and some terrible ones, with plenty in between. Not every wrestling game has been produced by an actual wrestling company, therefore there are many wacky and strange games that die-hard wrestling fans can get their hands on.
One of those happens to be about the famous yellow cartoon family, The Simpsons. One of the most popular TV shows in history has also had many video games over the years, and one of them happened to be a wrestling game, for some reason. It isn’t the greatest game in the world and doesn’t involve any actual wrestling moves, just your favourite Simpsons characters beating the hell out of each other. Who doesn’t want to be Homer dishing out a beating to his family? It’s a strange game, but one that all die-hard wrestling game fans should find and try.
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