Sunday, May 26, 2024
Editorial6 Superstar Ratings WWE 2K22 Got Totally Wrong

6 Superstar Ratings WWE 2K22 Got Totally Wrong

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With the upcoming release of WWE 2K22, it has been well over two years since we had a new WWE game to sink our teeth into—and even longer if you are fond of games that, you know, actually function as a video game and not a constant stream of glitches.

In previous years, I have tried to avoid as much information as I could about the upcoming games, so I can experience it for myself first-hand on release day. This is undoubtedly what led to me spending far too much money on the special edition of 2K20 and the protracted period of disappointment that followed.

But this year, there has been so much hype surrounding 2K22’s release I’ve found myself drawn in.

I’ve watched videos about the gameplay, deep dives on the returning General Manager mode (which has me as excited as Goldberg when he finds out there’s another Saudi Premium Live Event planned) and most recently, someone sent me a list of all the Superstar ratings for this year’s iteration of the game.

Why are 2K22 ratings important?

Normally, Superstar ratings aren’t something I would lose much sleep over. I’ve found the effects on gameplay are usually negligible – unless there is a real disparity between the two (or more) Superstars competing in the ring – or you have the difficulty cranked all the way up.

However, this year, the aforementioned General Manager mode is back. From what I’ve seen, Superstar ratings will have a part to play when constructing the perfect roster. That means—for me at least—they suddenly have a new relevance.

Which is why I decided my first foray here on eWrestlingNews would be to pick out six roster members I think have either been done dirty, or have had the wrestling gods smile upon them with a very generous score. But before I dive in…

Nice to Meet You

Hello by the way, I’m Jay! As I just mentioned, this is my first article on eWrestlingNews, having spent the last 14 looking after WWEBlog. I’m really excited to have been given the opportunity to apply my trade on such a well established site.

I realise I’ve not made things easy for myself by choosing such a potentially contentious issue right out of the gate, and I’m well aware not everyone (or quite possibly no one) will agree with me, but that’s cool.

One of the things I love about pro wrestling is that everyone has an opinion, and whether what I write has you nodding in agreement or turning puce with rage please just remember that’s all it is—my opinion.

Clarifications

  • I’m considering Superstar ratings to be an “all round” score, incorporating traits such as star power and presence alongside in-ring ability. That feels like a fair assumption given, for example, Andre the Giant and Shinsuke Nakamura are both rated 88.
  • For current roster members, I’m basing this on the last year or so. It’s hard to say when the roster cut-off was, so I’ll try to keep things as broad as possible.
  • I’m not familiar with the majority of the NXT roster, as my schedule up to this point hasn’t allowed me to give it the attention it deserves. As a result, I don’t have the knowledge to make a fair judgement, so I won’t be covering anyone who hasn’t been on the Raw/SmackDown brands.
  • You may notice there are no women in this list. Please don’t read too much into that. I just think 2K got the majority of the women’s ratings there or thereabouts based on the criteria above.
  • I could have made this list five times longer than it is. There are quite a few people on the roster I think deserve a bump in their stats, but I had to draw the line somewhere and settled on six. I will make a few “honourable mentions” as I go through, but if I didn’t pick up on someone that you did I can only apologise, feel free to add them in the comments!

Underrated: The Alpha Academy: Chad Gable (76) and Otis (77)

I know, I know! I’m starting out by cheating a bit with a two for the price of one!

The first 2K22 Superstar rating that really stood out for me as I scanned down the list was Otis, and a 77 felt insulting. Then, I looked at Chad Gable and saw he was a 76.

To throw a bit of context in there; Otis is five points lower than Ivar (81) and Chad is three points lower than Dominik Mysterio (79).

Dominik. Mysterio.

I’m not arguing that Ivar or Dom should have lower ratings, but I certainly think Otis and Chad should be breaking 80 for 2K22.

I’m a big fan of Otis, which probably makes me bias, but I think joining The Alpha Academy has given him the chance to show what he’s really capable of—something he perhaps wasn’t able to do as part of Heavy Machinery, running around giving out joints of ham and doing The Caterpillar.

Why do I think their ratings are so low? I assume the numbers were decided when Otis was in the slump between winning Money in the Bank, and the formation of The Alpha Academy.

Overrated: Demon Finn Balor (90)

I’m no big fan of Finn Balor (88), I won’t try and hide the fact, but this isn’t really a slight on him or the Demon King persona.

Given the way Balor is pushed, I’d agree he deserves a score in the mid to high 80s, and that it makes sense that the more robust Demon King character should have a slight improvement somewhere. But my issue is actually with the way 2K implements what are essentially alternate attires.

Certain characters, I understand. I don’t particularly like it, but I understand.

“American Badass” Undertaker is so far removed from “Ministry” Undertaker that it makes sense. They have different music, entrances, attires and movesets.

But Finn Balor and The Demon aren’t all that different, and I think they could have been implemented as alternate attires with the same ratings, but varying special abilities like the Comeback attribute.

Another example of this is X-Pac (85) and Syxx (88). I suspect this is because Syxx is a pre-order bonus, and 2K felt obliged to make him better than his “free” counterpart. The game developers would have probably caught some flack if fans thought they were paying for an additional attire, rather than another full roster member.

In any case, Demon Finn Balor IS still a little overpowered in my opinion. He has a higher Superstar rating than Shawn Michaels for example, which brings me nicely to…

Underrated: Shawn Michaels (88)

No matter your opinion of HBK, it’s fair to say he is one of the best WWE has ever seen.

So it’s perplexing that the man who was hand-picked to retire Ric Flair, would be rated under 90.

There are a few Legends in the game that I think deserve a bump if it comes to it; Andre (88), Kane (82) and the aforementioned Ric Flair (88) to name just three. It was a toss up here whether to go for The Heartbreak Kid or Naitch, but I think I might have a theory as to why they seem so comparatively low.

I have a feeling their Superstar ratings might be based on the version of them that has made the cut. There doesn’t seem to be any info on which Ric Flair we are going to get. He WAS on the active roster managing Lacey Evans when the game was being worked on, so it could be that version, but Rey Mysterio (90) confirmed that HBK would be involved in his Showcase, with their 2005 tribute to Eddie Guerrero (90) playing a part.

I’d still rate 2005 Shawn Michaels higher than an 88, but it could go some way to explaining the lower score if it isn’t “prime” HBK we are getting in 2K22.

Overrated: Braun Strowman (90)

Baffling. It’s the only word I can come up with for Braun having a rating of 90.

There’s a whole list of reasons why I’m amazed by this score. Most prominent is the fact he’s no longer with the company, and hasn’t been for a while now.

It might be difficult to remove him from the game entirely (depending on how much effort they put in to creating him, or his involvement in one of the game modes for example) but stat tweaking functionality is usually available to players, never mind developers, so it’s a surprise Braun has maintained such a high number.

I would have fully expected someone—if not Vince McMahon himself—demand his stats be nerfed. It’s the kind of petty behaviour we’ve seen before from WWE. But as it stands he’s rated higher than the likes of Batista (88), Booker T (88), JBL (88), The Miz (86) and Randy Orton (88). Not to mention the same as the base-level Undertaker (90), for those that don’t receive the 2K22 Immortal pre-order pack.

Underrated: Goldberg (88)

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written over on WWEBlog—although I don’t expect you will have—you’ll know how out of left field this pick is.

It’s fair to say I don’t care for Goldberg, and that’s probably understating it.

I wasn’t a big Goldberg guy when he was in his prime in WCW, and I outright detest what he has been involved in over the past few years. Strolling in to title matches against guys like The Fiend and Kevin Owens (85), taking their WrestleMania championship match spots when they put in all the hard graft through the year.

I don’t blame him either, I think we’d all take the money if WWE came knocking with a lucrative part time contract.

But the creative team haven’t exactly been too creative when booking Bill. Especially when you compare how he was handled in comparison to someone like Edge (91), who was shown to be ‘earning’ his opportunities.

I mean that could have something to do with the fact Edge can put on a match that lasts longer than 2 minutes, and isn’t just a load of Spears and Jackhammers, but that’s a discussion for another day…

As much as I’m indifferent to old Bill, if you’re going to bring someone back and have them run through people who have been near undefeatable—The Fiend in particular—then the stats in the game should reflect the way he has been pushed on screen, and I think that has to put him up in the 90s for 2K22.

Underrated: Elias (75)

I know, I’m ending on a bit of a bum note—pun fully intended.

I really wanted to have three Superstars that were underrated and three that were overrated, and while one of my colleagues suggested I use my last pick on Roman Reigns (95), I don’t think that’s too surprising or far off where Reigns should be in 2K22.

He’s been untouchable for over a year, involved in everything, I’m not offended that he’s the highest rated person in the game.

Elias at 75 though? That seems particularly mean.

Yes he has been off our screens since July – if you don’t count the handful of vignettes showing him burning his guitar – and yes his rivalry with Jaxson Ryker was awful, but a short while prior to that he was pretty over.

He used to get a great response from the crowds, got a lot of screen time and had a few decent matches, but has somehow come out with a lower score than T-BAR (76) and Billie Kay (77).

Conclusion

At the end of the day, video game ratings aren’t something to get angry about. In previous iterations of the 2K series the Accelerator DLC has included a rating editor and I expect there will be something similar in WWE 2K22.

That means if you genuinely aren’t happy with the out-of-the-box stats, it’s easy to give them a little tweak, which makes everything I’ve just discussed pretty irrelevant. But my motto has always been “start as you mean to go on”, so it’s kind of fitting in a way.

After such a long hiatus I’m just excited at the prospect of playing a good WWE game again, and if I’m given the chance to stick around here at eWrestlingNews I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more 2K22 content!

If you haven’t seen the full list of Superstar Ratings, you can check it out now over on 2K’s site.

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