We’re back! Another 19 names have been whispered on the wind for the upcoming WWE 2K16. You can view last week’s Roster Weekly here.
Adrian Neville – Neville is faster than the Millennium Falcon on the back of a blue hedgehog, his excess energy radiating outwards to infect the audience. Maybe those ears of his somehow render air resistance inert. It’s hard to imagine a videogame that can capture him!
Adam Rose – Are you a rose bud or a lemon? These are the deep philosophical questions this effeminate party boy dares to ask.
Bo Dallas – The ego of Bo Dallas can be stomped on, suplexed, and power slammed, but never truly quashed. After materializing from the self-help section of a coffee shop library, he entered the WWE main roster in 2014 and racked up an impressive 17 win streak.
Brie Bella – One half of the Bella twins and a member of Team Bella, Brie is a former WWE Diva champion and wife to Daniel Bryan. Brie and her sister are amongst a small handful of Divas fortunate enough to be included in WWE 2K15’s roster. Hopefully the Diva numbers will be much better this year.
Brock Lesnar – This former UFC champion brings a terrifying legitimacy to the world of sports entertainment. In 2014 Brock Lesnar made a huge impact by ending the Undertaker’s two decade Wrestlemania streak and went on to dominate John Cena in one of the most shocking and uncomfortable matches in WWE history. The man is Donkey Kong wearing a human suit. Every blow from Brock Lesnar is equivalent to a Mortal Kombat X-Ray move.
Goldust – Son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes and brother to Stardust, Goldust’s unorthodox look and ring psychology has always garnered a strong reaction. He started out playing on homophobia by sexually molesting other wrestlers and quickly ended up becoming a popular good guy, keeping the mannerisms and filtering out the groping. Now when he touches another man’s bulge, it’s only due to a strictly professional wrestling move that requires so. In other words, all of them.
Heath Slater – Nobody knows what Slater did to anger the management, but it must've been serious. The build-up to WWE Raw’s 1000th episode saw Slater humiliated constantly over a 2 week period, losing to an entire locker room of senior citizens. It’s pretty hard to come back from that.
Hideo Itami – This agile Japanese wrestler is a solid competitor who signed onto NXT late last year. It’s a tad surprising the developer had time to squeeze him in, but the roster is better for it.
Jack Swagger – These days Swagger is doomed to a life of fighting nationalistic 90s cartoon characters, though he’s still got a great entrance.
Kevin Owens – More new blood. Owens signed on to NXT at the end of last year and got bumped up to the main roster. He’s won championship gold from a variety of promotions and seems destined to achieve many more accolades within the WWE.
Nikki Bella – The current WWE Divas Champion, twin sister of Brie Bella, and member of Team Bella.
Ric Flair – Woooo!
Roman Reigns – Former member of The Shield and winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble. Hailing from a wrestling family, Roman was briefly pushed as a possible successor to John Cena, before fans revolted against the manufactured nature of his ascent.
Sami Zayn – Zayn made the cut last year on 2K15’s roster so it’s no surprise to see him return.
Stardust – Cody Rhodes had been with the WWE for years and struggled to get noticed, so he formulated a masterful plan to dress up in a bodysuit, slap on some face paint, and call himself Stardust. Of course it worked. That sort of thing gets you noticed anywhere outside of a Burning Man festival.
Sting – Speaking of face paint. Inspired by the Brandon Lee movie The Crow, Sting’s popularity is as supernatural as his character. Many never expected to see this WCW veteran entering a WWE ring, yet here we are. Vince McMahon can finally call himself a Pokémon master.
Tyler Breeze – The third NXT rookie on this list. Hopefully this is a sign that the NXT division for WWE 2K16 will get a much needed influx of superstars, meaning more varied opponents during the start of career mode.
The Ultimate Warrior – Bursting onto the wrestling scene in the late 80s, The Ultimate Warrior built up a fan following to rival Hulk Hogan’s, culminating in a match between the two at Wrestlemania VI that saw the crowd split right down the middle. His boundless energy created some of the most memorable entrances and hilariously incomprehensible interviews to date.
Zack Ryder – Ryder wasn't a part of WWE 2K15 for some reason. On March 25th he Tweeted ‘I also got full body scanned by WWEgames. I was in nothing but my Elf boxers. Hopefully I'm in the next game’, referring to WWE 2K16. I hope he’s right, the alternative of being added to a lewd technician’s private collection doesn't bear thinking about.
Hulk Hogan won’t be on this year’s roster due to his racially insensitive statements which recently came to light via 8 year old footage. The WWE appears to have removed mentions of Hogan from at least one freshly released video, the recently uploaded ‘Sting Takes Out the NWO’ clip where the commentators go awkwardly silent (1:02 to 1:09) for a noticeable period because their audio was scrubbed. It’s also exceedingly difficult to find relevant Hogan videos on the WWE website’s own search function and his profile is absent from the Hall of Fame, leaving us to wonder whether he ever existed at all.