These days entrenched as a member of the WWE commentary team, T nonetheless remains active on the company's virtual roster despite not having had a match since WrestleMania 28 – more than four years ago. This will be his 27th video game appearance, dating back to PS1's WCW Nitro in 1997.
The fourth member of the Wyatt Family was afforded the rarest of privileges during the summer of 2015: a call-up to the main roster without ever appearing on NXT. He’s immobile like a decaying redwood and hasn’t had a single memorable match, but WWE sees something in him that fans don’t – and after departing Bray Wyatt's troupe he's now enjoying a mega push on Raw.
Eater of worlds, new face of fear, and king of the rambling nonsensical promo, Bo Dallas's real-life big bro has spent the year racking up victories while never really getting the fans to care much about his results – which is pretty much what I wrote ahead of his appearance in WWE 2K16. His is a character which could really do with some serious refreshment.
No, that isn’t a typo: the tag team of Tyler Breeze and Fandango really are lumbered with that preposterous name. Despite the monstrous monicker, they’re well suited as a tandem, and deserve better than the ‘perennial jobber’ status they currently occupy on Smackdown. 2K17’s Universe mode facilitates that improved push.
Bret 'Hitman' Hart
The Hitman was bafflingly lift off the WWE 2K15 roster, but 2K corrected their error last year - and WWE 2K17 sees Bret once more included alongside tag partner Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart. The family connections continue with niece Natalya and her husband Tyson Kidd both included, despite the latter suffering a career-threatening neck injury.
A second consecutive 2K appearance for Steve Austin's sometime tag buddy. After their Hollywood Blondes tandem split, Pillman went on to become one of the '90s dirtiest heels, and took part in one of the most controversial angles ever when he pulled a gun on his former partner. An undetected heart condition led to him passing away in October 1997, aged just 35.
Mrs Daniel Bryan effectively retired at WrestleMania 32, after a ten-ladies women's match – although WWE has never officially said as much onscreen. That means the younger Bella twin (by 16 minutes) is still recognised as part of the official roster, even if she's not affiliated to a specific show. With Bryan now general manager of Smackdown, that may change imminently.
Shockingly, its 13 years since Davey Boy Smith – and yes, that is his real middle name – marched off to the great squared circle in the sky. Yet he remains one of the most famous Brit grapplers ever, and his inclusion here enables fans to relive perhaps the greatest Intercontinental Title bout of all time: the titanic tilt with brother-in-law Bret Hart at Summerslam 1992.
Altogether now: der-dum, dum, dum dum dum, der-dum, dum, dum dum dum. Fresh off hammering Mark Hunt at UFC 200, Lesnar will be the cover star for WWE 2K17 – setting up a long-awaiting return match with WrestleMania 20 opponent Goldberg. Other possible dream bouts include weapon-heavy contests against long-time NXT champ Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan, who retired in February 2016 before he'd had chance to ever wrestle 'The Beast'.
Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake (DLC)
Only in wrestling can a man wander free with oversized scissors in his hands and a demonic look in his eyes, while threatening to lop off other men's barnets, and be cheered for it. That was 'Beefcake's' exact character – and it led to the best spell of a career in which he was also known as The Booty Man, The Disciple, and The Man With No Name.