John Cena Showcase Matches Revealed

Publisher 2K Games teased the John Cena-centric mode when it was announced WWE 2K23. Now, the company has revealed some of what that Showcase mode will hold when the game launches on the 14th. March for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

The game is the latest Ringside report focuses entirely on this latest Showcase where players play past matches. Iteration in WWE 2K23titled “Never Give Up,” as hinted at in several promos, covers several key moments in John Cena’s year-long career.

Contrary to what many may think, instead of playing as Cena, players will simply face off against him as they recreate some of the most iconic matches in WWE history. There are 14 in total, starting from Cena’s first match against Kurt Angle to his iconic match against the Undertaker at WrestleMania 34. The full list of matches can be found below:

  • SmackDown (2002)John Cena vs. Kurt Angle
  • SummerSlam (2008)John Cena vs. Batista
  • SummerSlam (2006)John Cena vs. Edge
  • New Year’s Revolution (2006)John Cena vs. Edge
  • Night of Champions (2008)John Cena vs. Triple H
  • SummerSlam (2014) – John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
  • Backlash (2003) – John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
  • Vengeance (2003) – John Cena vs. Undertaker
  • Hell in a Cell (2009) – John Cena vs. Randy Orton
  • SummerSlam (2021) – John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
  • WrestleMania 28 – John Cena vs. The Rock
  • SummerSlam (2016) – John Cena vs. AJ Styles
  • WrestleMania 34 – John Cena vs. Undertaker
  • ECW One Night Stand (2006) – John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam

Visual Concepts’ Showcase Lead Design Dino Zuccon’s report also addresses the challenge of making the 2K Showcase space feel fresh. For example, one of the biggest complaints they got was that playing the same character for 20+ matches felt too repetitive. Thus, the decision was made to play as Cena’s opponents. After this, the team had to figure out how to make the space feel worth it, even if the cover star lost some of the matches.

According to Zuccon, the team came to the conclusion that it felt in line with Cena’s career to elevate the losses as much as the wins.

“We felt it would be a great way to show the whole story of John Cena’s journey, because a lot of fans think of him as someone who maybe didn’t have it as hard as others; that she didn’t have to fight for what she wanted, she didn’t have to learn the hard lessons,” Zucconi said. “And we knew that wasn’t the case.”

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