Even though Wrestlemania doesn’t happen until mid-next year, we can't help but think wrestling fans will create their own cards with WWE 2K15 set to arrive for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One November 18. The game features a variety of playable superstars, including past favorites along with new-school talent, such as Eric Rowan, Luke Harper and Roman Reigns.
It's hard to pick favorites from such a talented lineup, but we buckled down and selected 12 superstars you should try at least once, if only to dominate your opponent and get the three-count. Plus, they can always do you some good during a Royal Rumble.
"Whatcha gonna do, brother?!" Back in the 80s and 90s, we grew up watching Hulk consistently overcome the odds in a number of outstanding matches. With WWE 2K15 you can do it all over again, pitting him against Cesaro, Bray Wyatt and others to see who comes out on top. With his immense strength, the big boot and the leg drop, he's an easy cinch to win – even if you pick his villainous Hollywood persona.
Out of all the new superstars making their debut in WWE 2K15, we prefer the raw power of Roman Reigns. This former member of The Shield is a powerhouse, between his Spear technique and the flying Superman Punch. On top of that, he can put stronger men to shame, throwing around the likes of Ryback and Brock Lesnar like rag dolls. Yep, believe that.
There aren't many Divas in WWE 2K15 (at least, not yet – DLC could add a few), but if we had to choose one, it'd be A.J. Lee. With her unmatchable speed and stunning array of moves, she can easily pin the likes of Brie and Nikki Bella flat, as well as newcomers like Paige and Cameron. Plus, her Widow submission is one of the best featured in the game.
Even though he's currently recovering from surgery, the "Yes!" man deserves a nod on our list. Bryan is a remarkable athlete, capable of a number of superhuman feats in the ring, whether it's diving outside the ropes to a waiting opponent, or nailing him with a drop kick in the corner. On top of that, we pity anyone that gets caught in his Yes Lock, because it's an easy win for him. Yes! Yes! Yes!
There's no way we can leave Lesnar off the list – especially considering how easily he wiped the floor with John Cena at Summerslam just a few months ago. What Lesnar lacks in style, he more than makes up for with brute force, as he can easily suplex his opponent into another universe. Throw in his devastating F5 finisher and you have a champion that even the likes of Paul Heyman could be proud of.
Of course the Viper, aka "RKO Outta Nowhere" has to make the list. Randy Orton has proven his versatility in a number of matches over the years, whether it's nailing an opponent with a DDT off the ropes, or power slamming him to the mat. Of course, it's when he hits the RKO – or better yet, a punt out of the corner of the ring – that you truly see where he earned his nickname.
Indeed, the Icon is a superb addition to this year's roster. Whether you play as his Ultimate Warrior-esque painted character from the 80s or his darker, Crow face persona from the Nitro days, he's a force to be reckoned with, especially if he catches you in his Scorpion Death Drop. With him around, it's definitely showtime, folks.
One of the better up-and-coming stars to emerge in the WWE over the past year is the freakish Bray Wyatt, the master of the crab walk and the kind of antics that would give normal wrestlers nightmares. His in-ring persona is perfectly captured in the game, between his twisted laughing taunt and his head-crushing finisher, Sister Abigail. If you don't end up selecting him, be prepared to follow the buzzards.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Even though he hasn't wrestled in the WWE for years, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin remains one of the company's bigger high profile superstars. The main reason is the Stone Cold Stunner, which he's dropped on a number of occasions over the years, followed by well-deserved beer guzzling. His iconic style remains intact in the game, right down to the "Hell yeah!" taunts. Now if we could just get the crowd to say "What?" more.
Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? Even though he moved on to Hollywood, this legendary superstar proved that he still has what it takes, standing toe-to-toe with John Cena at Wrestlemania just a year and a half ago. Get in the ring with him and you'll need to be prepared for a whooping, as he brings everything from The People's Elbow to the Rock Bottom to the table. You deserve it, jabronie.
Although C.M. Punk is no longer with the company – his public departure has made quite a few waves in the wrestling industry – he's present and accounted for in the game, and we couldn't be more thankful. Punk's wrestling style is still the "best in the world," especially when he puts his opponents in his Go To Sleep finisher. He doesn't drop any "pipe bombs" in the game, but no doubt you'll still feel his presence, one way or another.
Last but certainly not least, we couldn't forget the Dead Man. For 21 straight Wrestlemanias, he stunned audiences with his unforgettable arsenal of moves, including the powerful Tombstone piledriver and the iconic chokeslam. Even though the streak ended at the hands of Brock Lesnar earlier this year, he's still one of our favorites. Compete against the phenom and you will rest…in peace.
Even though we didn't mention John Cena, chances are most people play him anyway.
WWE 2K15 is available tomorrow for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.