8. Rob van Dam
Mr Monday Night was a surprise inclusion for the series’ debut on PS4 and Xbox One with WWE 2K15, but his chances of a return probably weren’t helped by a 2015 interview where he said he was in “no hurry to go back”. At least his moveset was still in 2K16.
Rusev’s long-time fiancee (and, as of July, wife) was strictly a valet during his rise through NXT and first year on the main roster – but made her in-ring debut as part of the seven-on-seven ladies’ match at WrestleMania 32. Even with a generic moveset, that should warrant inclusion for the 'Ravishing Russian'.
6. Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Everybody’s got a price – for me, it’s £5.99. That’s what I’d pay for a Summerslam '91 pack featuring Ted DiBiase, Virgil, Sensational Sherri, Legion Of Doom, Nasty Boys and The Mountie. (Big Boss Man, Bret Hart and Mr Perfect are already in.) Too much to ask? Just Ted would do.
5. Shelton Benjamin
Once the main reason to watch WWE’s annual Money In The Bank ladder match, Benjamin was primed for another Smackdown run after re-signing for the company in July – only to discover he needed surgery. If DLC isn’t possible, a 2K18 appearance seems likely.
4. Eddie Guerrero
To many, there’s a list of elite Hall of Famers who should be in every WWE game: The Rock, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels. Guerrero’s in-ring exploits and career-high popularity at the time of his death in 2005 (aged just 38) surely also merit a spot on that esteemed list.
For Guerrero, see also Batista – not a Hall of Famer, but one of the noughties’ biggest stars and these days a genuine Hollywood attraction to boot. Like Regal, his WWE 2K16 character model rocked, and it’s removal is one of the few downgrades on this year’s roster.
2. Mickie James
A left-field choice, but an absolutely justified one. WWE is rightly committed to paying more attention to great female wrestling, so what about the lass who’s had the third-most women’s title reigns in company history? All hail the queen of hardcore country.
1. The Club
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were likely signed weeks too late to make the on-disc roster – but still with plenty of time to feature as DLC. As WWE’s second-highest profile tag-team of 2016, their omission is the single one on this list that would leave fans up in arms – as occurred last year with the surprise absence of Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. (CAW by Defract.)
WWE 2K17 is released on October 11. Want to know how it plays? Check out the 11 things we learned going hands-on.