WWE 2K23: Cover Star John Cena Revealed, “Doctor of Thuganomics” on Deluxe Edition

WWE 2K23 revealed its cover athlete: John Cena! Here's everything you need to know on each cover.


WWE 2K23 Cover Reveal

After weeks of speculation, news has finally broken revealing WWE 2K23 cover star John Cena and further details about the next installment in this storied franchise. The reveal included multiple covers, one for each edition of the game, and each represents a different era and look for the multi-time champion. 

WWE 2K23 cover star John Cena will also be the focus of this year’s 2K Showcase, an interactive documentary game mode where you’ll relive top moments through his career. John Cena last featured in a 2K Showcase for WWE 2K15, but certain aspects (like CM Punk) are unlikely to return from that iteration. Read more to see exactly what the Cenation has in store when WWE 2K23 hits the shelves this March. 


WWE 2K23 cover star John Cena revealed with three unique editions

WWE 2K23 Standard Edition
Standard Edition (Image source: wwe.2k.com/2k23).

With the Royal Rumble looming, announcements were finally made confirming WWE 2K23 and revealing John Cena as this year’s cover star selection. Cena follows Rey Mysterio, who took center stage on the cover of WWE 2K22 as they tried to rebound (successfully) from the critical and commercial failures of WWE 2K20. 

Players looking to pre-order WWE 2K23 will be left choosing between the Standard Edition, Deluxe Edition, Icon Edition, or technically the fourth option being the Cross-Gen Digital Edition. That final one actually has the same cover as the Standard Edition, offering fans a modern look at John Cena doing his iconic “you can’t see me” taunt. 

The WWE 2K23 Standard Edition, available to pre-order now for $59.99 on Xbox One and PS4 or $69.99 on Xbox Series X|S and PS5, will come with a playable Bad Bunny character and one Ruby Bad Bunny MyFACTION card if players pre-order ahead of launch. The Cross-Gen Digital Edition will include the same pre-order bonus and give players the title on either PS4 and PS5 or Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, for any gamers planning to upgrade their console soon after acquiring WWE 2K23. Fortunately, the Cross-Gen Digital Edition is priced at an equal $69.99, so fans who only want the Standard Edition can get dual-console access for no additional cost. 

WWE 2K23 Deluxe Edition spotlights the “Doctor of Thuganomics” 

WWE 2K23 Deluxe Edition
Deluxe Edition featuring the character that saw Cena’s initial rise (Image source: wwe.2k.com/2k23).

In what is surely one of the first signs that a specific era of his career will be spotlighted in the WWE 2K23 Showcase, John Cena graces the Deluxe Edition as the “Doctor of Thuganomics.” This throwback to the 2003 era of John Cena shows his iconic lock and chain necklace, throwback WWE logo wristbands, and the WWE United States Championship he held at the time. 


If you’re hoping to snag the WWE 2K23 Deluxe Edition, it’ll set you back $99.99 across all platforms, but there are several bonuses that come with that price. The WWE 2K23 Deluxe Edition includes the following: 

  • 3-Day Early Access (March 14)
  • Bad Bunny Playable Character
  • Ruby Bad Bunny MyFACTION Card
  • WWE 2K23 Season Pass featuring:
    • All 5 Post-Launch DLC Character Packs
    • MyRISE Mega-Boost Pack with 200 additional Attribute Points
    • Supercharger Pack to unlock all base game WWE Legends and arenas
    • John Cena EVO MyFaction Card
    • Emerald Bianca Belair MyFACTION Card
    • Gold Asuka MyFACTION Card
    • Gold Edge MyFACTION Card
    • 3 Basic Day 1 MyFACTION Card Packs

With the three days of early access that this edition provides, you’ll be able to play WWE 2K23 as early as March 14 rather than waiting for the worldwide March 17 release date. 

WWE 2K23 Icon Edition and Showcase to highlight the birth of a legacy 

WWE 2K23 Icon Edition
Icon Edition (Image source: wwe.2k.com/2k23).

Finally, the top-tier WWE 2K23 Icon Edition features cover star John Cena holding the spinner WWE Championship design introduced shortly after he first captured the title in 2005. This was truly the period in which a legend was born as Cena cemented himself as one of the sport’s top athletes. While full WWE 2K Showcase details have not yet been announced, this period of his career will surely be among those on display. 


Price will be at the peak as you’ll have to spend $119.99 to secure this version of WWE 2K23, but it will include all of the Deluxe Edition perks outlined above including Early Access. In addition, the WWE 2K23 Icon Edition will have the following: 

  • Ruthless Aggression Pack
    • Prototype John Cena Playable Character
    • Leviathan Batista Playable Character
    • Throwback Randy Orton Playable Character
    • Throwback Brock Lesnar Playable Character
    • WrestleMania 22 Arena
    • John Cena Legacy Championship
  • Icon Edition Bonus Pack
    • Emerald Paul Heyman MyFACTION Manager Card
    • 3 Deluxe Premium Launch MyFACTION Packs

With just under two months until WWE 2K23 arrives, there are sure to be more reveals in the coming weeks as 2K shows fans what all will be on display in the Showcase. Based on everything shown so far, iconic opponents like Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Batista, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar are all among those who could get their own entry in the 2K Showcase.


Patches Chance

Hey yo, Patches Chance here bringing nearly a decade as a writer and editor to the table which included Paste Magazine, Heavy, Daily DDT, App Trigger, Dork Side of the Force, RealSport101, and of course OutsiderGaming.

 

Please don't flip the table, we just had it replaced.

 

Scarlet/Violet is the only thing I'm really actively playing at the moment. My favorite game is BioShock, and the hardware I have right now is PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series S, and PS4.

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