WWE 2K18: Predicting Every Main Roster Star's Rating

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2017

WWE 2K18: Predicting Every Main Roster Star's Rating

0 of 18

    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE and 2K Games will release WWE 2K18 on October 17, which will feature the top stars in all of professional wrestling.

    As is the case with most sports games, one of the most intriguing elements of each year's presentation is the overall rating for each of the Superstars featured within.

    Often controversial, the too high or too low ratings generate buzz and lead to heated discussion board arguments about a specific Superstar's assigned number.

    In preparation for this year's release, take a look at these predicted ratings for every main roster star featured in the game.

    They are determined based on placement on the card, involvement on ongoing storylines and their attributes between the ropes.

    There is an emphasis on the top singles stars, who will be previewed individually.

    Think someone is predicted too high or low?

    Sound off in the comments and let your voice be heard.

The Afterthoughts

1 of 18

    Credit: WWE.com

    The WWE roster is so brimming with Superstars that there are, naturally, Superstars who fail to receive the support of the writing team. They are the afterthoughts, and they are sure to be the lowest-ranked of the male Superstars.


    Aiden English (74)

    The Artist is a solid worker and can draw a reaction, but he is near the bottom of the SmackDown Live totem pole. A below-average 74 feels right, even if he is better and deserving of more than that.


    Apollo Crews (80)

    The former NXT standout has been bogged down by poor booking to the point that he has become an afterthought in the Titus Worldwide faction meant to elevate his star. A superb athlete, he just matters too little to rank any higher.


    Chad Gable (78)

    The Olympian may have taken AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Rusev to the brink of defeat, but his inability to win those matches, coupled with lackluster results during his American Alpha days on SmackDown Live, leave him as underrated and undervalued in WWE 2K18 as he is in the real world.


    Curt Hawkins (69)

    The self-proclaimed "Star Maker" Curt Hawkins has been beaten down by everyone on the Raw roster since his return last summer. A bottom-of-the-barrel 69 reflect his status as the biggest tackling dummy of all.


    Darren Young (80)

    The former Prime Time Player has suffered his fair share of injuries, cutting short a number of pushes. Unable to build any momentum for himself, he wallows near the bottom of this year's roster.


    Erick Rowan (81)

    The White Sheep has fallen deep into obscurity, a non-entity on SmackDown Live. He is a powerhouse who has consistently improved his in-ring game but has not been met with much in the way of an opportunity over the last year.


    Goldust (82)

    A veteran of the mat game, The Bizarre One underwent a heel turn in 2016. Since then, he has teased the debut of his masterpiece, keeping himself somewhat relevant despite a recent lack of television time.


    Jason Jordan (79)

    Jordan's recent singles push likely came just a bit late to be reflected in his WWE 2K18 rating. A tag team specialist during his stint on SmackDown Live, and not a terribly successful one at that, the former American Alpha teammate ranks one point higher than his partner Gable.


    Kalisto (80)

    A luchador with two United States Championship reigns to his name and a high-flying arsenal, he ranks higher than others on the list without those accolades. Still, his presence in WWE has been nonexistent of late.


    Luke Harper (83)

    The highest-rated of the so-called afterthoughts, Harper is a brawler in the same vein as Stan Hansen who cannot seem to catch a break with WWE Creative. No matter how good he is, or how strongly he performs against the top stars on the roster, he remains a forgotten member of the SmackDown Live roster.


    R-Truth (82)

    Truth has been through a number of tag team partners, enjoyed several high-profile pushes and has even won some gold since his return to WWE in 2009. As 2017 comes to an end, though, he is lost in the shuffle on Monday nights, and his 82 rating reflects as much.


    Sin Cara (73)

    Sin Cara may very well be the definition of an afterthought in WWE. He has not appeared on television in months despite being a solid in-ring performer. The lack of momentum and screen time leads to an appropriately underwhelming rating.


    Titus O'Neil (82)

    The leader of Titus Worldwide is a pummeling force of nature who stays on television despite little direction. That helps him achieve an 82 rating, on par with R-Truth, who routinely finds himself in a similar situation.


    Tye Dillinger (81)

    No matter how beloved he may be, it is difficult to foresee a situation in which Dillinger is rated any higher than 81. Even that may be generous given his placement on the card.


    Kane (80)

    The Big Red Monster may not have appeared regularly over the last year, but his reputation precedes him. An 85 may be high in relation to what he has accomplished of late, but it suits his status as a bona fide Hall of Fame-worthy Superstar.


    Mark Henry (81)

    See Kane.

The Cruiserweights

2 of 18

    Credit: WWE.com

    The cruiserweights have been treated like a sideshow since their arrival on the Raw brand, but WWE 2K18 gives fans the opportunity to play with their favorite Superstars and maybe forge a better path for them than WWE Creative has to this point.


    Akira Tozawa (84)

    Akira Tozawa may have won the cruiserweight title six days before SummerSlam, but that likely came too little, too late to justify a higher grade in this year's game. Still, he has routinely been presented as one of the better cruiserweights on the roster, and an 84 reflects as much.


    Brian Kendrick (82)

    The eccentric Brian Kendrick returns to WWE games for the first time in years, earning an 82 rating as a former cruiserweight champion. Always near the top of the division, Kendrick has brought a veteran presence to a roster full of youthful, exciting talents.


    Cedric Alexander (83)

    Cedric Alexander may be the best wrestler in the entire cruiserweight division, but injury and an unwillingness to push him to the forefront of the division has led to monotony and creative lethargy. His 83 rating will not reflect his actual in-ring abilities. Not even close.


    Enzo Amore (76)

    Enzo Amore may be one of the most popular stars on the WWE roster, but as a wrestler, he is nowhere near his peers. He is a silver-tongued verbal assaulter, but when the bell rings, there is very little he does that could be considered overly good. A new addition to a cruiserweight division brimming with spectacular workers, his weaknesses are even more apparent. A low rating of 76 makes sense here.


    Gran Metalik (80)

    The masked luchador is the epitome of an undefined character. There has been absolutely zero character development to speak of, and he only just recently began to make his presence felt on Tuesday night's 205 Live. An 80 is probably too high based on booking, but not ability.


    Jack Gallagher (80)

    The delightfully different cruiserweight had a fantastic championship match with Neville last February, demonstrating his considerable in-ring abilities on top of his quirky personality. An 80 may feel a bit low, but it also reflects the "middle of the pack" cruiserweight management has presented him as.


    Neville (87)

    The King of the Cruiserweights will be the highest-ranked in the division, and rightfully so. Since his return last December and his ascension to the top of the cruiserweight roster, he has been unstoppable. His 87 rating is representative of his greatness within the division in 2017.


    Noam Dar (72)

    The Scotsman is typically presented as the jobber of the cruiserweight division. The lowest ranking in the division represents that perfectly.


    Rich Swann (80)

    Much like the other cruiserweights in the division, Rich Swann is an above-average wrestler who has become just another face in the crowd. A rating of 80, just like that of Gallagher and Gran Metalik, makes sense given booking trends.


    TJP (83)

    The first cruiserweight champion mirrors Cedric Alexander's 83 rating. Similar workers who are both considered premier members of the division without actually being given championship runs in 2017, it is only fitting they share a solid rating.

The Tag Teams

3 of 18

    The tag team roster may not be the strongest it has ever been, but it is plentiful, including both the former Raw tag team titleholders and the current SmackDown champions.


    The Ascension (Konnor: 69, Viktor: 68)

    The Ascension may be a hilarious addition to The Fashion Files, but they are hardly what WWE considers a legitimate threat to any tag team on SmackDown Live, as their booking suggests. Ratings near the very bottom of the game make the most sense.


    The Miztourage (Bo Dallas: 73, Curtis Axel: 73)

    Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel were thrown together as the inaugural members of The Miztourage, positioning themselves alongside the current intercontinental champion and competing against high-profile stars like Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in the process. Still, that is not enough to warrant a higher rating for either of the Superstars.


    The Usos (Jimmy Uso: 84, Jey Uso: 83)

    For some reason, one tag team member is almost always rated above another. That is literally the only reason for rating Jimmy above Jey here. The ratings could almost be interchangeable that one point matters so little.


    Luke Gallows (82) and Karl Anderson (81)

    Gallows' power is likely to warrant him at least a one-point advantage over Anderson. As singles, they are nondescript. As a team, they should be one of the better duos on the roster.


    Heath Slater (75) and Rhyno (79)

    Heath Slater is one of the laughing stocks of WWE; a comedic act who puts smiles on faces and generates genuine humor. Rhyno is a smashing, pummeling competitor whose ferocity and brawling will benefit him in comparison to his partner.


    The New Day (Kofi Kingston: 86, Big E: 85, Xavier Woods: 85)

    The New Day has been the elite tag team in WWE for three years now, thanks to their record-breaking title reign and status as a major merchandise mover. Kofi Kingston, a decorated singles competitor, should naturally rate higher than his partners, who are no slouches as singles performers in their own right.


    The Revival (Scott Dawson: 81, Dash Wilder: 80)

    The Revival is one of those acts where the sum is most definitely greater than its parts. Both Dawson and Wilder are smashmouth wrestlers whose styles punish opponents, but neither is a threat to do the type of damage they do as a duo.


    The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder: 78, Mojo Rawley: 81)

    There is no reason Mojo Rawley should rank higher than Zack Ryder, but given WWE trends and the weight Rawley's victory in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will carry, he will. The team has not generated much success on SmackDown Live, but they are a fun, energetic one that could make for enjoyable play.


    Breezango (Tyler Breeze: 77, Fandango: 78)

    The most entertaining act in WWE right now, Tyler Breeze and Fandango make their debut as the Fashion Police in this year's game. They will not be rated highly, but they will likely be favorites for gamers.


    Sheamus (88) and Cesaro (87)

    The former Raw tag team champions will be the highest-rated team in the game, if only because their individual parts are rated so high. Sheamus is a three-time WWE champion and world champion. Cesaro is one of the best technicians in the promotion. Their united front is a difficult one for any other duo to overcome.


    The Colons (Epico: 75, Primo: 76)

    The most nondescript, least interesting team on the roster makes yet another appearance in WWE games. Their rating, like their talent, will be about average.

The Women's Revolution

4 of 18

    Credit: WWE.com

    The Women's Revolution continues to dominate headlines in WWE as the women's divisions of both Raw and SmackDown Live thrive on the backs of talented performers, bold characters and intriguing personas.

    Assuming WWE wishes to reflect the increased importance of women on its programming by giving them their highest ratings ever, the female talent could rank higher than several significant Superstars elsewhere on the roster.


    Alexa Bliss (84)

    A four-time women's champion across two brands, Bliss has become one of the biggest breakout characters of the brand extension and the face of women's wrestling on Raw. Her rating reflects an enormous jump in relevance as opposed to last year's game.


    Alicia Fox (73)

    Though she is a former Divas champion, Alicia Fox has long been at or near the bottom of the women's division, heated up only when WWE Creative needs a fresh face to keep a champion busy for a month. A low rating is to be expected.


    Asuka (89)

    No, Asuka has not made her debut on the main roster yet, but when she does, she will unleash the same hell on those unfortunate souls around her as she did in NXT. An 89 may appear too generous, but the full scope of her dominance warrants it.


    Bayley (85)

    A former Raw women's champion, Bayley's character has been flawed, but her in-ring output has not been. An elite performer between the ropes, the 85 rating is deserved.


    Becky Lynch (84)

    The first SmackDown women's champion, Becky Lynch has fallen off in importance, but her in-ring skills are second to few. Submission, striking and her babyface comeback should combine to make her one of the top female Superstars in the game.


    Nikki Bella (80)

    Yes, Nikki Bella should be rated lower than 80 given her last year with the company, but her status as a reality television star and the soon-to-be Mrs. John Cena will secure her a higher rating than she has earned.


    Carmella (78)

    She may have won Money in the Bank and she may be poised to capture SmackDown gold, but WWE Creative has never shied away from the idea that she is not as good as her peers, and thus, she must cheat. A 78 rating may not reflect her status on the show but it does her in-ring ability.


    Charlotte Flair (88)

    She may not be the highest-ranked female in the game, but Charlotte Flair has been positioned as the measuring stick in the women's division from the moment she arrived. Asuka may rate higher, but Flair could be the best and most enjoyable character to play with.


    Dana Brooke (70)

    Dana Brooke does not have the experience to rank any higher than 70. She is very much the lesser of the female workers but has a power that others do not. That is good enough to prevent her from falling in the sub-60s.


    Emma (75)

    Like her character champions for more opportunities, her in-game persona should be begging the folks at 2K Games for a better ranking. Lack of television time, injury and irrelevance for much of the last year certainly hurt her here.


    Mickie James (80)

    Mickie James gets the benefit of a Hall of Fame resume and an in-ring skill set on par with most, earning an 80 rating despite the fact that she has become lost in the shuffle on Monday nights.

    Natalya (81)

    Natalya may be the current SmackDown women's champion, but her lack of creative direction will be taken into account. Despite a submission-based style that should help her win many a match at the end of a PS4 controller, her status as a secondary performer on the brand will be taken into consideration when rating her.


    Naomi (83)

    The queen of glow reigned as SmackDown women's champion on two separate occasions and established herself as a premier star in the division after years of frustration.


    Nia Jax (81)

    Jax will rate moderately, her recent march toward the women's title not taken into consideration. That is a shame given how improved she has become in such little time.


    Paige (77)

    Look for WWE to downplay Paige's significance with a low rating that reflects the diminishing of her star since 2016 and her absence due to injury.


    Sasha Banks (85)

    The Boss' push may be somewhat disjointed, with championship victories followed by quick defeats, but she is an elite performer in WWE and one of the company's top stars. One of the higher ratings among women is a given.


    Summer Rae (67)

    It is interesting to see Summer Rae listed for the game given how nonexistent she has been on WWE television. The lowest rating on the roster is fitting.


    Tamina (72)

    Tamina's push is still in its infancy, meaning her rating in the game is not likely to take that into consideration.

Facing a Glass Ceiling

5 of 18

    There are those Superstars not considered the game's elite who will be lacking just a few points to truly rank at or near the top of the roster.


    Baron Corbin (85)

    The Lone Wolf is the now-former Mr. Money in the Bank and one of the stars of WWE's future. A ranking just below the best in the game should be expected considering his status on the SmackDown Live roster.


    Big Cass (84)

    The 7'0" Superstar is fresh off dismantling Enzo Amore and Big Show in consecutive rivalries. Though he is hurt and sidelined for the foreseeable future, he should be a force to be reckoned with once the game hits the shelves this October.


    Big Show (83)

    The World's Largest Athlete will always be near the top of the game ratings due to the way Vince McMahon sees him. He is an elite big man who can convincingly work with top stars when the time comes. His contributions are many, and he is well-decorated.


    Bobby Roode (89)

    The former NXT champion and current SmackDown Live Superstar had a banner year in 2017. His rating will reflect victories over Shinsuke Nakamura and his status as the top dog in the developmental brand.


    Bray Wyatt (87)

    The former WWE champion has the strength and a brawling style that helps boost him but is hardly the mat technician that others rated similarly or better are. It is the one element of his game preventing a higher overall rating.


    Dolph Ziggler (86)

    Even though his use on television has been as poor as it has ever been, Ziggler still has an arsenal of skills that allow him to come in at a solid 86 in what may very well be his final WWE video game appearance.


    The Miz (89)

    The current intercontinental champion has been one of the brightest spots of WWE television the last two years, and finally, that status is reflected in his video game rating. The argument could even be made that his skills, charisma and contributions to WWE over the last 12 months is deserving of a rating in the 90s.


    Rusev (86)

    The Bulgarian Brute may not have much in the way of success to speak of over the last year, but he is still highly regarded enough to work with John Cena and Randy Orton on SmackDown.


    Sami Zayn (85)

    One of the best wrestlers on the planet will be as underappreciated by 2K Games as he is by WWE officials, netting a mid-80s rating rather than the higher one that would better represent his abilities.


    Samoa Joe (89)

    Samoa Joe's rating will likely represent the biggest injustice in the entire game. Despite taking Brock Lesnar to the limit, winning the Fatal 5-Way match at Extreme Rules and working alongside the top stars in the industry on Raw, he will top out at an insulting 89.

Jinder Mahal (86)

6 of 18

    The current WWE champion is the lowest-rated of the top Superstars, coming in at a humbling 86.

    It is hard to argue.

    Mahal came from the lower midcard to enjoy a sudden and unexpected push to the title.

    He has a rather basic offense, devoid of exciting moves or dazzling finishers. He is a solid worker with a strong heel personality that generates heat from audiences. It works for him and has helped him develop into a stronger champion than most likely expected him to be.

    Add to that the fact that many of his signature wins occurred at a time when 2K Games was working to put the game together, who knows if his rating will reflect everything he has accomplished since May.

    Mahal figures to be a risky choice for those gamers expecting to roll through popular game modes and online play with The Modern Day Maharaja.

Braun Strowman (90)

7 of 18

    The biggest surprise of this year's game is Braun Strowman, who seized an opportunity presented to him in 2016 and became one of the biggest stars in all of professional wrestling in '17.

    Presented as an unstoppable force, he has laid waste to the likes of Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar since his ascension to the top of the Raw brand.

    Last year, he rated a rather average 78, his biggest weakness being speed and technique.

    Leaner, faster, meaner and strong than ever, he makes up for it just 12 months later with a 90 rating that figures to be the gateway to a bigger, more impressive one next year.

    Especially if he can knock off Lesnar for the Universal Championship at September 24's No Mercy pay-per-view.

Randy Orton (90)

8 of 18

    Randy Orton has had some of his worst main event matches in 2017, but name value alone will allow him to rank near the top of the game with a 90 rating.

    The Viper is a decorated main event attraction who can stroll right back on television and resume his role as a main event star.

    An old-school worker whose strengths include a grounded game in which he wears his opponent down, weakening his head and neck for the eventual RKO. He is not flashy and will never obliterate the opposing gamer, but he has the coolest finisher in the industry.

    And it can be hit from out of nowhere.

Dean Ambrose (90)

9 of 18

    Dean Ambrose is an interesting case in that he should not come anywhere near Samoa Joe's predicted rating of 89, especially when you take into account the 2017 they have each had, but The Lunatic Fringe is such a staple of WWE programming that there is no chance in hell officials rank him outside of the elite Superstars.

    Reins as intercontinental and tag team champion will help his cause, as will his frenetic style, but there still feels like something is wrong with him being placed in the same stratosphere as Nakamura, Reigns, Styles and Owens.

    His status as a headliner, though, makes up for any creative disappointments or in-ring deficiencies in comparison to his peers.

    He was a 90 in the 2K17 game, in which he entered as WWE champion.

    Expect that rating to hold this year.

Kevin Owens (91)

10 of 18

    The Prizefighter won the WWE Universal Championship just weeks before the company released WWE 2K17. He would hold the title until February, defeat Chris Jericho for the United States Championship shortly thereafter and engage AJ Styles in what would become one of the highest-profile rivalries on SmackDown Live.

    In the process, he earned signature wins, beat top guys and ensured that his rating in this year's game would be among the highest.

    Last year's 86 will feel like an eternity ago as KO lands at 91.

    Owens' fury, power and deceptive speed are attributes fans look for when choosing a Superstar to play online or against their friends. His brawling ability makes him valuable to those battling in Street Fights, ladder matches and Last Man Standing bouts.

    His rating is well-deserved given his status as a Superstar who was probably undervalued and most certainly underrated a year ago.

Shinsuke Nakamura (91)

11 of 18

    A two-time NXT champion and the Superstar tasked with carrying the SmackDown Live brand into the future, Shinsuke Nakamura is an international icon who has recently netted victories over John Cena and Randy Orton.

    Even without those wins accounted for in the game, he has done enough and won enough to be rated as highly as a predicted 91.

    He has been positioned firmly atop SmackDown, even if his push toward WWE has only just begun.

    Nakamura is a franchise star still finding his way on the main roster, suggesting an even higher rating awaits next year.

    With a strong style that favors strikes and submissions, and a devastating Kinshasa finisher, Nakamura is sure to be a favorite of fans looking to punch, kick, stomp and dazzle their way to victory.

Finn Balor (92)

12 of 18

    The very first universal champion, Finn Balor exploded back onto WWE programming the night after WrestleMania 33, and while he has not been back in title contention since, he has remained a star for the flagship show.

    An NXT export who has thrived under the bright lights of WWE, he currently finds himself engaged in a rivalry with Bray Wyatt that often feels like a placeholder as the company comes up with something more meaningful to do.

    Balor is a well-rounded wrestler who can strike, brawl and, when necessary, fly. He was one of the better characters in the 2K17 incarnation of the game series.

    Look for that to continue as Balor nets a 92 rating that will place him in the upper echelon of characters in this year's game.

Chris Jericho (92)

13 of 18

    The List of Jericho will invade WWE 2K18 this year as Chris Jericho improves upon his jaw-droppingly low rating of 87 from the year before with a more apropos 92.

    A marquee star for WWE again in 2017, Jericho re-established himself as one of the most adaptable performers in company history. Whether a heel or a babyface, he captivated audiences, launched new catchphrases and proved he could be as entertaining now as he was when he arrived in 1999.

    While he may be taking a leave of absence to accomplish ventures outside of WWE, he will be back, and when he is, he will once again be one of the most beloved characters in all of the video games.

    Don't believe me?

    You just made the list! 

Roman Reigns (94)

14 of 18

    Despite beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, the year 2017 has not been a banner one for The Big Dog.

    Reigns has lost more pay-per-view matches than he has won and has been eclipsed by the massive Braun Strowman. Still the three-time WWE champion remains the face of Monday Night Raw and one of the highest-profile Superstars in the industry.

    He is also the most polarizing, making his reaction in the game even more interesting to see when it is released in October.

    As is the case in real life, the Superman Punch and Spear will be his greatest weapons while he is likely to benefit the user in hardcore-style matches that allow him to inflict more damage on his opponent.

Seth Rollins (94)

15 of 18

    The 2K18 cover athlete, Seth Rollins, may be saddled in a tag team with Dean Ambrose, but The Kingslayer's rating of 94 puts him on par with his other Shield teammate, Roman Reigns, as one of the elite in the game.

    It is not difficult to see why.

    Rollins knocked off the mighty Triple H at WrestleMania 33 and won tag team gold. He has consistently performed at the top of the Raw roster and employs a multifaceted style that favors unique and interesting game play as opposed to the "punch and smash" approach other Superstars favor.

    Above all, he is cool.

    He does cool moves and is an internet darling.

    Rollins would be a favorite to use in the game even if he was not highly rated. That he will be, and is on the cover of this year's offering, only helps.

John Cena (94)

16 of 18

    The franchise star makes what may very well be his final appearance in a WWE video game as a main roster Superstar, notching a 94 rating.

    The 16-time champion returned to the squared circle this summer, picking up right where he left off. Sure, he has a big clean loss to Shinsuke Nakamura hovering over him but he has also defeated both Rusev and Baron Corbin in high-profile matches and will square off with Roman Reigns at No Mercy on September 24.

    Always one of the highest-rated athletes in the game, a few months off to film a movie is not going to change that.

    Nor will a reduced schedule going forward.

AJ Styles (95)

17 of 18

    The Phenomenal One has been WWE champion and a two-time United States champion since the release of WWE 2K17. He has beaten everyone from Dean Ambrose to John Cena to Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens while reaffirming his spot as one of the best in the industry.

    Last year's game ranked him an embarrassing 89.

    That will not be the case this year as the measuring stick for in-ring performance in WWE earns the second-highest rating in the game, just behind Brock Lesnar, with a 95.

    For someone who has routinely saved shows with the quality of his matches, and who brings a combination of aerial assault and ground-and-pound to his performances, it is much deserved.

Brock Lesnar (98)

18 of 18

    The Beast Incarnate is once again the universal champion and the blockbuster attraction for WWE.

    Though he was the cover athlete in last year's game, expect Lesnar to be an even bigger badass this year. Perhaps because he has proved he can take an ass-kicking and come back stronger, more violent and punishing than ever.

    The former UFC heavyweight champion can outwrestle the opponent, bash their face in with a series of forearms and finish them off with a devastating F-5. His speed may not be up to par with other Superstars in similar positions, but he does not need it to be.

    If The Beast gets his hands on you, you pay.

    It is that simple and a major reason fans will jump at the opportunity to pummel their opposition into dust with the massive competitor.