So we’ve got good and bad news for those wrestling fans looking forward to the upcoming launch of WWE 2K20, as the developer has just pushed out some more news about the game. Namely, it has been confirmed that WWE 2K20 will include legendary female wrestler Chyna as a roster addition. To date, Chyna has never been in any WWE 2K game. Her last appearance as an official member of the roster was back in WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role. WWE 2K20 marks her first return to the WWE gaming franchise after almost two decades. 2K pushed out a gameplay snippet showing off her entrance in-game, which is unique to her character, includes her blasting pyro out of a handheld cannon. Very fitting for a true badass. Former WWE official Jim Ross described Chyna as “The distinctive athlete was to WWE what Ronda Rousey has been to UFC”, which means this honor of being included in the games was long overdue.
Unfortunately, her character model looks almost nothing like her. This has been a pretty constant issue in the more recent WWE games with 2K. The hair modeling and physics have always been really bad, looking quite stringy and unrealistic, but this is probably one of the more insulting poor translations into a wrestling video game in recent memory. At least they got the outfit right, so that’s something.
The Attitude Era
Sure, wrestling is incredibly scripted and Kayfabe died in the 1980’s, so her wins were the result of a written outcome on the part of the WWE staff, but fans rallied behind Chyna nonetheless. Her prominence peaked during the legendary Attitude Era of the early 2000’s, at a time when Degeneration X ruled the roost and pro wrestling was at its raunchiest. The Attitude Era was defined by excess and pushing the envelope, and many wrestling fans regard it as the hayday of the absurdity of professional wrestling.
The era defined by the likes of Triple H, HBK and Stone Cold Steve Austin was helped along tremendously by Chyna and other WWE stars. The so-called “Ninth Wonder of the World” went from manager for various stables within the industry to a verifiable phenom in her own right. Joan Marie Laurer wrestled her way into multiple major matches and accomplishments, becoming the first woman to wrestle in the Royal Rumble event for WWE, as well as the first female competitor to hold WWF Intercontinental Championship, back when the company was known by that moniker. All in all, it’s great to see the late icon getting some recognition, but the transfer and the manner in which it’s being added to the game isn’t so good.
It’s likely that 2K and WWE are trying to undo some of the damage that later unfortunate circumstances surrounding Chyna caused. As her career within the WWE waned, due to ongoing problems with substance abuse and personal politics within the tumultuous industry, the company quickly distanced itself from the star athlete, especially once she starred in several adult films. This really didn’t mesh with the attempts to leave the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras behind for the modern, PG-rated shows, that we know today.
And while it’s sad that this revival didn’t happen sooner, say before her unfortunate passing in 2016, it’s still nice to have. And only recently did the WWE announce that she would posthumously join the WWE Hall of Fame as a part of D-Generation X, offering her a final needed acknowledgement for her work in the sport.
The well-known female wrestler even went on to become an inspiration for a cadre of female stars within the WWE. Now, she joins the WWE 2K20 roster as part of the Deluxe and Collector’s Editions. Personally, I think it’s kind of scummy of 2K to clearly engage in the cutting of content to offer it at a premium price, but whatever they have to do to pay the bills I guess. And after the NBA 2K20 gambling fiasco, anything seems possible now.
You can check out the entrance in the trailer below. WWE 2K20 is scheduled to come out for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 22nd. I have to hold out hope that they fix the loadtime issues from the previous games, although that hope is little more than a faint glimmer given how poor the models still look.