The first set of wrestler roster reveals for WWE 2K16 focussed on a new generation of grapplers but old school is well and truly in session with the announcement of this year’s cover star – none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin!
The big cover reveal was meant to be a highlight of World Wrestling Entertainment’s weekly Monday Night RAW show last night but the trailer for the Texas Rattlesnake’s return to the WWE virtual roster reached YouTube and social media sites hours before the live broadcast. And when that glass hit, the internet exploded and wrestling fan’s Facebook new feeds suddenly resembled a Jim Ross commentary – “STONE COLD, STONE COLD, STONE COLD!!”
The figure kneels to brush the dust from the shiny treasure which turns out to be the iconic ‘Smoking Skulls’ belt – the custom championship created by and worn by the Bionic Redneck during his hell-raising reign in the late 90s. With belt hoisted on his shoulder, Stone Cold turns to acknowledge the camera with his trademarked trust-no-one stare. Are we marking out? Oh Hell Yeah.
Despite not being away from the in-ring spotlight for over a decade, Steve is still very much a WWE fan favourite and worldwide public figure particularly thanks to his presence on social network sites with accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. He also hosts a popular podcast which has appeared as part of the original broadcasting on the WWE Network.
Fronting WWE 2K16 could suggest bigger things to come from Stone Cold and the World Wrestling Entertainment and much like WCW icon Sting, who was last year’s blast from the past, could lead to perhaps one more Wrestlemania moment for Austin.
Co-incidentally a match with UFC alumni Brock Lesnar was hinted on a recent edition of the Stone Cold Podcast on WWE Network. And if it doesn’t happen in real life, at least we’ll be able to play it out when both appear in the WWE 2K16 game this Autumn on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3, with PC release expected sometime later.