Diamond Dallas Page
DDP had, by some margin, the worst-modelled hair in both WWE 2K15 and 2K16, so let's hope co-developer Yuke's have put time into fixing that – particularly with this year's game featuring the Nitro arena in which DDP rose to fame. If so, a legend-vs-legend-killer feud with Randy Orton surely beckons, pitting Page's Diamond Cutter against the near-identical RKO.
Named after a truck and (not coincidentally) built like one, Kevin Nash popped up as DLC in WWE 2K16 – and now makes the on-disc roster, back in the gimmick which propelled him to superstardom. Shawn Michaels is inevitably in too, enabling you to recreate the tandem that scored two WWE World Tag Team Championships.
This summer’s WWE Draft was especially kind to the Show Off. After 18 months spent in mid-card hell - and the most tedious feud of the year, versus Baron Corbin - it catapulted him into a Summerslam main event against Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship. Natural next feuds on Smackdown would appear to include Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles.
Despite being one the most celebrated tandems in WWE history, Bubba Ray and D-Von haven’t appeared in any of its games since 2005’s Smackdown vs Raw. Like AJ Styles, that’s simply down to them wrestling for rivals TNA in the decade since. The pairing returned to their long-term home late in 2015, and in a hint at what’s to come their entrance was already part of WWE 2K16’s DLC – albeit assigned to a different team (Booker T and Stevie Ray, AKA Harlem Heat).
The charismatic Southerner sadly passed away in June 2015, been not before he'd played a major part in NXT’s grap revolution. His presence here enables you to form a family trio that’d be difficult to surpass: legend Dusty, plus talented offspring Goldust (Dustin Rhodes) and Stardust (Cody Rhodes).
Eddie Guerrero (DLC)
Viva La Raza! Incredibly it's now more than a decade since Eddie G passed away aged just 38, yet his popularity shows no sign of waning - and he's one of the most-requested names in the 2K series every year. This time, the devs have responded to fan pressure by adding him to the roster for the first time since WWE 2K14, albeit as DLC.
Edge & Christian
Like Daniel Bryan, Edge's career was brought to a premature halt through injury, but he can still be spotted on the WWE Network fronting The Edge And Christian Show That Totally Reeks Of Awesomeness. Also like Bryan, his WWE 2K17 character model appears to feature his old, bountiful locks rather than the neatly trimmed cut he currently sports. At least Christian's model is a contemporary one.
Zack Ryder's other (many would say better) half abandoned her dancing gimmick in 2015, returning to NXT to reinvent herself as a nefarious heel – with more-than-watchable results. Recalled to the main roster ahead of WrestleMania 32, she looked set for a strong 2016, only to suffer a ruptured disc in May. Still, at 27 the Aussie is young enough to have many future g'days.
Things are getting properly old school with this one. Hall of Famer Larry Zbyszko turns 65 this December, and hasn't had a WWE (or WWF, as it was known during his heyday) match since defeating Dominic DeNucci on December 8, 1980. But he was included as WCW-based DLC in WWE 2K16, and this year everyone gets to sample what will almost certainly be an identical character model. Ditto for tag partner Arn Anderson.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass
While many acts – namely Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews, and The Vaudevillains – struggled after April 2016 call-ups from NXT, Enzo & Cass have prospered. Along with American Alpha they should dominate your tag division, even if things don't play out that way in real (choreographed) life. For now, WWE seems well behind this most unconventional of pairs, and deservedly so.