We’ve got our first look at WWE 2K24, the newest edition of the video game franchise that’s coming our way roughly one month from now (special editions will release on Tues., March 5, with regular ones following on Fri., March 8).
Before we talk about what is included in the trailer, it’s important to note what is not: there are no signs of ten-time WWE World champion Brock Lesnar. In fact, Lesnar has been removed from the cover of the “Forty Years of WrestleMania” edition of the game. In his place, John Cena’s likeness has been enlarged.
Since being implicated in the Vince McMahon sexual abuse and trafficking lawsuit, WWE has been in the process of removing Lesnar from its various licensed properties and creative plans. It’s almost certainly too late to completely remove Lesnar from the game itself, but the cover edit is a big example of WWE’s efforts to deemphasize him in light of the allegations.
What is “in the game”, as they say?
The trailer shows off many of the modes that were announced when the game first was, like ambulance & casket matches, backstage brawls, and special guest referees. The snippets of graphics and gameplay shown feature the wrestlers we’d expect given the people who are still on the various covers. Cody Rhodes shows up early in the minute long video, after highlights from a Roman Reigns ambulance match. Rhea Ripley is probably the most prominently featured of the three main cover stars, appearing several times throughout. Bianca Belair appears the least. The EST is only shown once, in the ring during her introduction. And legends who are still being promoted for the WrestleMania history aspects of the game like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and John Cena are peppered throughout.
Then, as kind of post-credits scene, we see the guest referee of WrestleMania I. But this isn’t the post-retirement Muhammad Ali who worked the Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff main event. It’s The Greatest in his prime, looking ready to trade punches with pro wrestlers great strikers like Undertaker and Shane McMahon*. He could also recreate “The War of the Worlds”, but we’re guessing you’ll need to create your own version of Antonio Inoki for that.
Check out the trailer (embedded at the top of the post), and read up or refresh yourself on all the details we’ve been given about WWE 2K24 here.
* That’s a joke. Legendary pugilist Shane O’Mac isn’t even in the game as far as we know.