(c) WWE 2K22
As fans of professional wrestling know, the expected release date of WWE 2K22 has been changed to March, 2022. Unfortunately, this change has to do with the number of wrestlers who had been previously scanned for the upcoming video game, yet have recently lost their jobs.
On a positive note, this opens the window for a more polished video game. We haven't seen a mainline WWE video game since 2019, when WWE 2K20 was released to mixed critical reception. Despite major backlash from fans, I don't think WWE 2K20 was that bad. Before we jump into today's blog post, let's look at a trailer for WWE 2K22.
(c) WWE 2K22
So... what do I think would make this game "hit different"? (the tagline)
In the world of professional wrestling, wrestlers are often protected- even when they lose. For example, Tommaso Ciampa's match against Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver: In Your House (2020). Ciampa is a former NXT Champion, having held the title for 237 days back in 2018.
When Kross faced Ciampa in 2020, it was important for Kross to win in dominating fashion. However, Ciampa is a fan-favourite in NXT. He's a main event player. So, his character also needed to be protected.
Although Kross won the match by submission (in just a few minutes), Ciampa didn't actually tap out. Instead, Kross forced Ciampa to pass out while in a submission hold. So, why is this important when it comes to WWE 2K22? Well, as a fan of professional wrestling I love creating my own fantasy storylines.
In some cases, professional wrestlers are known for their submission finishing moves. Another example is current Smackdown Women's Champion, Becky Lynch.
(c) WWE. I have never actually witnessed someone pass out to Lynch's finisher. However, most people physically tap out when the move is applied.
At WrestleMania 37, Bobby Lashley defended his WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre. Lashley needed to retain, so that's what happened. Of course, Lashley won by submission. However, this was the result when McIntyre slipped into unconsciousness. From my perspective, that was the right move. McIntyre losing through passing out makes both wrestlers looks strong, which was ideal booking.
With respect to WWE 2K22, I think submission aspects of matches should drastically change. More specifically, players should have the option of forcing their opponent to pass out while applying submission holds. In turn, this would allow for captivating story progression. Of course, similar submission systems have been featured in previous WWE games. However, the specific option of forcing your opponent to pass out would be an entirely-new aspect of WWE video games.
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