The Next WWE 2K Game Should Focus on the Women of Wrestling
WWE's women's division has made big strides in pro wrestling, so why not have the company's video game represent that revolution too?
The past three years have been pretty significant for the WWE. Since I rekindled this odd love with pro wrestling, I have only seen it improve since WrestleMania 31. The current roster, in terms of their performance, is the best it has ever been. This notion is doubly true with the current women’s roster who perform at a level you wouldn’t have seen as early as 2015. Names like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss are discussed on the same level as the mens’ roster. This breakthrough is why the aptly-named Women’s Revolution should be the focus for the next WWE 2K game.
When I spoke to Lynell Jinks, Creative Director of WWE 2K19 – you can check out the full interview here – I asked whether Daniel Bryan was the first choice for the return of the 2K Showcase mode. That answer was yes, and rightfully so: Bryan has had quite the journey and one that tells a great story. I mentioned how I thought that a historical take on the Women’s Revolution would be great as a showcase; this is what he had to say:
“No, I mean, it’s one of those things. It’s like you’re seeing the messages loud and clear about where women’s wrestling is today. It would be nice for us to highlight that and give them the respect they deserve.”
Speaking to WWE Superstar Carmella, she discussed how this Women’s Revolution has changed the norms of women’s wrestling in the WWE. No longer are the women a sideshow, rather they are the show as she, along with others, have main-evented the weekly Raw and Smackdown shows, as well as performed in pivotal matches at big pay-per-views like Money in the Bank:
“I don’t even know where we are in this revolution because I feel like it started out with something like the first women’s Money in the Bank, for example, which I feel so lucky that I get to go down in history as the first miss Money in the Bank. Then the women are main-eventing SmackDown Live and it’s not even a big deal. It has just become the norm. To be able to have this first all-women pay-per-view, it’s so exciting… it’s about time.”
The IIconics Peyton Royce and Billie Kay also shared their views on the Women’s Revolution. These two came after that initial push with the Four Horsewomen – which includes Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley – helping solidify and continuing the impact that women are making in the WWE.
“There was the first women’s Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, now the pay-per-view; I feel like it’s progressing really well,” states Billie Kay, one half of the IIconics. “There’s always something new that WWE is breaking ground in. They really are giving women a platform and the opportunity, and we hope we can be a part of it.”
Peyton Royce continued the discussion stating how she would like the IIconics to make their mark in the WWE:
“Well, our goal, even before we started here with the WWE, when we were two young women in the independent scene chasing our dreams together, we have always wanted a women’s tag team division. We would just die to get the opportunity to be a part of that. That’s our dream.”
While the Women’s Revolution has taken tons of steps forward to help improve the current WWE product, there are still some hitches that hinder this progression. A prime example of this are the odd pay-per-view events like Crown Jewel, which is happening only five days after the first all-women pay-per-view Evolution. If you’ve been keeping track of the recent controversy behind Crown Jewel, which is taking place in Saudi Arabia, you may have an idea of how terrible it is. If you don’t, a quick Google search will give you all the information you need (hint: it’s bad). That aside, it is also casting a huge shadow over Evolution which is happening tonight, October 28. What should be a monumental event for the company is now just an afterthought because Shawn Michaels is getting back in a ring, and there’s some World Cup that won’t matter after Crown Jewel is over.
That being said, it is apparent that this Women’s Revolution is going to evolve even after Evolution is all said and done, and focusing on that in the next WWE 2K game will only give that notion precedence. Based on Jinks’ remarks, it would not be surprising if we saw a 2K Showcase involving the women’s division. There are a ton of matches, both new and old, that perfectly represents how women have progressed throughout the WWE’s history. One match that comes to mind is Bayley and Sasha Banks’ NXT Women’s Championship match that took place at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn in 2015. It is one that still stands out as one of the best matches for two of the wrestlers who helped usher in the Women’s Revolution.
Having a WWE Superstar from the women’s division as the cover athlete seemed highly likely for WWE 2K19, however, The “Phenomenal” AJ Styles graced the cover for this year’s iteration. I say “highly likely” because the past two years have seen a ton of “firsts” for the women’s division. The first women’s Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, Royal Rumble, and Money in the Bank matches all happened between now and 2016, so adding a cover athlete to that list seemed like the next move; that wasn’t the case. If the next WWE 2K title does feature one of the many women from the WWE, it should be Charlotte Flair or Alexa Bliss for being two of the most dominant forces in the ring, as well as being some of the longer reigning champions. I could also see Ronda Rousey being there, just based on her star power.
WWE 2K19 reinvigorated its MyCareer mode by giving it a linear story starring your created wrestler. However, due to story reasons, you were limited to creating a male wrestler. Something I have always given the WWE 2K series credit for was how much creative freedom the player has in just about every aspect of its creation suite. Allowing you to create a woman wrestler would just add to that freedom.
It is clear that the Women’s Revolution is not just a marketing term to appease the WWE universe. No, it is indeed a revolution that is putting women wrestlers in the forefront and really changing the landscape of the WWE. Putting this message in a video game won’t really change much, but it would just be nice to see the message — which has been a major talking point for the past couple of years — come to fruition in the next entry of WWE 2K.