WWE 2K17 NXT Edition box appears to confirm Bayley and Asuka are in the game

Earlier today, GR+ reported on the announcement of WWE 2K17's NXT Edition, which adds Shinsuke Nakamura, Nia Jax, Finn Balor, and Apollo Crews to the game's burgeoning roster. Good news, right? It might not be the end of today's good news.

A closer look at the box art for the NXT Edition reveals faces for some up-and-comers who haven't yet been confirmed for this year's game. But, well, you wouldn't put a famous sports personality on a cover and then omit them from the game in question, right? (Unless you were Pro Evolution Soccer 3.) If that's the logic you follow, then it means at long last we are getting Bayley in an official WWE offering:

In addition to the most popular lady in NXT – if not the entire WWE – keen-eyed 'rassle fans will recognise Dash Wilder, Simon Gotch, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn and Nakamura in the above image. Only the final of those names has been confirmed for WWE 2K17 so far.

And that's just on the top half on the box. Now for a peek at the bottom:

Finn Balor is pictured holding the NXT Championship belt. He's pretty much confirmed.

Nia Jax – Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's cousin, wrestling trivia fans – is on the far right. She's 100% confirmed.

Also in the picture: a brief glimpse of Alexa Bliss, and a very clear look at Scott Dawson and Asuka. As in, the reigning NXT Women's Champion, and – in all likelihood – future conqueror of the entire female roster. Sweet.

A super-zoomed in look at the side of the packaging brings attention to yet more faces as-yet-unconfirmed for 2K17: Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Aiden English, Wesley Blake, and Dana Brooke.

If it can be taken that the box art confirms these girls and guys as in-game characters, it would bring the total of series debutants to 10: Jax, Nakamura, Crews, Bayley, Wilder, Asuka, Dawson, Bliss, Brooke, and Sasha Banks.

English, Gotch, Joe, Cass, Amore, Balor and Blake all made their first series appearances in WWE 2K16, while Zayn took his bow on the 2K15 roster.

I've contacted publisher 2K for comment.

WWE 2K17 is released for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on 11 October.  

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Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.