WWE '12: The Final 11 Spots
In a little over a month, the new wrestling simulator game WWE '12 will be released. In this game, players will be able to take control of their favorite WWE superstar, or one of their own creation, and wrestle through the ranks to eventually become WWE champion.
The WWE gaming series has been around for quite some time now and one of the things that gets fans most excited is the big roster reveal. This year, on Sept. 2, fans were granted the largest roster in the series and it was packed with stars from all eras.
We received WWE legends such as Arn Anderson and Ricky Steamboat—who will actually be making his return from last year's game. There are also the Attitude Era heroes, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock and the greats of today such as John Cena and Randy Orton,.
Then, it was revealed just a few days ago that Brock Lesnar would be "The Next Big Thing" to hit the WWE '12 roster.
But, for all the great and legendary stars that are currently in the game, there are still 13 mystery spots left. And while there are hundreds upon hundreds of deserving former WWE superstars and divas who could fill in those 13 slots, there are a specific group that I would love to see.
If Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels—who I think are fairly obvious inclusions into the game—are added now, then that leaves 11 spots open.
So, I will list the superstars or divas, who I believe should fill the spots, and give them a rating I feel is appropriate based on their overall success in the WWE.
The list will start with former divas, followed by former WWE superstars and then the legends will finish off the list.
The Quintessential WWE Diva: Trish Stratus
The diva of the decade, Trish Stratus, is considered by many to be the greatest females to ever step in a professional wrestling ring.
Stratus began her professional wrestling career the same way many divas in the WWE did: She was a model who got convinced to wrestle. When she first came out, not many could see the former fitness model winning the women's championship. And yet, she won it a record-breaking seven times.
Both, critics and fans appreciated how much Stratus grew in the ring. Her rivalry with fellow diva, Lita, was one of the best ever, with the two constantly switching roles as face and heel. Over the years, everyone came to respect the quintessential WWE diva.
When Stratus returned a few months ago for Wrestlemania XXVII, she received a huge pop from the crowd. She gained sympathy when she got the cold shoulder from teammate John Morrison, and even though she participated in a fairly subpar match, Stratus still got praise. Plus, she was chosen as a judge for the most recent edition of Tough Enough along with Stone Cold Steven Austin and Booker T.
Overall, Stratus needs to be in the WWE '12 game just because of who she is: One of the most popular divas in a long time.
As for her ranking, I think Stratus would fit in around 77. That would place her as the highest ranked diva in the game—two points above Beth Phoenix who is a 75—a spot she truly deserves.
And of course, the Chick Kick and Stratusfaction would be the iconic finishers of the always beautiful and incredibly talented Trish Stratus.
While it wasn't necessarily single-handed, Lita did do a lot to revolutionize the Diva's division.
There were not a whole lot of moonsaults and hurricaranas back then. Even now, there's not a whole lot.
Overall, the queen of extreme was just that, extreme. Whether she was taking on superstars twice her size, or battling against her greatest rival during the main event of Raw, Lita did it with a recklessness and intensity that was both impressive and mesmerizing.
Lita actually started her career in Mexico and before long, she was with the Hardy Boyz as part of Team Xtreme. She got a lot of heat from cheating on Matt Hardy and that, unfortunately, led to her early retirement.
I personally have no doubt Lita would have tied, or maybe even broken, Trish Stratus's seven time women's championship reigns had she stayed.
As for her ranking, Lita is a bit tricky. I had a long debate with myself of whether or not I should tie her with Trish or not. After all, the two did have an amazing rivalry that I would love to see played out in the game. But Trish had much more success than Lita. And so, after a lot of deliberation I decided to give Lita a 76.
With that ranking, Lita is just above Beth Phoenix and just below Trish, which I think is a fair place for her. And armed with her devastating Litasault and Lita DDT, Lita will have no problem owning the divas division in WWE '12.
The Ninth Wonder of the World: Chyna
Ah, the roller coaster ride that is Chyna Laurer. From being part of the revolutionary stable DX to becoming the first, and only, female intercontinental champion, to almost being a TNA Knockout—Chyna has accomplished quite a bit in her lifetime.
Regardless of what she does now, Chyna was a one-woman revolution in her own right. She was the first female to take part in the Royal Rumble, the first to win the Intercontinental Title, and the first to wrestle in the men's division full-time.
While she took on huge stars such as Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero, Chyna also began to wrestle with the divas and battled Ivory, Molly Holly and Trish Stratus and had—from what I understand—a great final match against Lita.
Because of the whole Triple H-Stephanie McMahon affair, Chyna parted ways with the WWE.
Even though she left under the most unfortunate of circumstances, and her life has only seemed to go downhill, Chyna still remains a symbol of women power and dominance in women's wrestling today.
Chyna is also very tricky to rank, as I'm not sure whether to rank her with the divas or with the superstars. Logic says, however, that in the off-chance Chyna would be entered into a WWE game, she wouldn't be wrestling men. Therefore, Chyna ties with Trish Stratus at 77.
Armed with her jackknife powerbomb and her pedigree, Chyna is tied for the highest ranked diva in the game.
When Kharma first appeared on WWE, fans everywhere where excited.
Kharma single-handedly change the entire landscape of the WWE diva's division. Then, she got pregnant. Needless to say, fans were rather disappointed. Regardless, she made a huge impact for the short time she was here and fans are clamoring for her to return around Wrestlemania time.
Just by looking at Kharma, you can clearly see that she is not your average female wrestler. She's much stronger. Even the likes of Chyna and Beth Phoenix are dwarfed by the lady formerly known as Awesome Kong.
Before Kharma aired, the WWE universe was given short vignettes that demonstrated Kharma brutally tearing up little dolls to symbolize what she intended to do to the barbie doll divas of the WWE. Sadly, she was not able to live up to this, and after an awkward emotional breakdown and then a slightly uncomfortable exchange with the Bella twins, Kharma's mantra was taken up by the Divas of Doom/Sisters of Salvation.
Because Kharma never actually wrestled in the WWE, I'm going to assign her a 75. She gets ranked this high because while she never actually wrestled, she came in and took out Maryse, Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox, and Eve Torres—all of whom are former divas champions.
With a definite mean streak and a brutal looking Implant Buster, Kharma would be a great name to add to the WWE '12 roster.
Jeff Hardy spent most, if not all, of his WWE career as that crazy guy who would jump off things. And to an extent, that is a pretty fair representation of him. But, there was so much more to Jeff. He and his brother Matt, as the Hardy Boyz, were one of the best tag teams in quite some time. Of the two, Jeff was always the risk-taker.
A lot of people will note that mic skills were not Jeff's forte, but he was fairly good at cutting a promo when he needed to. For the most part, however, Jeff spoke through his actions. He was, and likely still is, one of the most extreme competitors to have ever been in the WWE.
Personal problems stain much of Jeff's singles career, but he is still a five-time world champion across two wrestling promotions. And no matter how bad he messed up, fans were still willing to see Jeff come back to do what he did best.
Despite his flair for doing what many considered insane, the Charismatic Enigma was actually a pretty good mat wrestler when he had to be, and could really hold his own against competitors like Triple H and Randy Orton—which he would often have to do before he would be allowed to show off high-flying nature.
Going off his two stints in WWE, Jeff Hardy ranks in at 93. He was a main eventer for much of his return. And to beat the likes of Triple H, you need to be pretty good.
Jeff enters the game armed with the pinnacle of his high-flying moves, the Swanton Bomb, and his signature Twist of Fate.
One of my favorite superstars of the '90s, Tajiri, was a quick and highly technical wrestler. When paired against wrestlers of equal speed, such as Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio, he could put on spectacular matches.
As one of the most underrated superstars of his time, Tajiri didn't win a whole lot of gold during his stint on WWE—he had three Cruiserweight title runs and a Light Heavyweight Championship. He did, however, put on incredible matches and got over without doing a whole lot of speaking.
There is a rumor going around that Tajiri is considering a return to WWE, but I have yet to find anything conclusive. Combined with the fact that he went to Japan to be closer to his family, it's unlikely that he really is coming back.
While he is no longer wrestling in the United States, Tajiri is still a pretty big name overseas in Japan. As for his rating, I'm going to give Tajiri an 86. This puts him around the mid-carder area, competing with Christian (87), Cody Rhodes (86), and Drew McIntyre (84).
That buzzsaw kick was one of the quickest moves and yet it still looked completely devastating. As a little kid, I got scared a few times when I saw someone's neck just snap to the side.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage
I think the video says it all. Everything Randy Savage did was iconic, from his diving elbow, to his flamboyant outfits, to his relationship with Miss Elizabeth. I think Savage was just an icon, and that's really all I can say without repeating everything from the video.
He truly deserved all of the popularity and applause he received over his entire career.
I'm going to give Macho Man a ranking of 94 because he was a main eventer and one of the best there was. And with that iconic elbow, I think Macho Man deserves to be and will be in WWE '12.
The Ultimate Warrior
Another huge name from an era long passed but never forgotten, the Ultimate Warrior certainly looked like a champion.
His physique and his personality were completely unreal. He was just so intense, but so insane that it was hilarious. It's almost as if, with every promo he would cut, the Ultimate Warrior would get that much closer to simply exploding.
He wasn't the best in-ring competitor to ever work in the WWE, but he was good enough. He was also smart enough to use his size and physique to his advantage. After all, a big guy like him should be doing gorilla presses.
Every time he would speak or sprint into the ring, you could feel the adrenaline and the energy. Everything that the Ultimate Warrior did was over the top and there is no one like him in professional wrestling today.
Sadly, the Warrior's WWE career is filled with disputes over money. Despite that, Warrior is a one-time world heavyweight champion and he has even won both match and feud of the year with Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker respectively.
The Ultimate Warrior is coming at 92. He was good, but not amazing, and he doesn't have a lot of championship reigns to his name. Regardless, he's a household name.
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair
The dirtiest player in the game truly deserves that title. But, there are also countless other accolades that Ric Flair could go by.
He was the mastermind behind the Four Horsemen, one of the most established and influential stables in history. Flair jump-started the careers of multi-time world champions Randy Orton and Batista, while he was in Evolution. Flair is considered the master of the figure-four leglock maneuver. And, at 62, he is still wrestling.
Along with being one of the most tenured superstars in history, Flair also holds the distinction of having the most world title reigns in history with sixteen reigns throughout his career. One of the remarkable things about Flair, however, is the longevity of his gimmick. From 1976 to now, Flair has been a limousine ridin' jet flyin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin' son of a gun.
Whenever Flair does his signature knife edge chops, the crowd still shouts "WOO!" like they did many years ago—a true testament to just how established Flair really is. Flair can still take some pretty brutal bumps and while his mobility and agility have diminished over the years, he is still an incredible athlete.
Flair was pretty old while he was in the WWE and he wasn't particularly as mobile as he once was, but he could still compete with the younger talent. He won the WWF Championship twice and set a record for the longest time in a royal rumble match. Regardless, however, most Flair's wins came from his signature cheap shots.
As a result, Ric Flair gets a rank of 92. It was really hard to decide because Flair did win a lot of matches clean, but he also won quite a few of them dirty and that's a really big factor since cheating is rather hard to do in the game. But the "Nature Boy" still has figure-four and that, along with his undeniable charisma, will make him a force to be reckoned with in WWE '12.
Hulk Hogan is a man who can truly call himself immortal. After all these years, his name is still one of the biggest in professional wrestling.
While he was in WWE, he took names such as The Undertaker, the Rock and Triple H to further solidify his legacy.
He was targeted by the Legend Killer Randy Orton and came out on top. When Hogan would come out, he would get a massive pop from the audience. With that third WWE stint, Hogan started a whole new wave of Hulkamania.
Wherever Hogan went, whether it was WCW, WWE, TNA or VH1, he bought viewers. For the past 40 years almost, Hogan has been one of the most famous wrestlers in history. He bought professional wrestling to where it is today—with some help from various big names such as Vince McMahon and Randy Savage.
He is almost 60 years old and Hogan still managed to have, what many consider to be, an incredible match against Sting at Bound for Glory. While I am using only Hogan's time in the WWE, I felt it was important to note just how good Hogan is.
Hulk Hogan ranks in at 94. He is a six-time world champion and one of the biggest names in professional wrestling.
The man whose two title reigns combined lasted 11 years. His first reign alone lasted eight years and is the longest WWE title reign ever.
Yes, Bruno Sammartino was that good.
Bruno Sammartino looks like a world champion. He wasn't the tallest wrestler by far—he was about 6'0''—but he is in possession of one of the most in-shape bodies. Whenever he got into the ring, Sammartino fought like a man possessed. He sold his opponent's moves well and some his strikes looked absolutely painful.
When he spoke, Sammartino was always genuine. He had a voice that was a calm and relaxed, but it wasn't boring to listen to. He was a humble guy and he had traces of an accent, although those factor actually made Sammartino more interesting to listen to. He didn't scream about how he was going to tear apart his opponent. He would say that he worked hard and he went out and did it.
If you watch some of his matches, you'll see how good Sammartino really is and he truly deserves a 95. Although he only had two title reigns, those two reigns were lengthy to say the least and Sammartino was incredible in the ring. With the bearhug submission as his maneuver, Sammartino would likely be one of the best in the game.