WWE 2K22: My Journey with MyRISE Mode

2K /

WWE 2K22 has been out for less than a week and already opinions and reactions are flying all over the internet. Many fans have differing opinions about MyRISE mode. I want to set the record straight

Note: I played my copy of WWE 2K22 on the Xbox One. The game experience will vary from console to console. I don’t think load times are as bad on the PS5 or Xbox X/S.

From the moment I booted up the CD and waited six hours for 48 GB to download, I was psyched to try MyRISE mode. This mode puts your created character on a track that starts at The Performance Center and ends at Wrestlemania.

First I had to create the perfect wrestler. I had all these plans for an iconic cruiserweight with the cool duds. Then I realized that every time I pressed a button the game would load for five seconds. Every single option I selected halted the game for a brief moment. I had no patience for this so I picked a pre-made wrestler and gave him the vest that Kofi Kingston wears. I created my wrestler, Fudgey Byrd. The announcers introduce him as Smooth Sugar Bobby Boy. Fudgey is a 270-pound high flyer with a good guy persona.

Fudgey was elated to be in the Performance Center and gushed like a fanboy to be in the center where all dreams come true. He was introduced to the other wrestlers training with him. Paragon was a self-inflated egomaniac who didn’t think he needed to be in the Performance Center. Flore was a second-generation luchador who was meek and shy. Then there was Mason who acted like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

Your player is allowed to choose a background story and mine was an indie wrestler. Whenever Fudgey spoke to other wrestlers he would reminisce about his days on the indie circuit. Paragon would start to talk smack about my career and Fudgey would put him in his place. When Morales and Mason wanted to strike up a conversation Fudgey would build them up and wish them well. By the end of three conversations, I was considered a babyface in MyRISE mode.

Shawn Michaels and Road Dawg Jesse James were our training team. They promised to teach us the infrastructure of wrestling. In the first match, I was allowed to pick my opponent. I went straight for Paragon because he had it coming. It was time for Fudgey’s first match.

In MyRise mode you start off in training gear. You are given your first wrestling attire when you prove yourself. I quickly had to learn the wrestling basics. I could go for a quick combo of strikes with the X button. If I hit the A button I could dropkick my opponent to the ground. Grappling was a cinch. You press the B button, select a direction, and hit X or A.

Within the first minute, I learned that Fudgey could perform a Spanish Fly with ease. In fact, in most matches, my opponent received at least five Spanish Flys. There were a plethora of combo moves that could be performed. With a different combination of light and heavy strikes, I could chain them into jawbreakers, backbreakers, and Falcon Arrows. Out of the gate, Fudgey had at least ten finishing moves as his normal move list.

As Fate would have it, Paragon was a tricky foe. Fudgey would ram into him with axel kicks and Spanish Flys, but then Paragon would hit a massive heavy grapple and my player would be stuck on the mat. The matches have two kinds of reversals. If the player goes for a grapple then you hit Y to counter it. If the player goes for a combo then you hit A, B, or X to push them away. Fudgey had no problem hitting the Y button when it popped up. Reversals were a breeze. But not every move lets you do a reversal. Sometimes your opponent gets to smack you around and you have no way to counter.

Eventually, I let my blue meter fill and Fudgey could hit his signature move: a running hurricanrana. Once my gold meter filled then I would nail my finisher: A Sol de Salina. Whenever Fudgey or Paragon did a very impressive move the game camera switched to a close-up. The close-ups were blurry and out of focus, which made me wonder if it was the Xbox One’s limitations or a weird filter. Usually, it takes three finishers before your opponent stops kicking out.

Once I won my first match I was on to bigger and better things. X-Pac joined Road Dawg and Fudgey to form a six-man tag against Shawn Michaels, Flores, and Mason. Tag matches are the most hectic of the match types as every pin attempt would send a tag partner to break up your pin. Your tag partners were very little help and sometimes they would bump into the ref. Fudgey was very hard to pin and put in submission holds for long. Every time his opponent latched onto him I could button bash all the buttons until I broke the hold. It’s important to note that long exposures to this game will hurt your fingers or break your controller.

My other matches included a feud with Austin Theory (he was easy), going to Mexico to fight El Mago Jr, and going to Japan to fight Paragon in his retirement match. The very idea that WWE would let anyone in their roster wrestle in other countries while under contract is a suspension of disbelief. Each match had a lengthy load time, which gave Fudgey time to reflect on his matches in MyRise mode. Here is my recorded game from the Mexico match.

Between matches, I could get into beef with other wrestlers on social media, talk to Flores or Paragon, or receive praise from Booker T. Whenever a wrestler would engage in conversation they would stare off into space with dead eyes. It was spooky.

Finally, my big day had come. After beating Paragon in two different matches and completing a challenge where only finishers would win the match, I was scouted by the GMs of NXT, Raw, and Smackdown. I was able to beef up my grapple and strike stats before the match by using stat points rewarded to me from other matches. I also had the option to make my own move list, but at this point, I was in love with the fact that I could hit so many Spanish Flys.

I was given the option to wrestle Shinsuke Nakamura for a Smackdown contract, Drew McIntyre for a Raw contract, or a made-up guy for an NXT contract. I chose Shinsuke Nakamura. This was my graduation match in MyRise mode. Shinsuke was a fierce opponent. From the beginning, I was hitting him with multiple Spanish Flys and top rope frog splashes. He got me outside of the ring and William Regal started to beat me up on the outside (WHY REGAL?). William Regal had jet black feathery hair which is some kind of wishful thinking on his part. Three times Shinsuke had me close to defeat, but I powered through. I burned through my stamina meter to get back on my feet. Two Sol De Salinas later and I was the champion.

William Regal, the same guy who curb-stomped me, offered me a contract to NXT, but I declined. I went to Adam Pearce who offered me a Smackdown contract.

My first day on Smackdown. I was ready to Spanish Fly my opponents into oblivion. Thank you MyRise mode for making this dream come true.