WWE 2K16 Superstar Dean Ambrose Talks Fighting The Terminator, Stone Cold

Last week we traveled to San Francisco to go hands on with 2K Sports’ next iteration of their WWE 2K series. While we outlined our experience with the game here, we also got the opportunity to talk with Superstar Dean Ambrose. Here’s how it all went down.


[Hardcore Gamer] So, hard hitting question first: are you a gamer?

[Dean Ambrose] In the traditional sense, no. I’m a huge wrestling fan, and a WWE fan — so it’s easy for me to get lost in all the stuff and options you can play in WWE 2K16 — but I like the old-timey games; you know, Street Fighter, Double Dragon, Sonic the Hedgehog. But even now, if [a game’s fun] I can get into it.

So do you play WWE games?

Yeah, I’ve had the opportunity to play 2K16 before it comes out, so I was able to explore around and see all the different options. You know, it’s the biggest roster in a video game ever. It has the best graphics and is the most realistic experience and has the most in-depth career mode of any wrestling game ever. So there’s just so much stuff to explore. So if you’re a WWE fan, it’s incredible. There’s a whole universe that you can practically crawl into and look around. It would probably would take years to see and do all the stuff in the game.

What’s the collaboration like with the developers? Are you flown in to consult about how your character looks, or the moves your character does in the game?

Not really. It’s just like, one day it magically appears, and that’s what’s freaky about it. It’s like they take you and put your soul directly into the game. It’s like the Mortal Kombat guy, they steal your soul and stick it into the game. You feel almost a little taken advantage of, like “whoa, what happened?”– because they have everything down to the way you walk, the way you throw punches… ticks you didn’t even realize you had and they somehow put them in the game. Everybody talks, walks, looks and wrestles exactly like they do in real life. It’s like watching Monday Night Raw, but being able to control the action in the ring. It’s getting scary how real these games are becoming. You know, this is how Terminator started in the first place.

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It has to be a little surreal to see and play as yourself in a game. That would feel a little weird to me.

Yeah, I felt like that would be a little weird, too — to play yourself — so I always pick somebody else. I did fight against myself, though. But, when I play against the Terminator — which I plan on doing, because you can do that if you pre-order before October 27 — I want to play as myself because I don’t trust anybody but myself to fight against the Terminator.

Fair enough! If you could have a dream match with any of the wrestlers in the game, that didn’t include you, who would it be?

Hm, that’s a real good question. I would put Daniel Bryan and Bret Hart in a submission match. I mean, that’s the beauty of the game: you can have any match-up, from any era, past, present or future. You can have an NXT guy against a current guy; a current guy against a Hall of Fame guy; a Hall of Fame’r verse an NXT guy…you can literally do whatever you want. So, it’s just the biggest bounty of dream matches you could ever imagine. And it’s all so realistic — almost like you’re really watching it play out live.

The graphics are especially fantastic this year. If you could redo one of your matches in this game that you’ve had, which would it be?

Like redo a real-life match in the game? Oh, that’s a really interesting question… Hm… That’s an interesting question. You know, I don’t like to live… err, I don’t like to look back and live life with regrets. I wonder… Hm… I would go back and redo Wrestlemania 31. The only thing I would change would be, after I fell through the ladder and almost died, I would tell the doctors to not staple my head shut until we got to the back. Because they initially thought I was going to get back up and finish the match. And I had a huge cut on my head. And so they just gave me emergency staples on the spot, without telling me… They were just like, “We have to staple your head,” and I said “What?” and [makes staple gun sounds]. And that was worse than actually… than the actual fall I had to take myself. It’s just… I wasn’t expecting it. So then I had to get those pulled out and they had to do it again once I got to the back. So yeah, I would have a different conversation with the doctors that were ringside. I mean, they were just taking care of me, because we have the greatest doctors in the world.

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That looked like a super dangerous bump; I watched it and just cringed. When I was playing the game, I think my opponent somehow stole my finisher and used it against me. Whether that actually happened or not, I don’t know, I was too worried about getting pinned and losing; but, if you could steal any wrestler’s finisher, whose would it be?

Oh, that’s a good one. Whose would I steal… I think, probably, a lot of people wish that they had the RKO, because that’s just such a…well, people just love that move — it’s such a cool move. But I would personally say the Terry Funk Spinning Toe-hold. Because even though I could do that [move], it wouldn’t have the same effect without people being educated on the history [of the move] and also debilitating effects of applying it.. And, it’s just a really easy move to apply — yet, you can break men’s legs easily. And I could do that [move] well into my 40s or 50s after I’d be not nearly as athletic as I am today. That would be a good one that would last.

You can create your own Superstar in the game and the fun of creating a wrestler, even if it’s just in your head, is trying to pick out what your theme song would be. So, for you, let’s say you couldn’t have your current entrance song, but you could have any other song in the entire world– no copyright issues to worry about or anything — what would it be?

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Oh, I like that question. Hm… I would say… “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult. But if you ask me again tomorrow, that answer will change.

Right on. One last question: Steve Austin’s on the front of the game; you verses Stone Cold, who wins?

Whoever can throw more punches in less time — I feel like that’s how it’d play out.

You two have similar wrestling styles, too; you’re both brawlers for the most part.

Yeah, I feel like that one would turn into a bar room brawl super fast. Yeah, [the match] would be very very quick, very very ugly and very very beautiful all at the same time.

As JR says, it’d be a “real slobber knocker,” right?

Yeah!