So at E3 this past week, 2K announced the first three names that would be involved with WWE 2K17, and while the first two are no-brainers, the third name clicked in my head. The specific information has been reported well enough all over already, but there could be more significance to the three names chosen to be released. They are:
1. John Cena, the current face of the company. The modern-day Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Bruno Sammartino of the WWE, the main-event draw with the Wolverine-like healing ability that’s never off TV for too long. Even at nearly 40 years old and being in the WWE for nearly 15 of those years, he’s the Golden Boy that everybody under 14 loves to cheer, while everyone over 14 loves to see beaten down. Makes sense he would be their number one name for playable characters.
2. The Ultimate Warrior. After coming back to the company after his multiple stints with the company, nobody captured the attention like the chiseled-from-marble Warrior, even after what WWE called his “self-destruction” in a special documentary in 2005 (which they probably don’t want to remember after his return to the company and subsequent passing in 2014). But hey, they all made up a few days before he died, and WWE inducted him into the Hall of Fame. Again, it makes sense he would be a big name to announce.
3. Sasha Banks. THIS is the interesting one. After her fantastic run in NXT, her final storylines feuding with Bailey in two incredibly noteworthy and worth-noting matches of the year, and the grasp on the crowd she’s absolutely earned over her short career, seeing her here SHOULDN’T be a surprise. But after the number of years WWE spent trying to shape fitness models into wrestlers, the entirety of the women’s roster seemed destined to be the “bathroom break match” for the foreseeable future. Then, NXT started to happen.
And in a women’s division of competent competitors, a few names started to rise – “The Boss” Sasha Banks being the most noteworthy (and badass, to be blunt) to emerge. The poorly-named “Diva’s Revolution” was happening right under WWE’s nose, and Banks became the stand-out star of them. She hasn’t had the full limelight she deserves on the “main” WWE roster yet, but even so, the audience is aware of her, and will occasionally pipe up to let their feelings be heard.
Is this truly the beginning of WWE taking women’s wrestling seriously? Her being on the opening roster announcement may be a sign of that – at least 2K is noticing the fans want to see The Boss in action seems to indicate so. She’s undeniably a future for the company, provided they don’t go all Damien Sandow or Drew Galloway and underutilize her enough that she splits.