Written By Justin D Williams
For those that don’t know I’m a huge fan of wrestling. I’ve been watching Sports Entertainment since I was four years old. My first wrestling game was WrestleMania for the NES. At the time it was the greatest thing since TMNT to me. However as an adult it’s more a like a kick and punch game than an actual wrestling game. Let’s fast forward to the present with WWE now being the only game in town. It went from THQ to Take Two with its sub company 2KSports. For a few years now 2K has dominated the world of sports with NBA and recently WWE. One of the main key modes to a 2Ksports game is MyCareer. In this mode players create a character and they go from the bottom to the top. In NBA 2K we really get the experience of what it’s like to be an NBA player. In 2K17 our player goes from college to the NBA draft. From there he has to attend team practices, deal with endorsement deal obligations, and negotiate contracts and many more. I’m really invested in my guy with NBA 2K17 because everything feels authentic. WWE2K MyCareer does not have that same feel. This year’s mode while it may have added some features like the ability to cut promos to enhance the TV programming experience. The game still lacks the authentic feel of life as WWE Superstar. I have a few suggestions on how MyCareer mode can be just as good as NBA 2K.
Different Paths to Get Into the WWE
Like any sport there isn’t just one path to get there. Some basketball players come straight out of high school. Others go to college and play in the NCAA. Others are not drafted or just picked up from the streets (John Starks). With wrestlers there is many ways some have journey into the WWE. Many were ex-football players; some were bodybuilders, actors or Indy wrestlers. I think having a choice of what path our wrestler was should affect our popularity level. For example if the wrestler was an ex-football player his popularity with hardcore fans will be low. If he was from an Indy wrestler background his popularity with hardcore fans will be up. Ex-Football players, bodybuilders, actors etc. will automatically have to start in NXT. While if you choose the Indy wrestler route the few matches you put on will determine if you go the main roster immediately or go to NXT. The next MyCareer mode should give us an authentic feel of what it’s like to be in the performance center. In NBA 2k17 there is team practices and optional practices. From what I understand with articles and interviews I read from NXT Superstars there are promo classes, training for the ring and of course a weight room. The new promo system in 2K17 will be great once the player has more than one course with Enzo to develop their skills. Multiple classes to master your craft will be great so by time you’re on the main roster you’re a beast.
Social Media, Smarks & Dirt Sheets
One of the big aspects of wrestling culture is the rumor mill aka Dirt Sheets and the hardcore fans called Smarks. These aspects mixed with social media play a big role in the wrestling world. Dirt Sheets usually inform us about the latest rumors of who are returning, backstage issues and more. Imagine a dirt sheet tweet that you’re wrestler is having personal problems with Rusev backstage for real. You then have the option to ignore the rumor or address the rumor head on. Depending how you react will raise your popularity level, backstage friendship and more. Interaction on social media will impact how your pop is in the arena and overall view. On social media you can play how your character is on the show and use kayfabe or be your true self. I think in the next installment social media and dirt sheets should some role in our wrestler’s progression.
House Shows & Endorsements
One thing that is missing from giving WWE 2K MYCareer is an authentic schedule. The game is usually just Raw and Smackdown. However with the brand split it will just be Smackdown once a week. This is not the case in reality. Wrestlers do live events or what some call House Shows. These are non-televised, usually non cannon matches on a smaller scale. House shows are a part of a wrestler’s life. The wrestler travels from town to town, hotel to hotel and put on matches. It is a grueling schedule and that should affect how your wrestler body keeps up. If he had ladder match at the PPV and have a house show the next night his body shouldn’t be fully at a 100% for the match. This will encourage the players to keep their wrestler in tip top shape by hitting the gym and resting when they can. Injuries are bound to happen for every wrestler and that is something that risk needs to be included in MyCareer mode more often. Another aspect besides house shows is endorsements. While WWE Superstars have less endorsements than NBA and NFL players, they do have some in house endorsements such as a roles in WWE Studio films, they have Tap Out partnerships just to name a few. How about we include the ability to get your superstar a film role? If he or she is succeeding enough in the ring and backstage they should get a role or be feature on Muscle Fitness magazine. There is tons of ways to make the players feel the everyday life of the wrestlers.
There is a lot of ways 2K can improve on WWE2K just by emulating aspects of the NBA franchise. The goal is to make us feel like a WWE superstar than some aspects are needed to make it feel authentic. The next installment will need house shows, a system to show wear and tear on the body of the wrestler, backstage politics, endorsement deals and much more. Hopefully 2K18 will start taking the NBA route and give us an authentic experience of what it means to be a WWE superstar.