Every autumn for probably twenty years, WWE has released a video game for major consoles. At the age of thirty-six, my Xbox gets more use from my ten-year old son than me. But this time of year I take control–pun intended. My love for wrestling extends to the video game world. I can remember playing pro wrestling on the original Nintendo in the late eighty’s. They had strange characters, who looked more like monsters or villains in a horror movie opposed to wrestlers, but the game was fun nonetheless. It was probably 1993 before I had my first WWE video game, when WWF Royal Rumble came out for super Nintendo. I remember seeing the game advertised in a wrestling magazine in the middle of the summer that year, and telling my parents that all I wanted for Christmas that year was a Super Nintendo with the wrestling game. And be it Santa or my parents, I was not disappointed. Wrestling games have come along way since then, even in the years that followed the Royal Rumble game, they improved dramatically. My all time favorite wrestling game would have to be Wrestlemania 2000 for Nintendo 64 which came out during my senior year of high school. It sounds lame to think that any where from four to eight, seventeen year olds would spend their Friday and Saturday nights playing a wrestling game. But that is the truth, and it was not lame to us. The game was so much fun, that we would gamble during the school day on who would win that nights matches. Many hours spent trash talking, getting mad at each other to the point we were about to actually fight and sneaking a few beers from dad’s refrigerator in the garage. A lot of great memories for sure. Fast forward nearly twenty years later, to the latest release of WWE, and though I am not able to stay up until three or four in the morning drinking natty light anymore, I still get the same feeling of excitement when WWE releases a new video game.
WWE 2K19 has so many features, I wouldn’t do it justice talking about them, plus I haven’t had a chance to play them all yet. The graphics look great, the wrestlers have incredible detail and the game play is smooth and somewhat easy to learn. My only gripe is that there are some notable wrestlers missing from the game. They have over a hundred wrestlers, between four different brands of shows, RAW, Smackdown, NXT and 205 Live. They have several legends on the game, but I feel they are getting lazy in this department. It has been the same legends for the past several years, it would be nice to see them mix it up a bit, or let the WWE universe vote on legends for WWE 2K20. But it is nice to be able to have The Rock vs Stone Cold or Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels. I wish Hulk Hogan was in the game. I know his relationship with WWE has been strained in recent years, but you can’t have a video game full of legends and not have Hulk Hogan on it.
After going through the roster on WWE 2K19, I am puzzled by some missing key superstars like Bobby Lashley.
Neither Bobby Lashley or Lio Rush are on the game. They may come later as DLC characters, but I thought for sure, Lashley would be on it. It’s possible he didn’t become a WWE superstar until April and 2K already had a roster locked. Let’s hope he is a downloadable character later this year.
Even more conspicuous by his absence from the game is current NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa. How do you even create this game without putting Ciampa in it. He was/is involved in the hottest storylines in all of WWE. His matches with Gargano over the past year and a half have been amazing. What is even more puzzling, is that Ciampa was in WWE 2K18. Perhaps there is more to this than we know, I am sure there is but, I don’t read dirtsheets, so I probably will never know. It just seems a little crazy to not have him in the game, when he was in it a year ago, and since, has become one of the most polarizing wrestlers on the roster. Strange!?
NXT and 205 Live snubs
A few more names missing off the list are some notable NXT superstars like EC3.
This is another case of probably not becoming a part of the WWE roster before 2K locked this year’s roster in for the game. I would expect EC3 to be a downloadable character later this year.
Another wrestler that was probably added to late is Ricochet.
Ricochet would have been an awesome addition to the game, for his move set alone. Much like Lashley and EC3, Ricochet was probably added to the WWE roster after 2K locked theirs in. Let’s hope he is a downloadable character as well.
Two wrestlers that were on 2K18 and didn’t make the cut this year are Nikki Cross and The Brian Kendrick. I don’t understand the snub here. Both are established in their respected brands and would have probably been a simple add to the roster, because they were established last year. I think if 2K had less versions of certain characters it would leave more room for these needed additions to the game. We don’t need three different Kanes, four different Stings, 5 different Daniel Bryans and three different John Cena’s. It’s a little over kill considering the differences in some are so minuscule, that there really is no need for it.
Legends that were snubbed
There are a few legends that didn’t make the cut this year. Hulk Hogan is the one that stands out the most in my opinion. Next would be Mick Foley. I don’t think we need four different versions of him, but one would have been nice. I don’t know why they removed the Fabulous Freebirds from this years game, and I wish we could have had the New Age Outlaws. I would like to see 2K go in a Monday night wars direction next year adding several WCW wrestler and some attitude era wrestlers. I think that would be fun and it would mix things up a bit.
Over all I am pleased with the game, and the ability to download created wrestlers from other gamers is nice, because there are some talented artist out there that can make spitting images of the snubbed wrestlers. Though I am disappointed in the missing wrestlers, I still plan to spending several hours a day playing it over the next month or two.
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