2K's wrestling franchise steps into the ring once again with WWE 2K16. MCV grapples with the latest merchandise
When it comes to passionate sports devotees, professional wrestling still holds the belt.
For more than three decades, enthusiasts have been fascinated by the sight of two competitors slamming each other into a mat. The number of wrestling followers is increasing, too – especially in Britain.
The UK audience is interesting because it's a fan base that is growing,” explains Bryce Yang, director of brand marketing for WWE at 2K games.
NXT [the WWE division for up-and-coming superstars] has grown as a segment of WWE globally, but has done especially in the UK where fans appreciate that style of wresting more-so.”
There are many major wrestling shows which take place every year. But the hottest calendar date of 2015 for UK fans is sure to be this winter's NXT Tour, which is coming to the country for the very first time.
2K will be promoting new game WWE 2K16 around the shows, meaning fans will be heading to games stores to seek out their wrestling fix.
Ticket sales are doing extremely well,” says Yang.
During the European tour we have tons of activity going on, whether it's media, appearances by the superstars At live events you're hitting fans that have chosen to go to a WWE live event, so it's always a great audience to expose the game to.”
With excitement at a peak during Q4, wrestling lovers will be on the lookout for merchandise to represent their favourite competitors. These include Stone Cold Steve Austin, who takes pride of place as the frontman for WWE 2K16. The title features the franchise's largest roster, making its mainstream appeal bigger than ever.
Wrestling always goes through its ebbs and flows in popularity, but the UK and the US are the two territories in the world where you always have a base line of consumers,” concludes Yang.
Stone Cold Steve Austin 3:16 Authentic T-shirt
Stone Cold Steve Austin is the cover superstar of WWE 2K16 and one of the most successful wrestlers of all time. Although the ‘Texas Rattlesnake' retired in 2003, he has remained a firm fan favourite thanks to his iconic Attitude Era rivalry with The Rock during the 1990s. A member of the WWE Hall of Fame, he now hosts a regular podcast about wrestling. Austin's iconic 3:16 slogan takes pride of place on this shirt, which is one of the best-selling pieces of merchandise in WWE history.
Distributor: WWE EuroShop
WWE Slam Attax: Then, Now, Forever Trading Cards
This brand new line of WWE collectible trading cards features a host of superstars from WWE history, including Sting, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Ultimate Warrior, alongside current WWE and NXT champions such as Seth Rollins, John Cena and Kevin Owens. The cards are available in packs of eight, with Starter Packs including two new championship frame cards, a collector's binder, A1 game guide and game mat, plus a packet of cards, with one guaranteed Limited Edition.
SRP: 4.99 (Starter Pack), 1 (Pack of Eight Cards)
Distributor: Click Entertainment
Contact: 0203 137 3781
The Undertaker T-shirt
The Dead Man lives again on this screen-printed T-shirt. The perfect outfit for pulling off Tombstone Piledrivers.
Manufacturer: 2K Games
Distributor: Take Two Interactive
Contact: 01753 496 600
WWE Elite CollectionSeries 37 John Cena Figure
Massively popular among younger wrestling fans, superstar John Cena is recreated here in articulated toy form.
Distributor: A B Gee of Ripley
Contact: 01773 570 444
Brock Lesnar ‘Suplex City'Street Sign
Brock Lesnar's love of throwing opponents coined the phrase ‘Suplex City'. Lesnar lovers can celebrate with this authentic merchandise.
Distributor: WWE EuroShop
WWE StackDown Blind Bag
These packs contain a random toy of a famous WWE superstar and a collector's guide. There are 12 to collect, plus special extra kits.
Distributor: GP Flair
WWE: Undertaker -The Streak 21-1 DVD
Covering The Undertaker's legendary unbeaten run, this boxset spans 13 years and comes in limited edition coffin-shaped packaging.
Distributor: Fremantle Home Entertainment