WWE 2K22: Everything We Know So Far (Wrestlers, Release Date, Modes, Showcase, and more)

Here is what we know about WWE’s flagship video game WWE 2K22 after its return from hiatus.

Image Source: @WWEGames, via Twitter
Image Source: @WWEGames, via Twitter

WWE 2K makes its long-awaited return with 2K22 after a two-year absence. That absence was self-inflicted.

While there was a buffer game in WWE 2K Battlegrounds, this marked a regression to the standard wrestling simulation video game that we have come to know from 2K Studios since they took over as lead developer with WWE 2K14.

Welcoming the return of the series, here is everything that we know thus far about WWE 2K22.

2K Studios hopes to return to form with WWE 2K22

WWE 2K has been, and is, the leading professional wrestling video game, much like WWE is the leading professional wrestling organization – although, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) might have a thing to say about that moving forward on both fronts.

In previous editions, WWE 2K games allowed you to engage in a multitude of matches against friends, the CPU, and online. There was a MyCareer mode, much like in other 2K sports games, along with a vast Creation Suite that included the ability to share and download wrestlers, move sets, logos, arenas, and other creatable items.

There is also the 2K Showcase mode. In this mode, you relive important matches and moments in a chosen wrestler’s or wrestlers’ career. Particularly for younger or newer audiences, this is a great way to become educated on the WWE career of certain wrestlers.

WWE Universe mode would essentially put you in the role of booker, allowing you to determine matches, outcomes, and virtually everything related to professional wrestling.

WWE 2K series established itself as a classy sports simulation game with a tremendous range of ways to play. After a slump, and now a return, fans are expecting big things from WWE 2K22.

What improvements have been made to WWE 2K22?

WWE 2K22 Xbox controls (Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube)

According to 2K Games, these are the Most Anticipated Innovations with full details to be released in January 2022:

  • Redesigned Gameplay Engine
  • New Controls
  • Stunning Graphics
  • Immersive Presentation
  • New WWE 2K Showcase
  • MyGM
  • MyFaction
  • MyRise
  • Universe Mode
  • Creation Suite

The only things that represent improvements or innovations on the list are the redesigned gameplay engine, new controls, MyGM, MyFaction, and MyRise. While there are still more details needed for these improvements, the others all need to be seen more than the snippet in the teaser video to really determine what exactly has been improved. There is always a new Showcase with each iteration of the game as well.

WWE 2K22 game modes

Showcase in WWE 2K22

WWE 2K22’s Showcase will center on the journey of Rey Mysterio. Mysterio is regarded as one of the best ever, the best highflyer ever, and self-dubbed the “Greatest Mask of All Time.” The masked luchador is also one of the more diminutive wrestlers in WWE’s history.

From the teaser, he stated that: “With a universe populated by monsters, giants, and larger-than-life beings, I was determined to find my own path to the top of the mountain in sports entertainment.” This means that it is likely that you’ll relive his battles with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, and John Cena, among others.

It will be interesting to see if some of those “giants” and “monsters” that Mysterio fought in his past – like The Big Show and Mark Henry – are included as both (and others) are now part of AEW – the direct competition to WWE.

If they journey back to Mysterio’s pre-WWE days – as they did in previous Showcases like with Steve Austin – then there is the possibility of playing some of Mysterio’s matches in WCW and ECW.

As Mysterio is still an active wrestler, the cutoff point for the end of his Showcase is debatable. He actually won a Tag Team Championship with his son, Dominik, in May of 2021. This made them the first father-son duo to win a Tag Team Championship in WWE history.

Speaking of Dominik, the “Custody of Dominik” ladder match from SummerSlam 2005 against the late Eddie Guerrero has a high probability of being in 2K22’s Showcase.

MyGM mode in WWE 2K22

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

MyGM is 2K’s resurrection of the popular GM Mode from the WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw video game series in the mid-00s. Long clamored for by the WWE gaming audience, WWE wrestler Xavier Woods even ran three seasons of “Battle of the Brands” GM Mode from the 2006 edition on his UpUpDownDown gaming channel, garnering hundreds of thousands of views per episode.

GM Mode pitted you as the General Manager of either Raw or SmackDown – your choice – against the GM of the other show to draw more viewers over the course of a calendar year, ending with WrestleMania. You oversaw the booking of everything – feuds, matches, promos, match types, and more.

The mode was more challenging and required more nuance than at first glance. The same match types and same feuds started drawing less and less – much like in real life – and gimmick matches worked better as feud enders than randomly placed on a weekly show with little or a non-existent story build.

You were able to either conduct a fantasy draft or proceed with the pre-loaded rosters. You were also given a budget for drafting purposes, as well as the ability to sign free agents – sometimes legends.

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

In WWE 2K22, it appears as though the fantasy draft is still an option. Each wrestler also has a Class associated with them, as well as a face (green) or heel (red) designation under their Role. They have a salary commensurate with their placement on the card – upper-card and champion wrestlers are going to cost far more than a lower-card or developing wrestler.

It appears that you’ll have a budget per show and that each segment can cost anywhere between zero and thousands of dollars. For example, in the above image, a standard main event singles match between Roman Reigns and Big E and a mid-card match between Samoa Joe and Joaquin Wilde cost zero dollars, but the two self-promos from Tyler Bate and Montez Ford cost $1,000 each. The opening segment – a TLC match between Tamina and Bianca Belair – cost $5,000.

From this, it can be deduced that any regular match – be it singles, tag, or six-person – will cost zero dollars, but any gimmick matches will cost money. Generally, any multi-person match, like a triple threat or fatal four-way, will be considered normal unless a stipulation is added – such as No Disqualification, TLC, or a Cage Match.

Promos will also cost money, regardless of the type. It seems the self-promo is the most cost-effective, but lacking any further information on the types of promos available makes this an educated guess. Other promo types could include an interview, a vignette, or feud-building promos between foes.

MyFaction in WWE 2K22

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

Simply put, MyFaction mode allows you to assemble a four-person faction of assembled wrestlers to your liking, presumably for use in Universe Mode and Exhibition. It appears that MyFaction groups are limited to four people, but having the option for a three-person faction like The New Day or The Shield would be a great tweak.

The official announcement video showed factions of Drew McIntyre, The Miz, M.V.P., and Apollo Crews, as well as The Mysterios (Rey and Dominik), Dolph Ziggler, and Kevin Owens. While neither faction is feasible in the current WWE because of the face and heel dispositions, these are unique factions only possible in WWE 2K22.

While only men were shown in the two factions, it is likely that women will also have their own factions with the numerous ones seen throughout the years, including Team B.A.D., Absolution, and P.C.B. Mixed factions with men and women should also be a possibility.

MyRise in WWE 2K22

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

MyRise replaces 2K’s MyCareer for WWE 2K22. Much like the MyCareer mode throughout various 2K sports games, you will start as an up-and-coming wrestler working your way (hopefully) to becoming the top champion. Based on previous editions of both WWE 2K and other 2K Sports games, the choices that you make will affect your outcomes.

While not much was released in terms of the progression system, training, storyline, and more, the teaser video seems to indicate that there are separate MyRise stories for a man and woman, depending on the character that you create. Both seemingly showed the protagonist of MyRise being jumped and beaten by other wrestlers.

2K’s Virtual Currency (VC) will probably play a role in upgrading your attributes and unlocking perks. Your performance during matches will determine the amount of experience and VC that you earn, and possibly other factors like fan popularity.

Universe Mode in WWE 2K22

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

The staple of 2K’s WWE games, Universe Mode allows you to book every show, match, and segment throughout the calendar. The key difference between Universe Mode and GM Mode or MyGM is that Universe Mode is not competitive.

The appeal to Universe Mode is that while promos are automatically generated, you can create your own rival storylines to go along with creating championships, more wrestlers, tag teams, and stables. As Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank plots are interwoven, you can add these to your stories as well.

Win-loss-draw records will be kept in Universe Mode, giving you an idea of how each wrestler has done over the year. Records in professional wrestling have become more of a topic since AEW debuted as they display wrestler records during their intros, with records resetting every January 1.

To equate Universe Mode to other sports games, think of it as akin to Franchise Mode.

Creation Suite in WWE 2K22

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

The Creation Suite in WWE 2K allows you to create anyone and everything related to professional wrestling. You can create wrestlers, move sets, arenas, championships, and more.

There is a bevy of options for looks when you create wrestlers, from hairstyles to tattoos, to ring gear, and more. You can freely choose the colors that you want, adding graphics as you see fit. Depending on your wrestler’s size and weight, you will be given some archetypes for your Class option.

You can also download creations from other gamers, including wrestlers, and incorporate your downloaded additions into your creations. If there is a certain emblem that you want, there is a high likelihood that one will have been created and uploaded.

The Creation Suite is an important mode for those creative gamers and anyone who wants to incorporate wrestlers from different promotions into WWE vicariously.

WWE 2K22 confirmed wrestlers

Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube

In order of appearance (including lists), here are the wrestlers shown in the teaser video for WWE 2K22:

  • Rey Mysterio
  • Ricochet
  • Goldberg
  • Kofi Kingston
  • Jeff Hardy
  • Big E
  • Montez Ford
  • Edge
  • Bayley
  • Bobby Lashley
  • Chad Gable
  • Roman Reigns
  • Becky Lynch
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Asuka
  • Finn Balor
  • Tamina
  • Bianca Belair
  • Tyler Bate
  • Samoa Joe
  • Joaquin Wilde
  • The Miz
  • M.V.P.
  • Apollo Crews
  • Dominik Mysterio
  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Kevin Owens
  • Seth Rollins
  • Mustafa Ali
  • Austin Theory
  • Raquel Gonzalez
  • Shayna Baszler
  • Kay Lee Ray
  • A.J. Styles

That is 34 confirmed wrestlers (eight women, 26 men). Triple H was shown in Universe Mode in his executive role, but it would not be surprising to find at least one, if not multiple, versions of him to play in 2K22. There was also another wrestler in the video, but they were shown too briefly and with their face cutoff that it was difficult to determine their identity.

Kevin Owens’ contract with WWE is reportedly up at the end of 2021, so his inclusion may be questionable. Further, WWE recently waived another round of talent in November 2021, so there might be some irony in being able to play as wrestlers who aren’t with the WWE anymore.

WWE 2K22 release date

While a release date of March 2022 was announced, there has not yet been an announcement on the official day of release. However, more information on the game and its release is scheduled to drop in January 2022.

There will most likely be a Deluxe or Collector’s Edition – or both – with in-game and out-of-game rewards such as a stock of VC, unlocked characters, or the Season Pass.

A Collector’s Edition may include Mysterio memorabilia, such as a mask or piece of a mask, to celebrate his journey being the Showcase. If a legend is announced alongside Mysterio in January, there may be some memorabilia regarding that legend.

Why was there not a WWE 2K21?

Goldberg makes his entrance (Image Source: WWE 2K, via YouTube)

2K Games released WWE 2K20 in October of 2019, and almost immediately, the game was widely panned by critics and gamers alike.

Brian Mazique of Forbes gave WWE 2K20 a mediocre score of 5.25 out of 10, being a bit more lenient in his critiques than others. He noted in “The Bad” section that the game, in general, “just isn’t fun to play,” and criticized the game’s lack of overall innovation.

Richard Wakeling of GameSpot did not hold back as he rated the game a mere 2 out of 10. While he praised the women of WWE having time to shine in Showcase and Samoa Joe’s performance in MyCareer, he also criticized the same MyCareer mode as being dull and overlong with insufferable writing, as well as the regression in the combat system, along with the noted glitch and bug issues.

Metacritic finds a score of 43 for the game with 16 negative and 13 mixed reviews. The user score is 1.6, buoyed by 13 positive reviews – including a few 10.0s – to go along with eight mixed and 124 negative reviews.

Basically, the game was atrocious. It inevitably led to 2K Games announcing the cancellation of WWE 2K21 during one of WWE’s quarterly investor calls in April of 2020, as reported by Michael McWhertor of Polygon.

In announcing their replacement for WWE 2K21 with WWE 2K Battlegrounds, 2K Games said that they heard the feedback on 2K20 and “are applying what we’ve learned to the next WWE 2K simulation with a renewed focus on quality and fun,” as Matt Kim reported for IGN.

Will you relive Mysterio’s career? Can you defeat your opposing GM in MyGM? Is the Creation Suite more your vibe? Then stay tuned for more WWE 2K22 information in January, and check out the hopefully revived game come March!

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is the Lead Editor for OutsiderGaming.com. He has a PhD in Education, but has always been a gamer. His main gaming interests are RPGs and sports, with some action and adventure on the side. Bruce still hails Chrono Trigger as the best game ever.

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