Recently, WWE and 2K have released the latest installment in the excellent wrestling video game franchise, with Brock Lesnar and Goldberg headlining the advertising campaign as they head into their Survivor Series clash. As always, the game looks and plays fantastic, with superstars such as AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and the Four Horsewomen making their debuts, but not everything about the game is perfect.
As usual, there are stars who have had drastic rating changes--some that make sense, and some that just make you scratch your head. The following 15 performers, whether current stars or legends, are rated way off by WWE and their 2K partners.
Here are the 7 overrated and 8 underrated stars of WWE 2K17.
15 Underrated: Emma – 72 Overall
Emma may have flopped on the main roster, being paired with Santino Marella, but upon returning to NXT with a fantastic heel gimmick, she has proved why she was one of the big starters of the women’s revolution in WWE, as she is an amazing in ring performer when given the chance. When looking at female performers in WWE over the last several years, Emma has been often overshadowed, by Paige during their initial run in NXT and then by the likes of Asuka, Sasha and Bayley during her second NXT stint, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she is as talented as any of them. Perhaps a return to the bully side of her character when she makes her television return will boost her rating in WWE 2K18, but for now, Emma is definitely underrated.
14 Overrated: Dana Brooke – 74 overall
This one may not seem like a big deal at first glance, as most of the women like Asuka, Sasha, Charlotte and Bayley are all rated in the high 80s, but to suggest that the green and very cringey Dana Brooke is better than performers such as Carmella, Tyler Breeze, Emma and even Alicia Fox is ridiculous. Brooke made her main roster debut within the last year, and has gone from terrible performance to terrible performance, most recently in her rivalry with Bayley, which has featured terrible, cringeworthy performances from her. Some of this may be down to the terrible writing of her (and the rest of the women’s division outside of Sasha, Charlotte and Nia Jax for that matter), but Dana is no where near good enough to be considered a 74 overall, even if it does seem like a very low rating anyway.
13 Underrated: Neville – 78 Overall
Neville hasn’t been able to show off much more than his amazing athleticism during his main roster run, but the impressive Geordie has so much more to his game, as NXT fans will know very well. Along with being the best high flier in WWE (with competition from maybe the likes of Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann), Neville has an amazing move set that sets him apart from past smaller guys, which should make him a dream for game developers to create and fans to play. Unfortunately, due to his abysmal booking on television, Neville has again been underrated at 78, so let’s just hope that, even though rumor is the opposite that Neville can inject some much needed life into the Cruiserweight division soon.
12 Overrated: Earthquake & Typhoon - 81 Overall
These two were always good performers, and were key parts of mainstream wrestling in the 80’s, but to have them rated higher than the likes of Neville and some current NXT stars just seems wrong. The two big men were spectacles in wrestling with more athleticism than they should have, but an 81 rating is way too high. Compare this to a legend like Andre the Giant, and it is even more outrageous, with the legend being rated just 80 overall. It’s their first appearance in the video game series for some time, and maybe that has something to do with it, but there is no honest justification for two mid card performers being rated so highly compared to other legends and talent of today.
11 Underrated: Andre the Giant – 80 Overall
Speaking of Andre the Giant, simply put he is a legend in the wrestling business, and while performers like the Big Show and Kane still maintain relatively high ratings, Andre has slipped almost out of the 80’s, which, if you’re going to keep him in the game is a massive disrespect to his legacy. During his day, Andre was a spectacle that wrestling had never seen before, and even years after his death he is fondly remembered as one of the most influential performers of all time, so why the low rating? Only WWE and 2K can know that, but it seems very low, especially when you consider that Earthquake and Typhoon are both rated higher than the legend.
10 Overrated: Vader – 87 Overall
Vader is somewhat of a legend in the wrestling business, but his rating of 87, especially when compared to the likes of Kevin Owens, Andre the Giant or any of the females making their debut in the game is just down right head scratching. He was a great performer, yes, but his time has well and truly passed, and with other, and let’s face it, better legends in the game, this rating just confuses. Regardless of how you feel about Vader’s recent criticism of wrestling, most notably of Will Ospreay, you have to respect what he did for the business, but 2K and WWE have gone a bit overboard with this rating, so hopefully if he remains in the game he will see the same drop off in rating as legends like the Big Show and Andre the Giants famously did.
9 Underrated: Kevin Owens – 86 Overall
Kevin Owen’s rating of 86 is baffling enough as it is, but when you compare it to the 91 he got in his debut game a year ago, it is even more confusing, as his performances and his standing in the company has done nothing but improve since last years game. Although he won the Universal title when the game was basically finalized, Owens has improved drastically on last year, even if his booking early in the year suggested otherwise. He has now shown the versatility and talent, both on the microphone and in the ring that makes him a bonafide main event star, which deserves a much higher rating. If his current run continues and he puts on great matches with Rollins, Reigns, Jericho and maybe Balor, there is no doubting that WWE and 2K will have no choice but to respect him and reflect that in his ratings.
8 Overrated: Bray Wyatt – 87 Overall
Oh Bray Wyatt, what an unfortunate run of luck he has had during his WWE tenure. He has often shown himself to be charismatic and very unique, but due to his poor booking, all the positives he has have been underutilized, to the point where fans don’t even see the Eater of Worlds as a genuine threat to anything. Due to this poor booking, which results in him losing every major feud he competes in, the rating of Wyatt at 87 is just plain unrealistic, as he just isn’t in the class of other young stars. With the recent brand split, I expect Wyatt to continue to improve and become a bigger part of the main event scene, but even with that, I can’t image that he will deserve a rating even 1 point higher than this in the near future.
7 Underrated: Finn Balor – 88 Overall
Finn Balor is a future star in WWE, if he isn’t already, and before his untimely injury at Summerslam, he was putting on star performance one after another for the better part of 2 years, yet this hasn’t shown up in his rating. Yes he is rated higher than other young stars like Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns, but for the way he was presented by WWE upon his main roster debut, being drafted #5, he should be rated up with stars like Seth Rollins and John Cena. If he returns and continues to impress in the main event spot like the company and fans both expect, his rating should be one of the highest in WWE 2K18, but for now, I feel that his rating should be just a bit higher.
6 Overrated: John Cena – 93 Overall
Before you think that this is just another ‘internet wrestling mark’ hating on John Cena, it’s not, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cena, and have enjoyed his work over the last 2 years, but to be rated so much higher than the up and coming stars in the WWE sends the wrong message to everyone. Cena is still a high level performer, and deserves a rating of 88-90, but to have him 4 points over AJ Styles, 5 over Finn Balor and between 6-7 over the likes of Sami Zayn, Rusev and Kevin Owens is just wrong. It’s no secret that Big Match John is on his way out, serving recently as more of a part time performer, and that should reflect in his rating, which would also encourage the fans to believe in the future, as he should be rated closer to the aforementioned stars who make up that future.
5 Underrated: Rusev – 86 Overall
Rusev has been booked fairly terribly by WWE in the past year, derailing all his momentum with a loss to John Cena and then the embarrassing ‘love’ angle with Dolph Ziggler, Lana and Summer Rae. Despite that, he remains a fan favorite and has obviously got an immense amount of ability in the ring, which isn’t quite reflected in his rating in the video game. This was shown by the man himself when he was filmed complaining about Sami Zayn being rated higher than he was, and regardless of how you feel, his 86 is definitely low. I personally believe Sami Zayn deserved a better rating, but Rusev, one of the most underrated and least talked about stars of the future should hopefully improve as the years go on.
4 Overrated: JBL – 87 Overall
JBL was quite the performer in his day, after years in the mid card he rose to the main event in the mid 2000’s with his Texan businessman gimmick, which automatically made him one of the top 2 or 3 heels in the company. He had good matches with the likes of The Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle, and was the a major cornerstone of Smackdown during it’s best days. However, to rate that character as higher than the likes of Rusev, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn is just a bit silly, as they are all much more talented than he ever was. Forgetting his terrible current run on commentary, Layfield deserves much respect, but to be put as an 87 overall just seems a little too high.
3 Underrated: Sting ’91 – 87 Overall
Sting was the coolest wrestler in the world in the early 90’s, with many young fans following the upstart WCW promotion just because of the bleach blonde, surfer character that Sting portrayed. Fast forward to today, and the character has developed into one of the most respected and recognizable in wrestling history, making the lowly rating of 87 seem disrespectful. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see Sting rated higher than the likes of Finn Balor, AJ Styles or even Brock Lesnar, but a higher rating than 87 for one of WCW’s best performers ever seems appropriate. When compared to the likes of current day Triple H or JBL, it seems that WCW’s Stinger should definitely be given a much higher rating, but who knows, he lost at WrestleMania to Triple H so maybe this is Vince showing his authority over WCW again.
2 Overrated: Triple H – 89 Overall
Don’t get me wrong, I love Triple H. I enjoyed his character in the early 2000’s, and I can’t thank him enough for the work he has done with developmental, the Cruiserweight Classic and the working relationships he has developed with smaller wrestling promotions. But to suggest that Triple H, in his current state is a better performer than Rusev, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and others is just absurd. He performs just once or twice a year, with the most recent program with Roman Reigns being deemed a failure for lack of ‘WWE preferred’ crowd response, making his 89 rating completely unreasonable. The Game can still go in the ring, and can tell a great story when given the right opportunity, but with the up and coming talent that he has nurtured in NXT, his rating shouldn’t be this high, and should continue to fall in the coming years.
1 Underrated: AJ Styles – 89 Overall
This one is somewhat understandable, as AJ Styles only made his long awaited WWE debut in early 2016, but looking at his history and the way he has performed throughout the year, his rating of 89, while not bad, just needs to be higher. Seeing what amazing matches Styles has put on with the likes of Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, John Cena and Dean Ambrose, it is possible that he should be the highest rated player in the game (except Brock Lesnar, because Vince McMahon), as the Phenomenal One is as versatile and talented as any wrestler in history. Expect that next year, after his Championship run that AJ will be one of the highest rated players in the game, an honor he deserves after an amazing 20-year career.
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