The Narcissist’s 1993 repackaging as an American hero, complete with flag-trumpeting tour bus The Lex Express, remains one of WWE’s greatest mis-steps. Yet the mulleted muscle-man did have a successful run in WCW prior to that. Foes Ric Flair and Sting provide a welcome chance to relive those halcyon days.
Lita & Trish Stratus
With 11 Women’s Championships between them, this pair were among the most popular of last year’s DLC offerings – and this year, they return to the 2K series’ main roster. These days Stratus runs her own yoga business, while Lita can be seen on pre-shows for WWE pay-per-views.
After dislocating his patella and tearing his medial patellofemoral ligament (you know the one) in March, Harper disappeared off WWE TV – and went unmentioned in July’s draft. Hopefully this means a fresh feud with former master Bray Wyatt on his return – one you can fast track using WWE 2K17.
Retirement rumours continue to stalk the 'World's Strongest Man' – particularly as (at time of writing in mid-August) he's only had three televised matches since WrestleMania 32. But he was factored into July's WWE draft, being sent to Raw, and has had his virtual career extended by at least 12 months with this appearance in WWE 2K17.
Happy news! Epico and Primo, AKA The Shining Stars, are in the game from the outset – whereas last year they were only playable if you forked out extra for DLC. Less happy news! They're included under their old names of Fernando and Diego, and old gimmick – Los Matadores – despite not appearing in those guises since September 2015. What a load of bull.
After retracting his likeness from WWE 2K15 because he felt the royalties were insufficient, Mick returned last year – and the Raw General Manager clearly found the paycheque more agreeable, as he's back again. Indeed Foley counts three times towards the overall roster number, with Dude Love, Mankind, and Cactus Jack all playable in WWE 2K17.
There was never any danger of Miz missing out on the WWE 2K17 roster; the big question is whether his wife Maryse also makes the cut. The pair has been one of the most entertaining acts on TV this year, and his resulting run as Intercontinental Champion has made for one of the highlights of Smackdown. Even if it's only as a manager, Mrs Mizanin needs to be in.
Mr Perfect & Curtis Axel
This father-son pair have had very different WWE careers; Perfect was considered one of the ‘90s greatest in-ring technicians, whereas Axel was 2016’s Mr Irrelevant – AKA the last person selected in the WWE draft. After Perfect’s untimely death in 2003, they’ll sadly never team together in real life; but 2K17 provides that possibility.
Mojo Rawley (DLC)
This former Green Bay Packer spent the first half of 2016 as the forgotten man of NXT – leading to genuine shock when he was called up to the main roster in July ahead of Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura. But his Hype Bros tag-team with Zack Ryder played a prominent role in the title tournament won by Rhyno & Heath Slater, and genuine new faces in WWE games are always welcome.
The former Funkadactyl recently resurfaced as a face after more than a year on the heel side of WWE – with zero explanation for the good turn. The switch brought new entrance music and a neon, glow-in-the-dark ring outfit; but it likely came way too late to make the game, so expect her WWE 2K17 model to be based on her mischievous Team Bad days.