I love Fall. Football, pumpkin coffee, the foliage, baseball playoffs, Halloween, pumpkin beer, flannel, more football, Thanksgiving, the bugs return to hell for the winter, and of course, wrestling fans get to enjoy the newest edition of WWE2K.
This season we’re offered WWE 2K16 and we’ve been promised the largest roster ever and significant changes to some of our biggest complaints about the games since the franchise has been signed over to 2K games.
Each Monday for the past few weeks, IGN has released small chunks of the roster every morning and included both images and an entrance video alongside. Perhaps creative should take notes on how IGN went about this because I was engaged and looking forward to each Monday more than I usually am. This past Monday, the final chunk of superstars to be featured on the roster was released, which now gives us an entire list to look over.
Aiden English (Vaudevillians)
Simon Gotch (Vaudevillians)
Bad News Barrett
Big E (The New Day)
The Big Show
Bray Wyatt (The Wyatt Family)
Erick Rowan (The Wyatt Family)
Jey Uso (The Usos)
Jimmy Uso (The Usos)
Kalisto (Lucha Dragons)
Kofi Kingston (The New Day)
Konnor (The Ascension)
Luke Harper (The Wyatt Family)
Sin Cara (Lucha Dragons)
Viktor (The Ascension)
Xavier Woods (The New Day)
Andre The Giant
Bam Bam Bigelow
Bret Hart (Hart Foundation)
British Bulldog (Hart Foundation)
Diamond Dallas Page
D-Lo Brown (Nation of Domination)
Farooq (Nation of Domination)
Honky Tonk Man
Jim Neidhart (The Hart Foundation)
Kama Mustafa (Nation of Domination)
Stunning Steve Austin
Undertaker (American Badass)
Terminator (2 Models)
*Rumored DLC – Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Samoa Joe, Rhyno
So obviously in the case of quantity, this is by far the biggest roster we’ve ever been given. In regards to the quality, I’ll look over each section of the roster and offer my thoughts.
Current Roster- The big marketing point for any new sports game is an updated roster. It’s pretty hard for the WWE to screw that up this year even though they have done it in the past. But where the game developers are annoying us is when they waste spots on superstars we don’t really want to play as. Other professional sports games don’t have that option. They have to add teams that are irrelevant like the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Utah Jazz.
The WWE2K developers have more flexibility in whether or not they choose to add the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the current roster, especially when they can use those slots on legends instead. For the most part, the current roster is good, it has everyone it should have. The issues I have though are with some of the minor stars who have retired or who aren’t relevant anymore such as Santino Marella and Layla. Rather than just include these extra stars for the sake of including them, can we do a poll on WWE.com where fans vote on a legend they would like to see?
Probably not, that makes too much sense.
Legends- So this is easily the most debatable list on the roster given that 2K promised us the BIGGEST ROSTER EVER and they have a such a large pool of legends to choose from. I’ll see if I can organize the legends in order to better express my opinions.
First, the presence of late 80’s/early 90’s superstars is solid as we get some returns from the 2K14 roster with Rick Rude, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat and several others. But we won’t be getting Hulk Hogan or Roddy Piper so it certainly doesn’t feel like that section of the roster reached its full potential.
Second, we see the late 90’s well represented with the Nation of Domination, Hart Foundation and a few WCW superstars. But like the section mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are certainly some superstars missing. The Attitude Era could always use an entire stable of D-X and we don’t get that with Road Dogg missing. Also, the WCW roster can’t be complete without Goldberg and at least some nWo members or cruiserweights.
Third, we get some early 2000’s stars with Steve Austin’s presence such as Rikishi, the American Badass Undertaker and “The One” Billy Gunn. Like the other sections, there are some more wrestlers they could have included like 2 Cool (to add to Rikishi as they did in 2K13) and a masked Kane.
Fourth, ECW makes a minor appearance in 2K16 with Mikey Whipwreck, Bam Bam Bigelow, the ECW Steve Austin and the ECW Arena. Yet if there is no DLC that features Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, The Sandman and RVD, then it will be the biggest tease in 2K’s history. In 2K13 we were promised the Attitude Era and we got it. In 2K14 we were promised 30 Years of WrestleMania and we got it. In 2K15 we were promised garbage because John Cena was on the cover and we got it. Don’t tell me we might finally get an ECW presence that won’t reach its full potential.
Lastly, the numerous models that are present for some superstars needs to stop. We don’t need three models of The Undertaker and Sting. We definitely don’t need “Stunning” Steve Austin or more than one model of The Big Show. 2K needs to find a way to include the stars they need to in story modes without wasting slots.
Overall, the legends list is solid but can certainly be better. We as fans need to accept that stars like Kurt Angle, the Hardy Boyz, Chris Benoit and Owen Hart may never become members of a 2K roster due to legal issues. But we can certainly demand more from 2K when they tease only a chunk of a certain era in the WWE.
Divas- I’m not going to get into AJ Lee not being included, I have accepted how the WWE feels about her and Punk. The list is good overall, as long as what I’ve mentioned with NXT occurs, and we get the Four Horsewomen and potentially Carmella. I’m surprised to see Lana wasn’t included. Maybe she will be included as a manager? Her relationship with Rusev has been pretty important for his character. I’m also surprised some legends weren’t included like Trish and Lita. But overall, still a good amount of divas, minus the extra Stephanie.
DLC- So, I’m getting not one, but two Terminators.
I don’t really kn..
I guess that could be..
Yea I am emotionless with The Terminator. I don’t love it. I don’t hate it.
But I will hate DLC if it doesn’t include more ECW and WCW superstars along with the Four Horsewomen and Rhyno and Samoa Joe.
Overall- It wasn’t difficult, but 2K16 easily has a better roster than 2K15. I still don’t know if we will ever see a better roster than 2K14, but I’m excited enough about the NXT and 90’s presence in this game that I’ll be sure to pick it up this fall. I’ve certainly got some issues in regards to the multiple models of some superstars, the wasted slots on irrelevant superstars and the minimal amount of ECW alumni when the ECW Arena has finally been included.
Luckily the positives definitely overshadow the negatives and I’m already looking forward to having some dream matches like Finn Balor vs. Ultimate Warrior and Kevin Owens vs. Steve Austin. I cannot wait for Nation of Domination vs. the Hart Foundation and putting some new music into the game for Cesaro. I am definitely going to have my mark out moments when I pit The New Day against Enzo & Big Cass in a TLC Tag Team Title match at WrestleMania and put the WWE Championship from the Attitude Era on “The One” Billy Gunn.
I think we all just needed something to take our minds off of 2K15 and 2K16 will do at least that.
However, I will, say, 2K17 better be the best game ever or I’m pulling a Danaerys and recruiting armies for an overthrow.