Andrade Cien Almas
Rumours abound that the former La Sombra turned down a spot in WWE 2K18 due to feeling underwhelmed by the compensation offered to NXT and 205 Live wrestlers – though no official source has confirmed this. No such issue this year. After graduating to Smackdown in the spring, Almas makes the roster, with manager Zelina Vega as a NPC.
Andre The Giant
It's a topical time for Andre to feature in a WWE game – he was recently the subject of an outstanding HBO documentary which is essential viewing for all grap fans, no matter how casual. When you're done watching, dream 2K19 matches versus fellow behemoths Big Show, Kane and Braun Strowman await.
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford
For all the flak 2K takes surrounding the WWE series, it always manages to please fans with a handful of roster surprises. This year, NXT tag-team The Street Profits are one of the biggest. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford have amassed a cult following at Full Sail University – where WWE's developmental show is recorded – and look set for a speedy rise up the ranks in 2019.
Apollo Crews, Dana Brooke & Titus O'Neil
Collectively known as Titus Worldwide, only one of this mid-card (Crews) trio was initially confirmed – but 2K doesn’t leave out active tag-teams or stables, so Apollo’s revelation immediately said that all three are in. Brooke has only had a dozen-or-so TV matches all year, but can be restored to full-time competition in the videogame should you wish.
Iranian-American cruiserweight Daivari was a surprising omission from WWE 2K18, along with fellow 205 Live regulars Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali. Happily all five make series debuts this year – and we'll get to the rest in due course…
A legend in her home nation of Japan, the lady formerly known as Kana had a 914-day undefeated streak curtailed by Charlotte at WrestleMania – a particularly shocking result given that in January she’d won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble. She’s since been needlessly lost in the shuffle on Smackdown.
Bam Bam Bigelow
A swathe of legends have been axed from 2K19's on-disc roster since last year, including the Bushwhackers, Natural Disasters, Fabulous Freebirds and von Erichs. Bigelow was also considered to be on the endangered list, but makes it in for another round of digital grappling against (or with?!) 1994 rival Tatanka.
Former NFL lineman Tom Pestock's inclusion is likely to provide a major talking point upon WWE 2K19's release. In June, he was appointed 'Constable' of Monday Night Raw, and debuted a suited new look with a shaved head – yet going by the image above, he has his old, long locks and emo attire for the upcoming game. That won't be popular if true.
Big Dave – AKA Drax The Destroyer – only made WWE 2K18 as DLC, but confirmation of his on-disc inclusion for 2K19 came with the announcement of showcase mode featuring Daniel Bryan. One of the key matches in the mode is Bryan's WWE Championship win at WrestleMania 30 – a triple threat match in which he overcame Randy Orton and Batista.
Bayley & Sasha Banks
As always seemed inevitable, these long-time ‘besties’ are finally feuding – although the path to them doing so has made for the most convoluted break-up in recent WWE history. Thankfully the ensuing matches should eradicate all memories of that laboured build, given the pair’s incredible mat wars during their shared time in developmental brand NXT.