The big boss of developmental territory NXT has remained off WWE TV for the most part since his WrestleMania 33 loss to Seth Rollins, but there are teases of him spearheading a faction that also includes Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens somewhere down the line. 2K18 presents a perfect opportunity to expedite that storyline yourself.
Few predicted Trish's Stratus-pheric (sorry) rise to the top when she was managing naff tag-team Test and Albert in 2000 – but over the next decade the Canadian transformed herself from fitness model to elite wrestler, nabbing seven world championships along the way. And, er, three WWE Babe Of The Year awards. It was a different era, okay?
The cult hero of NXT finally received a main roster call-up in April – but, after a promising start, was thrown into an interminable series with Aiden English. Even at 36 the former Gavin Spears has plenty of potential left; and the beauty of WWE videogames is that you can go against the wishes of one Vince McMahon to your heart's content. Tye Dillinger, world champ?
It's unlikely we'll ever see Tyson Kidd wrestle again after suffering a severe spinal and neck injury in a June 2015 match with Samoa Joe, but he remains involved with WWE via appearances on Total Divas (he's married to Natalya), and is a sound inclusion on the 2K18 roster. Add him to 205 Live for back-and-forth bouts with Neville, Gran Metalik and TJP.
I mentioned a second character statue appearing in the 2K18 cover reveal along with Andre The Giant's, and the likeness in question belongs to Ultimate Warrior. Sure enough, he was confirmed at the start of September. His legend has only grown since his death in 2014 aged just 54, and as a result he's rightly set to be a fixture of the 2K series for years to come.
Presumed retired following a WrestleMania loss to Roman Reigns, Taker's career is far from over in videogame terms. It's more than two decades since he missed out on a WWE game, so there was chance of him being omitted here – and sure enough, his hat and gloves both appeared in the 2K18 cover reveal trailer.
2017 represents that first time in seven years than Leon 'Vader' White has gone an entire year (at least so far) without wrestling – though he maintains he isn't retired just yet. 2K18 offers up the chance to pit him against (or alongside) Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow; for my money, the best two big men ever to grace the squared circle.
2K teased dumping the big boss of WWE from the game completely – but he was eventually confirmed in early September, after making his long-awaited return to Smackdown Live. Not that the comeback went well in storyline terms: Vince took a legit hard headbutt from family rival Kevin Owens, and appeared to genuinely injure his ribs as the result of an Owens frog splash.
WWE 2K18 is released on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch on 17 October.