Recently, WWE has brought the pre-order exclusive character in each year’s edition of their partnership with 2K from the video game to the wrestling ring. Ultimate Warrior found his way into the Hall of Fame, Sting got a WrestleMania moment and a title shot, and Goldberg found himself in a championship program with Brock Lesnar.
Could that last template be used again for 2K18? Brock was on the cover of 2K17 and Goldberg was the exclusive downloadable character (DLC). This year, Seth Rollins will grace the front of the box while his kayfabe boss Kurt Angle has been confirmed as the pre-order exclusive.
The difference this time around is that Angle is already back in the WWE fold, so we can skip the months of “will a deal with 2K lead to mending fences with Vince McMahon?” It appears another difference might be an angle built right into the game.
Lesnar and Goldberg had a history against one another, so their infamous Mania XX encounter and a “Fantasy Warfare Just Got Real” tagline was enough for Paul Heyman to work with to set up Survivor Series and beyond.
This year, Angle and Rollins have never faced each other, and are - at present - both babyfaces. But Seth’s initial commercial for 2K18 featured him vandalizing iconic items from past WWE Superstars - not the most heroic thing ever, even with the “Be Like No One” marketing slogan associated with this year’s edition of the game.
And during his press conference yesterday (June 29) to discuss his involvement, Angle referred to that spot in very storyline terms:
Let’s be clear though. I have a small bone to pick with Seth Rollins. You obviously saw the announcement trailer. Seth broke into the WWE Archives and disrespected history. Up in flames went the memories of many incredible WWE Legends and Hall of Famers, who have come before him. Guys like Andre the Giant, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker, and many more. All I can say for now is just wait and see the pre-order announcement for the game, revenge may be on my mind.
Now, this could just be a mode of gameplay for 2K18. But Angle also hinted at how often the game and television have crossed over in recent years during his remarks:
As many of you are well aware, WWE’s video games with 2K play a huge role in the world of WWE each year. With WWE 2K18 being no exception when it releases worldwide on Oct. 17.
Could a match with Rollins be the long awaited return to a WWE ring for our Olympic Hero? Might it tie in to the recent teases during Raw of Angle being blackmailed by an anonymous party?
A trailer promoting Kurt as this year’s pre-order incentive DLC is supposed to debut during the July 10 Raw, and that might give us more to go on.
Until then, let us know what you think below, Cagesiders.