You know what happens when you need an explanation for the first ever unified WWE World Champion, record nine-time Intercontinental title holder, king of the lionsault and lead singer in Fozzy appearing in the latest WWE videogame? You know what happens? You've just made the list…
A controversy surrounding WWE 2K17 involved real-life cousins Epico and Primo. They were included in the game, but only in their bull-fighter get-up from previous gimmick Los Matadores, despite 2K having had months to rescan them. That's finally done this year; but their misfortune sadly continues, after Primo went down with a knee injury which will sideline the team indefinitely.
Zack Ryder's one-time tag partner set a unique WWE record over the summer: a losing streak of more than 100 matches. And, as of the first week of September, he's still awaiting that elusive first victory in 2017. Still, there's much better news ahead for Hawkins in the digital ring: he's finally back in WWE's video gaming series, for the first time since Smackdown vs Raw 2009.
Face, heel, tweener: the only consistency amid Brooke's short WWE career so far is fan indifference. It wasn't always thus. Debuting alongside Emma in NXT, she showcased a cockiness that could easily have been harnessed, had WWE not given up on that partnership when her Aussie partner got injured. Who knows whether she'll still be around for WWE 2K19.
GamesRadar+'s wrestling contingent are sticklers for accuracy, so there's only one concern regarding D-Bry's confirmation for 2K18: his likeness appears to have his old attire and hairstyle. Yet as Smackdown Live's GM he sports a trimmed 'do' and lumberjack-like treads – and for proper authenticity, that look also needs to be included as an alternate choice.
Young made history in 2013 by revealing his homosexuality – the first ever active WWE wrestler to do so. And mercifully, the company has never seen fit to turn this important event into a tawdry angle. He's due to return to active competition later this year, having missed almost all of 2017 through an elbow injury.
2016 was a memorable year for Ambrose: he won the Money In The Bank briefcase in June and cashed it in on the same night, capturing the WWE Championship from former team-mate Seth Rollins. 2017 has been less eventful, but he's now teaming with Rollins once more – and 2K18 offers the opportunity to complete The Shield's reformation with the addition of Roman Reigns.
Diamond Dallas Page
Two versions of DDP featured in WWE 2K17 – one modelled on his late-'90s run as WCW Champion, the other a later DLC release based off his 1992 tag team with Cactus Jack. As yet 2K hasn't confirmed which of these is the DDP incarnation returning for another legends run, so we'll take the greedy route and hope for both.
Diesel & Kevin Nash
Your eyes don't deceive you: I've listed Diesel and Kevin Nash as two separate roster inclusions despite them being one and the same person. That's because the 2K games treat them the same way. Diesel/Nash has rightly become a series regular in recent years, and his confirmation comes alongside news that partner Scott Hall, AKA Razor Ramon, is back too.
Darlings of the independent circuit for much of the last decade, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano finally signed full-time with WWE last year – and quickly set to work having memorable tag bouts with Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, AKA The Revival. They've since split up and are likely to have a wild feud when Ciampa returns from injury later this year.