There is no doubt NXT has become a global phenomenon within pro wrestling, and a brand all its own for WWE. Now it takes another step in its exponential growth with its inclusion in “WWE 2K17,” scheduled for worldwide release on video game consoles Oct. 11.
2K has created an NXT Edition of the game that is limited to 50,000 copies. This will include a copy of the game, exclusive premium packaging, as well as an Enhancement Pack that will give you 50 percent more points in NXT MyCareer and complete with playable characters Shinsuke Nakamura, Nia Jax and Apollo Crews.
If that weren’t enough, fans will get an eight-inch “Demon” Finn Bálor collectible figurine, Topps NXT TakeOver: London mat relics card, Goldberg pack with two playable versions of the legendary figure and an exclusive Canvas 2 Canvas lithograph designed by WWE artist Rob Schamberger and autographed by Nakamura.
Paul “Triple H” Levesque joined Nakamura during a media call to share the big news. The WWE executive vice president of talent, live events and creative was ecstatic to see NXT have a bigger presence in the sports entertainment company’s flagship video game. Another milestone reached for the brand, as WWE games tend to draw mass appeal around the world.
“It’s an incredible pack,” he said.
“NXT has really become the fans’ dream I think in some ways. And I think this is where this game is going to really kick in with them. Having that NXT edition just puts you at a different level. And I’m excited for them, excited about the exploded growth and popularity of NXT and excited that we can carry that over into the 2K17 NXT edition on October 11.”
In many ways, Levesque sounds like a proud papa when he talks about NXT, which was a vision he worked so hard to realize. He takes pride watching performers come from relative obscurity or inexperience and shine over time.
“WWE, no matter how you slice it, is different,” he says.
“It’s a different world, a different product, a different environment. And there’s a learning curve, and you see it with talent. Some adapt faster than others. Some don’t, but watching them adapt and grow. Watching somebody like Finn change and morph and become so much more has been an amazing experience.
“And I look forward to the opportunity of getting to see them through the years. Watching guys like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns. Watching the Wyatt’s over the years, watching just all of them come out of here and kind of grow and blossom into something more has been an amazing opportunity. Especially with the women, watching Charlotte and Sasha [Banks] and Becky Lynch and just the women that have come out of NXT sort of change the industry for themselves has been hugely rewarding.
“Then to get to a game like 2K17 that people play all over the globe is such a massive part of what we do and a massive part of making them huge globally recognized superstars. It’s awesome. I really can’t express how great that feels to watch them be able to do that and grow into something more.”
Levesque also spoke highly of WWE 2K17 cover superstar Brock Lesnar and his recent success at UFC 200. Even though the “Beast Incarnate” is under a WWE contract, he was given the blessing to take the fight for the premiere mixed martial arts company. Levesque views the collaboration as a win-win for everyone involved.
“I think anytime that you could have a WWE performer that can cross over into something else and have that kind of a night or performance,” he says. “Whether that’s going out and making a movie or a television show or competing in something like the UFC, that’s huge.
“To me it speaks to the amazing athlete that Brock Lesnar is. And I know I said this to ESPN, but to be able to come back at such an elite level after a fairly long period of time doing something different, and you know, we are totally different. To be able to come back at that level and just put on that kind of performance and be dominant like that is amazing to me.
“…He is a once-in-a-lifetime combat athlete…It’s a great back and forth. They benefit from it. We benefit from it. And it’s been great. And my hat’s off to Brock. He’s amazing, amazing athlete.”
When talking about unique and impressive performers within the industry, Nakamura is also part of the conversation these days. The Japanese sensation was a high sought after acquisition and has already been welcomed by WWE fans with open arms.
“Shinsuke brings something to the table that I haven’t seen in a long time,” Levesque says.
“He brings a level of charisma, a level of showmanship that you don’t see with a lot of times with guys that have an aggressive style like he does. The striking that he does and the skill set that he does.
“He’s amazing athlete…I think he’s somebody I’ve had my eye on for a long time… One of those guys that it’s harder to explain what he is because, when you start to begin to say it, it just doesn’t do him justice. You kind of just have to say when you’re explaining Shinsuke Nakamura, “You’ve just got to see him. You’ve just got to watch him because it’s awesome. And I think, once you see him, you want to watch him again. He’s that kind of a performer.”
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