A plethora of WWE superstars rocked the red-carpet just days before SummerSlam at the “WWE 2K18” and “WWE Supercard” Kickoff Event on Friday, Aug. 18 at SIR Stage 37.
You could say the party was fit for a king or “King Slayer” as the video game cover superstar Seth Rollins was joined by AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Bobby Roode, Braun Strowman, Cesaro, Sheamus, Dean Ambrose, Finn Bálor, Jinder Mahal, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Sasha Banks, Bray Wyatt and the New Day. The Fashion Police were also conducting their share of interviews.
The “Be Like No One” theme for “WWE 2K18” was seen throughout the venue with historical pieces -- from championships to the bronze statue of Dusty Rhodes.
A highlight was an original mural designed and painted by WWE artist in-residence Rob Schamberger.
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Other attendees included best-selling author Brian Shields, who has worked on the commentary scripting for the video game series for the last five years. Hundreds of media from around the world were treated with the opportunity to get their first taste of gameplay for “WWE 2K18” and channel their inner superstar in the interactive photo booth powered by Studio Z.
Mark Little, executive producer for “WWE 2K18, answered a few burning questions. Among them, what are one or two improvements or additions he is most proud?
“That is like asking which one of his children he likes the most,” he said. “For me, graphics will be the most obvious. The graphics are amazing this year with an entirely new graphics engine. It really shines. The superstars look amazing. The entrances look dramatic. Everything looks great. I also like playing the game. Not just watching the game. I think it’s hard to say one little thing we did in game play, but a lot of the improvements and updates we added to the game play make it a more refined experience. It all heightens the drama and excitement of the in-ring psychology that happens in WWE.”
How does Little think The Rock did as executive producer for the game’s soundtrack?
“I’m super happy to have him involved because The Rock is the man,” he said. “We are very excited about the collaboration with The Rock. He just takes things to a whole different level. It was very exciting to see what music he picked. It’s playing every day in my office because the game is always running. I hear the soundtrack all day long.”
Most of the superstars know they’re going to be in the WWE 2K games ahead of time, but Little says there have been some surprises to keep them on their toes. However, what does he think of providing the newcomers like from NXT such an important milestone.
“It’s kind of humbling for us because we think the WWE superstars are amazing, and we think they are amazing talents and excited to watch them work,” Little said. “To hear that it was such an exciting moment for them to be in the game, when you have those moments and conversations, it’s really exciting. It makes you realize it’s important to them. They want to connect to their fans with our game just as if we want to connect to our fans through the game. They are humbled to be in the game, which is kind of crazy to think about from our side.”
Based on the popular Southpaw Regional Wrestling digital series, which now has its own merchandise, can we expect to see those cast of characters in a future WWE 2K release?
“It’s taken off,’ so you never know,” Little said. “I watched a new episode. They are great. That’s the exciting thing about working with WWE is there are so many things that go on, it’s a never-ending book of things we can do.”
Later in the evening WWE Hall of Famer and hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg, also known as DJ Snoopadelic, took the stage to get the party goers to drop it like it’s hot. He was introduced by his cousin “The Bo$$” herself Sasha Banks.
The mood was more serious at the start of the evening when Peter Rosenberg, a Hot 97 radio personality and WWE Network host, moderated a panel between SummerSlam opponents Cesaro and Sheamus and Ambrose and Rollins. Chairs and drinks were thrown, and security had to intervene to break up the melee. This served as a preview of what’s to come when the tag team titles are on the line at SummerSlam.
Look for “WWE 2K18” on your favorite next generation consoles starting October.
Super SummerSlam Card
Sunday, Aug. 20
Special start time 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.
WWE Network and pay-per-view
Some matches will be on the pre-show.
The SummerSlam pre-show is 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on WWE Network. Renee Young, David Otunga, WWE Hall of Famers Jerry Lawler and Lita, and Peter Rosenberg share their thoughts on the event’s matches.
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