WWE 2K17 – John Cena, Sasha Banks and Ultimate Warrior Confirmed For 2K17 Roster

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with WWE 2K17 news. As we’re in the middle of E3 right now, featuring the top names in gaming, it’s only fitting that we talk about some new developments for the WWE 2K17 game. We’ve finally got some news on wrestlers confirmed for the game. Goldberg was announced as the WWE 2K17 pre-order bonus and Bray Wyatt was one of a few wrestlers shown getting scanned for the game. However, we got some announcements by 2K for a few more characters that will be playable in the game.

The three characters that have been confirmed are….

These three wrestlers were confirmed by the painter Rob Schamberger, who was specifically tasked with creating paintings of these three stars for the reveal. Down below is a gallery of the paintings that he produced. If you want to see more of his work, you should follow him on Twitter @robschamberger as he does have paintings on many more superstars that you can snap up on WWE’s auction website.

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These first few reveals are interesting. With the exception of the pre-order character reveals, these first batch of announced wrestlers usually give you an indicator of the theme and the direction of the game itself. For WWE 2K14, they first announced wrestlers like Andre The Giant and Hollywood Hogan for their 30 Years Of WrestleMania mode. For WWE 2K15, they announced Cena, CM Punk, Triple H and Shawn Michaels for the showcase mode featuring their rivalries. I think Steve Austin was announced early too, ahead of his Austin 3:16 showcase mode for WWE 2K16.

It’s very difficult, judging from these three superstars, to predict just what the showcase modes of the game will be revolved around. It’s possible that they could do another character-centred showcase mode, similar to Austin’s deal last year. They could easily do a John Cena showcase mode, which could be fairly simple to do. His feud with CM Punk would almost certainly not make the cut, with Punk’s strained relationship with WWE and 2K as well as Cena and Punk’s previous showcase mode. A lot of Cena’s big feuds have been with wrestlers that WWE still continue to have good relations with, which could make it simple. I even think that his first match with Kurt Angle could be covered and we could even get Kurt Angle in the game, provided that Kurt could strike a deal with 2K. It would have to be approved by Vince McMahon, similar to Goldberg’s inclusion, but they could do it.

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The Ultimate Warrior has already had a showcase mode before, having the “Path of the Warrior” DLC showcase mode in WWE 2K15. That appearing again would be highly unlikely. Having thought about the possibility of a showcase mode involving Cena, it could be possible that Warrior is part of somebody else’s showcase. You could do showcases for wrestlers like Undertaker and Randy Savage, who both probably could be well known enough to carry the main showcase for the game. Another one that popped into my head was Triple H. Starting from his WrestleMania 12 match with the Warrior, it could go on from there.

I personally would not want a showcase mode that is based on the experiences of one wrestler. Steve Austin was fun and very in-depth but I’d much prefer a showcase mode where I could play as many wrestlers as possible. I don’t want to be limited to Steve Austin and a few others.

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John Cena was a guarantee to be included in the game and the Ultimate Warrior has been in a number of games ever since WWE 2K14. The most interesting name announced was Sasha Banks. I know a lot of people were upset with the four horsewomen of NXT not getting in the game last year. With the Divas Revolution being heavily promoted by the time that the game was released, for the likes of Sasha and Charlotte to not get in seemed preposterous. Now though, Sasha’s inclusion will probably mean that the rest of these women will be in too.

I think Sasha will be a very fun character to play as on this game, and it’ll boost up the quality of women’s wrestling on this particular game. What I mean is that now you’ve got the women that actually have unique and innovative movesets that will be fun to play with. There was only ever a few wrestlers like Paige and Natalya that had previously stood out in the past. If Asuka and Nia Jax are able to get into the mix as well, you could be having a lot of fun.

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There are my initial thoughts. What do you all think of these announcements? Hopefully we’ll get more information real soon. Who knows? There may be more wrestlers announced for the game before E3 comes to an end…

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WWE 2K16 Season Pass DLC Revealed – Thoughts and Reactions

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here again with WWE 2K16 news. A new video has been released by 2K showcasing the newest downloadable content and season packs to be made available following the release of the game. I’ll post the video down below and I’m going to share my thoughts on this upcoming content.

We’ll kick things off with the WWE legends pack. Legends pack have pretty much become an annual thing for WWE DLC content and this content features six wrestlers. It features….

The inclusion of more women wrestlers is a big plus with the announcement that the four horsewomen from NXT WON’T be in the game at all. I think 2K might have put in Trish and Lita to counter the fact that there won’t be Bayley, Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley. If there were to be no women included in the DLC, I think that might have provoked an unwanted reaction. Dusty and Hot Rod are also included, probably as a tribute following their deaths. Neither man was in WWE 2K15 and it’s great to see the two of them here. Big Bossman might be in to bring in more wrestlers involved in the attitude era, since the main showcase mode is based on Stone Cold Steve Austin. Perfect is a man from the golden era of wrestling so it’s good that this list tries its best to cover as many time periods of WWE as possible.

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The 2015 Hall of Fame showcase is were it gets interesting. There’s a lot of interesting wrestlers and big names announced with this list of matches that we’re getting with this showcase. This list of matches are down below, with the Hall of Fame inductees highlighted in bold…

  • Randy Savage vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts
  • Rikishi vs The Rock
  • Alundra Blaze vs Paige
  • Larry Zbyskzo vs Arn Anderson
  • Tatsumi Fujinami vs Ric Flair
  • The Bushwhackers (Butch Miller and Luke Williams) vs The Natural Disasters (Typhoon and Earthquake)
  • The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) vs Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray)

It’s an interesting set of matches that have been picked out. The Savage vs Roberts feud is probably one of the Macho Man’s most iconic feuds. We saw Savage vs Ultimate Warrior in the last game and we’d seen Savage vs Hogan at WWE 2K14 so this is something different for us to dive into. Rikishi vs The Rock is an interesting one. No disrespect to Rikishi, but there isn’t a lot of memorable matches that he’s had in his career. I’d call for the Armageddon Hell in a Cell match to be in the game but it’d be hard to get permission for Kurt Angle to be included.

Alundra Blaze vs PAIGE is an interesting one as it’s actually a fantasy match-up. This one’s an interesting change from the rest of them as this is a dream match for the fans to play out. I’d like to have seen more matches like this. Maybe in future games, introduce a lot more fantasy match showcase for the fans to really get into. Larry Zybskzo vs Arn Anderson. I would have liked to have seen Larry Zybskzo vs Bruno Sammartino a bit more as that was a big feud for Larry. This match might still be in but the potential reason to go with Arn over Bruno was probably down to Bruno’s playability. I’ve heard that it was very hard to play as Bruno in WWE 2K14 so it might have been better to do Arn, whose got a slightly more advanced moveset.

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Tatsumi Fujinami vs Ric Flair is a match that I don’t have a problem with. That’s the match that a lot of American fans will remember him for and it’s a great match to introduce a Japanese legend to an 2015 American younger audience. The Bushwhackers vs the Natural Disasters sounds lovely. I’m more interested in Typhoon and Earthquake being in the game more than anything as I see a lot of potential in that!

The Outsiders vs Harlem Heat was the last one. This one is for Kevin Nash, who was inducted last year. It’s nice to feature a bit of WCW in this showcase. We’ve got Zybszko’s match and Fujinami’s match but the Outsiders match is during the peak of the nWo storyline, which was really the highlight of WCW. I’d like to see an nWo showcase one of these days.

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There’s the New Moves pack, which is another annual DLC feature. The moves included are…

  • Nikki Bella’s corner enzuigiri… which never really looks that good!
  • Paige’s Avalanche Ram… which is Paige’s RamPaige finisher from the top rope
  • Kevin Owens’ Sidewinder Suplex from the top rope
  • The Standing Crossface Chickenwing that Cody Rhodes did
  • Finn Balor’s Dragon Sleeper
  • Sin Cara’s springboard senton off the top rope
  • John Cena’s swinging facebuster thing

A lot of these moves are pretty cool, including Sin Cara’s senton. I’m not a fan of Nikki’s enzuigiri though. I might just take a pass on that.

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Finally, there’s a Future Stars pack with a few NXT stars. It includes the former NXT Tag Team Champions Blake and Murphy. It includes Los Matadores and lastly it includes… SAMOA JOE! Yes! I’m a huge fan of Samoa Joe, so I am OVER THE MOON with his inclusion. I heard that 2K were wanting to put Joe in as DLC since he debuted in May. I’m glad that it’s finally a reality!

So that’s the list. There’s a lot of interesting names on the list. I think the Hall of Fame showcase is a good idea in theory, but the matches aren’t THAT appealing. There’s not a lot of great or memorable matches that the likes of the Bushwhackers and Rikishi can have. However, I think it’s a cool little touch to get those legends into a showcase and the matches so far are fine.

How I Would Book… Christian’s World Title Run In 2011

Many champions have came and went that never really got their chance to shine as the king of the mountain. Whether it’s down to being struck by injuries or just poor booking by WWE, there’s always a little something that prevents these champions from reaching their full potential. Sometimes, it’s just lack of faith that prevents a champion from making his mark. For Christian, WWE’s faith in him lasted all of about two days when he won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011. Christian really got the wrong end of the deal in his main event push. If we were going to put the title on Christian back in 2011, how would we have booked him?

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Like a number of past How I Would Book pieces, this one was inspired by the attempts of Adam’s WhatCulture in his How WWE Should Have Booked video about Christian.

Christian’s “one more match” storyline (which is what it was dubbed as in the WWE 2K15 showcase mode) was not exactly a bad storyline. All of the matches between Randy Orton and Christian were usually great. However, the issue a lot of people have had with it was how weak Christian looked through out. He couldn’t gain a single legitimate victory over Randy Orton and many fans were irate when Christian’s initial title win at Extreme Rules was ended two days later (the title win was recorded two days after Extreme Rules and aired on the Friday).

Let’s run down the storyline to see where the faults were with this storyline…

After Wrestlemania 27, World Heavyweight Champion Edge retired and vacated the championship. Edge had been scheduled to defend the title at Extreme Rules in a ladder match against Alberto Del Rio. Since Edge was out, Teddy Long booked a 20 man battle royal to find someone to fight Del Rio. The winner of the battle royal turned out to be Edge’s best friend Christian. At Extreme Rules, Christian managed to win the World title for the first time in his life. This truly was a great moment for Christian and Edge, as they celebrated in the ring. However, Christian’s world came crashing down on him… just two days later.

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SmackDown!’s newest draftee Randy Orton interrupted Christian’s title celebration on SmackDown! SmackDown! GM Teddy Long announced that Christian would defend his newly-won championship against Randy Orton… that night. In what was a shocking turn of events, Orton beat Christian to win the championship. Christian was heartbroken.

Christian then became desperate to prove that he could beat Randy Orton. Their rematch took place at Over The Limit, with Randy Orton winning. Christian turned heel and was given one more match. In the match, Randy Orton won. Christian’s foot was under the bottom rope, so Christian was given one more match at Money In The Bank. If Randy Orton got disqualified or if there was a bad referee call, Christian would win the title. Finally, Christian did win the title… by disqualification. Randy Orton went berserk at Money In The Bank and destroyed Christian post-match. One final match took place at Summerslam, with COO Triple H making it No Holds Barred. In this feud-ending match, Randy Orton regained the World title once more.

Fans of Christian would have been incensed over how he was treated in this program. He lost the title so quickly after winning it in an emotional match at Extreme Rules. He was never truly able to beat Randy Orton and look strong. When he came out of this feud, he was booked to be completely dominated by Sheamus afterwards. There was a huge opportunity to make Christian a true main-eventer. At the time, the SmackDown! roster was very short-stacked in terms of having main-event talent. There was no one, other than Orton, that could have lead the brand and Christian could have been made a true star with this storyline. Let’s see how we could have improved it.

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The first thing to change up about this storyline is the portrayal of Christian as a heel. The transformation of Christian from face to heel was actually well executed by WWE and Christian was great in this role. However, the issue is that Christian had been the victim all along. He was forced to defend the World Title a whole TWO DAYS after winning it in a hard-hitting ladder match. If anything, this was unfair on Christian and he should have had time to rest.

After he wins at Extreme Rules, I’d have Christian go on to hold the World Heavyweight Championship…. for two days.

HOLD ON!

PITCHFORKS DOWN everyone! Trust me. There’s a purpose to this!

Christian still loses the World Heavyweight Championship like he did in real life. The big thing that changes is that WWE highlights just how unfair this is to Christian. What I means is, Teddy Long needs to act more like a compete pick.

Teddy Long interrupts Christian telling him that he needs to prove himself as a true fighting champion. Teddy Long guilts Christian into defending the title, even though that Christian admits he’s not 100%. Christian says he’ll do it no matter who he faces. Teddy announces that his opponent is Randy Orton.

Randy Orton approaches Teddy backstage just before the match, claiming that he doesn’t have a problem in winning the title tonight. However, he did not want Christian to have any excuses for losing the title. He proposes that the match happens at Over The Limit but Teddy Long denies him. Teddy says that this is Orton’s chance to be the face of SmackDown!

The match happens and Christian is rocked by the hits to the head by Orton. This match still plays out like it did in real life but Orton focuses a lot more on the head of Christian. In similar fashion to how Dolph Ziggler lost the title to Del Rio in 2013, Orton targets the head. Orton throws up the X sign which is usually given whenever someone is actually injured. Teddy Long comes out and tells him to finish the match. Teddy guilts Orton by saying “You walk out on this and you walk out on the people.” Orton eventually caves in, RKOs Christian but Christian kicks out. Teddy orders Orton to punt Christian. Orton tells Christian to stay down but Christian slaps him. Orton ends up getting mad, giving him one last RKO and finally punting him to win the championship.

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At least with this finish, Christian is portrayed as an actual villain. Plus, it doesn’t make Christian look entirely weak because of the way he was booked in the finish. Christian kicked out of everything before being punted in the head. So Randy Orton is champion and Teddy Long… is a heel.

With Triple H taking over the company in July anyway, it doesn’t hurt to have Teddy Long be the heel for this storyline. Teddy should want do what he thinks is right for SmackDown! What he thinks is right is for Randy Orton to be the champion. That’s his motivation throughout but Orton doesn’t exactly want to sell out either.

Anyway, a rematch is scheduled for Over The Limit. Christian initially wins the match by hitting the spear to pin Randy Orton. Teddy Long comes out and tells Christian that the Spear finishing move was exclusively used by Edge on SmackDown! for years. Teddy decrees that Christian is banned from ever using it again and tells Christian to get the job done his own way. The match continues. Randy catches Christian in mid-air with the RKO. Randy goes for the pin but Christian’s foot was on the rope. The ref does the pin anyway as Orton retains the title. The video replay reveals that the referee DID in fact see Christian’s foot on the rope, but simply continued the pin anyway. Christian would be irate, spears Randy and then goes after Teddy Long and the referee.

Now, I know the banned spear thing is a bit of a phony decision. However, it’s alright to have those types of BS decisions sometimes as it makes Teddy seem like a total prick. It also emphasizes how much Christian has been screwed in this storyline.

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Teddy Long then makes a #1 contendership match on SmackDown! with Mark Henry, Sheamus and Christian, like they did in real life. It ends pretty much the same way too. Randy Orton distracts Christian which leads to Sheamus picking up the win. Now the tension is really building between Orton and Christian. By the way, the #1 contendership match was for a World title match at Capitol Punishment. In a tag team match with Orton and Christian vs Henry and Sheamus, miscommunication causes the heels to win. This eventually leads into a fight between Orton and Christian. Teddy makes Orton vs Christian for the next SmackDown! If Christian wins, he’s added to the World title match. Christian wins cleanly and it’s Orton vs Sheamus vs Christian at the PPV.

During the triple threat match, Christian pins Sheamus off the Unprettier to seemingly win the championship. Sheamus’ foot is under the bottom rope this time. Then in comes Mr Buzzkill, Theodore Long…

Teddy says that what happened last month at Over The Limit will not be repeated. He restarts the match which leads to Randy RKO’ing both men to retain the title. Now Teddy Long is really just taking the Mickey. I mean this is three times that Christian has been screwed out of the title. Christian goes on an angry tirade on SmackDown! about Randy Orton being Teddy Long’s hand-picked champion and that enough is enough. Christian challenges Orton for one more match at Money In The Bank. Teddy Long decrees that if Christian doesn’t win the match, he will never challenge for the World title again. Christian and Randy have heated words leading into the PPV. In the match, Orton is unable to put Christian away. He hits two RKOs but Christian kicks out at both. Randy then hits the mid-air RKO that he hit at Over The Limit but Christian shockingly kicks out. Orton gets angry, pushes aside the referee and kicks Christian in the nuts. The referee calls for the DQ. Randy Orton goes crazy just like he did in real life (because it was pretty awesome when he actually did that) and Christian wins the match via DQ. The rules stated that if Christian lost the match, he’d never have a tittle shot. Therefore, Christian is safe. Since he never won the title though, Christian is again upset.

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Teddy Long is getting annoyed that Christian is still clamouring for a title shot. He’s had three opportunities in the last three PPVs and says Christian needs to go to the back in the line. Christian eventually beats up Teddy and says that he wants one more match at Summerslam. Teddy Long then finally agrees, but Christian has to earn his one more match. Since Rey Mysterio had to beat three men in a tournament on RAW to become the WWE Champion, Christian must beat three men in a gauntlet on SmackDown! The first man he must beat is Cody Rhodes and he succeeds. The second man he must beat is Wade Barrett and he succeeds. The third man is Kane. However, Christian defies the odds and beats Kane to get one last match. At the end of this gauntlet, Teddy drops a bombshell. His match with Randy Orton is NO HOLDS BARRED. If Christian loses, he leaves SmackDown!

They have this last match and finally, Christian wins the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s a really touching moment. Edge comes out like he did in real life. Instead of calling him a bitch, he hugs him. Randy Orton shakes his hand. Teddy Long comes out and complains. Edge punches Teddy Long into Christian who spears him. A bit of irony in that because of what happened at Over The Limit. A really great ending to Christian’s title pursuit.

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And that’s pretty much the gist of it. OK, I must admit that the title of the blog post was a bit deceiving. I call it “Christian’s World Title Run In 2011” when Christian doesn’t really have the title and only wins it in the final match of the storyline. However, the struggle of Christian needed to be showed as a means to get Christian truly over as a star. If he came off as a whiny heel, then it’s not going to do him any favours. However, if he comes off as a fighting challenger, the fans will rally behind him. Randy Orton also doesn’t really need to turn heel in order to do the storyline, meaning that Orton can still be one of the top faces of SmackDown! like WWE was wanting him to be. This can then lead to Christian defending the title against Mark Henry, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan etc. There was a lot of money to be made by having Captain Charisma run the show…

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!