Just before WWE 2K18’s release today, I was madly researching which wrestlers would be in the game, which would be pre-order bonuses, and which would be DLC. I searched pretty hard because I was disappointed The Hardy Boyz are DLC, but I was also disappointed that certain wrestlers weren’t included in the game at all, and a majority of them were major players back before the Attitude era or during it. That’s why I’ve crafted a list of wrestler’s, some obvious and others obscure, that would have been exciting or simply interesting to have in the game—sure it’s true that many of these wrestlers were surrounded by controversy, but I believe they deserve to be in the game and eventually, for some of them, in the WWE Hall of Fame.
1) Rocky Johnson
I really don’t understand why Rocky Johnson isn’t in the latest game—they have plenty of old school wrestlers in the lineup, but I didn’t find The Rock’s father among them. Maybe he wasn’t willing to give 2K Sports his likeness, or perhaps he wants his son to continue to bask in the adulation of many wrestling fans out there. Personally, I wanted Rocky Johnson in the game so that I can pit father against son, and so that I could have a badass Tag Team Champion in this father-son duo. Rocky began his amazing career in 1964 and retired in 1991; in the WWF he and his partner, Tony Atlas, formed “The Soul Patrol.” Since he was already adept at tag team wrestling, he and Atlas won the Tag Team Championship and were the first African Americans to hold the belt. Let’s also not forget that Rocky and Pat Patterson trained The Rock to wrestle and become good enough to be the most electrifying entertainer on television!
Being one of the founding members of D-Generation X—along with Rick Rude, Triple HHH, and Shawn Michaels—I can’t fathom why she isn’t in the game. Chyna has so many firsts for the WWE, one of the biggest being when she was the 13th entrant in the 1999 Royal Rumble and the first woman to have ever competed in the event. I know that she had some problems later on in her career, but none that merit a complete wipe form the WWE. After she left the company, she was the lead actress in many pornographic films and had posed for Playboy, and her death was also shrouded in an overdose scandal. I see why the WWE would want to forget she was a wrestler, but current WWE Diva Paige has a sex tape floating around and she is still employed by the company. The reasoning, if I’m correct, seems somewhat hypocritical, but who knows what is going on in Vince’s head or in Triple HHH’s head.
3) Chris Benoit
This is one of the more tragic stories to come out of wrestling. In June 2007 the news broke that the wrestler had killed his family and then himself. The way that the WWE handled the situation, and continues to handle the situation, is what most likely keeps him off the video game roster. Concussions, steroids, or drug abuse may have played a part in the murder-suicide. Soon after the news broke, the WWE quickly scrubbed Chris from the WWE, almost as if he had never been there. Some speculate that the WWE even tried to downplay some of the investigation so that none of the blame would fall on them. Whether that is true or not, the death of the Beniot family is a sad and tragic moment in WWE history. Wiping him completely from everything not only makes the WWE look bad, but tarnishes a legacy. I would rather remember Benoit for his wrestling.
4) Owen Hart
Owen Hart was one of the best wrestlers that had ever hit the ring. Just in his WWE career he was a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, a WWF European Champion, a four-time WWF Tag-Team Champion, and the 1994 King of the Ring. Sadly, his career was suddenly cut short on May 23, 1999 during an Over the Edge PPV event after his equipment malfunctioned and he fell to his death in the ring. Bret Hart and the Hart family blamed Vince McMahon and the WWF for the error and proceeded to sue them for wrongful death. After not settling out of court and losing 93 million from Vince McMahon, Owen’s wife, Martha Hart, chose not to do any business with the WWE or the McMahon’s. Seeing as she owns all the legal rights to Owen’s merchandise, there is very little chance that we will ever see Owen in the games again. Let’s hope that Martha does allow him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame next to his brother, Bret.
5) C.M. Punk
Punk was one of the most popular wrestlers, yet the WWE didn’t really use his popularity well, and he eventually left the company for mistreatment. Punk claims that the company was making him work even though he had several injuries, concussions, broken ribs, and even MRSA, which is a potentially fatal infection. It’s disappointing that the company would treat one of their biggest stars so poorly. Punk eventually up and left the company to mend his broken bones, but that didn’t stop the company from using his likeness and selling his merchandise. Eventually Punk sued and won all the royalties from WWE 2K15 since he was featured in the John Cena storyline. Generally, when money is an issue, Vince McMahon doesn’t forget or forgive, so it’s doubtful we’ll see Punk wrestle again or see him digitized. We can always hope though—who would think that Bret Hart and Vince McMahon would ever break bread again after the Montreal Screw Job?
6) President Donald J. Trump
President Trump is probably the most polarizing person on this list: he was already not loved by many before his run for president, but now the mere mention of his name can bring rage or joy depending on who you are speaking to. President Trump is not only a WWE Hall of Fame inductee, but he also participated in a storyline that pitted him against Mr. McMahon in the “Battle of the Billionaires.” Their battle culminated in a defeat for Mr. McMahon, where his wrestler, Umaga, lost to Trump’s, Bobby Lashley. This defeat cost Mr. McMahon his hair and won Trump some bragging rights and a later induction. President Trump’s inclusion in the game could be great for both fans and haters of the president; imagine having Stone Cold stun Trump or having him trounce all the wrestlers. Either way, I think it would be a fun addition to the game, if the WWE could afford the royalties and the controversy of having him in the game.
7) Hulk Hogan
When I think of wrestling, the first person who comes to mind is Hulk Hogan. As a child I remember watching him and Andre the Giant feud, culminating in their meeting at WrestleMania and Hulk picking up the Giant. That was huge for me when I was little, and I was sad when I saw he wasn’t on the roster. I know he had a sex tape (shudder) and dropped the n-bomb, but I, personally, don’t think it’s fair to completely remove him from something he helped build decades ago over a few grave mistakes that he has since apologized for. He was removed from the Hall of Fame, he isn’t mentioned anywhere in WWE, and he is no longer in games. I hope that he and Vince can work things out before it’s too late—the ‘80s kid in me will miss wrestling as him, but the adult in me understands the importance of there being consequences for your actions.
These are 7 wrestlers that I would love to control and battle with in the new 2K18 wrestling game. I’m hoping some will come as DLC, but I won’t be holding my breath. I really don’t get why we need FIVE versions of Sting. Do you have any wrestlers that may have been overlooked that you want to see in the latest game? Let us know in the comments.