Appearing on the cover of the next WWE game is a big deal.
Not only does it benefit the superstar but it benefits the next game as well. WWE 2K cover stars often dictate the direction of the game, modes and extra content. Thus, choosing the optimal cover superstar is important in getting game’s focus across to consumers. Whether its featuring D-generation X in 2009 to highlight tag teams, or Brock Lesnar for 2K17 to shed a spot light on the Lesnar-Goldberg feud.
With WWE 2K18 poised to be the greatest of all time, the right cover athlete could make all the difference.
Here are the top 10 superstars likely to make the cover of WWE 2K18.
Okay, so maybe Alexa Bliss does seem unlikely. However, if you’re Visual Concepts and you want to really make a sports game stand out, have a female take lead in a male dominated sport. Of course being female isn’t the only reason she is likely to make the cut.
Alexa Bliss is a two-time Smackdown Live Women’s Champion and the current RAW Women’s Champion. She’s a star in the women’s division on two fronts and has proven herself to be an asset since leaving NXT. One could draw the parallelism between Bliss’s rise and 2K’s handling of WWE games IP. Simply getting better with each accolade. Furthermore, it’s certainly time for women to have better representation in WWE games.
Finn Balor had a few hiccups since leaving NXT but has hit the mid-year strong. Although he did grace last year’s collector’s edition, Balor still makes the running for this year’s game. Visual Concepts is looking to push their game forward, what better way to represent that than with one of the superstars said to be the future of the WWE, Finn Balor. Rightfully, he is one of the biggest stars on RAW and now that rumors of Balor being pushed to face Lesnar for the championship have surfaced, the horizon looks bright for Finn.
Having Balor as cover star aligns WWE 2K18 with that very idea. The only downside is WWE 2K18 has to come out strong with clear cut advantages over last year’s gameplay. That could be a tall order but the pay off is there. Your move 2K.
While Kurt Angle may no longer be the example of where wrestling is headed, his legend of being the best wrestler on the planet remains intact. After his Hall of Fame induction, it seems appropriate that Kurt Angle would make the cover.
If WWE 2K18 has a showcase mode this year, no doubt Kurt Angle’s career makes a perfect focal point. A showcase mode about Kurt Angle also helps fill a couple of roster spots normally reserved for legends too. Of course we won’t play through any Chris Benoit and Angle stories but there’s still room for feuds that involved Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Chavo Guerrero, a young John Cena and so many more.
Given how expansive Angle’s career has been, 2K18 wouldn’t need to be centered on the attitude era, meaning the whole game won’t be a nostalgia act. Looking at you WWE ’13.
I wish it weren’t but it’s completely plausible for John Cena to make another appearance on the cover of a WWE game. Late last year through early this year, John Cena has come out bold in the majority of his promos and takes confidence in the fact that he basically runs the place.
Not only that, Cena has tied Ric Flair in World Championship wins at 16. Despite going part time on Smackdown Live, John Cena has once again managed to stay relevant in the ring and prove he’s here to stay. If WWE 2K18 is focused on improving the framework established in previous titles while expanding its current game modes to their fullest then John Cena makes a near perfect candidate.
Honestly, Orton and Cena share about the same probability. However, with Randy Orton’s full time role and recent championship run, it makes him slightly more likely to make it to the cover. On top of that, Orton’s run with the Wyatt family seemed to revitalize Orton’s work ethic in which many have criticized as lazy, something WWE 2K18 could use to its advantage.
If 2K18 focuses on bringing new life to the series by revitalizing old game modes, adding new features and fixing broken ones then Randy Orton makes quite the cover star. This may remind players of WWE ’12, but hey, it works.
It’s been injury galore for a lot of the top guys in WWE. Not matter the causes, Kevin Owens has seemed to remain healthy, something you want in a superstar and a video game franchise. In addition, he set the original record for longest reigning Universal Champion.
Among his other accolades since starting with the WWE, Owens performs consistently well and entertains each time. Again, something you want in a superstar and a video game franchise. Owens has enough reputation, heel heat and accolades to be considered a definite candidate. A marketing strategy that builds around WWE 2K18’s ability to deliver a consistent and entertaining experience across all game modes aligns perfectly with Kevin Owens.
Well, it’s simply about time. From top heel to trying to be top babyface, Rollins’s time for being cover athlete may be running out. The Architect’s career should be a long one but no one can tell the future.
Rollins was white hot as the top hele for Monday Night RAW while working with the Authority. If there was ever a time to be on the cover of a game, that was definitely it. I personally believe Rollins will have better days ahead but with Finn Balor and Samoa Joe on the rise, his candidacy for cover athlete may be derailed a few years. If not this year, then when?
If you want to make a statement, make it phenomenal. AJ Styles did the near impossible and went from indie darling to WWE Champion in less than two years.
In less the 6 months, he contended for the championship not once but twice. Couple that with three wins over (two one-on-one) John Cena and putting away Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania 33, you pretty much have the right guy for the cover if WWE 2K18 plans to bring something big and bold to the franchise this year. The 2K series already offers great gameplay, it’s simply time for the rest of the game to catch up and truly be phenomenal.
You can add all the arguments for Alexa Bliss to Charlotte’s candidacy. However, leaving out the fact she is female, Charlotte has still arguably put on some the best main events for RAW in the past year.
Although credit is given to Nikki Bella, we know the Diva’s Revolution originally started with Paige and her sisters from NXT. This included Charlotte who broke the mold and defined the Women’s division for RAW and completed the company’s transition from WWE Divas to WWE Women. Whether its based on gimmicks, popularity, skill or accolades, Charlotte deserves the cover. If Visual Concepts looks to break the mold with WWE 2K18, Charlotte is your star. Again, your move 2K.
Like it or not, Roman Reigns comes in as number one for the cover of WWE 2K18. I could argue other superstars on this list deserve it more but a clean victory over The Undertaker at Wrestlemania says a lot.
Also like Seth Rollins, Reigns’s candidacy is waning but there is still time. He still gets pushed to the moon and proves WWE homegrown guys can still pack a punch despite the influx of genuinely better wrestlers. Although leagues behind the trajectory of someone like Alexa Bliss, Roman Reigns is indeed improving. Something one can easier compare to WWE games improving upon each predecessor. In terms of direction and flow, it will take some clever marketing but Roman Reigns has the look, merchandise sales, popularity and in ring pushes to be the guy. Simple as that.