John Cena Showcase Matches Revealed

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

The game’s latest Ringside Report focuses fully on this newest Showcase where players play through past matches. The iteration in WWE 2K23, titled “Never Give Up,” as hinted at in various ads, will cover several pivotal moments throughout the long year career of John Cena.

Contrary to what many may think, though, instead of playing as Cena, players will only be going up against him as they mimic some of the most iconic matches in WWE history. There will be 14 total and they go from Cena’s first match against Kurt Angle to his iconic bout against 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

The report, which comes courtesy of Visual Concepts’ Showcase Lead Design Dino Zucconi, also touches on the challenge of making the 2K Showcase mode feel fresh. One of the biggest complaints they received, for instance, was that it felt too repetitive playing as the same character for upwards of 20 matches. Thus, the decision to play as Cena’s opponents was born. The team then had to figure out how to make the mode feel worth it even if the cover star loses some of those bouts.

According to Zucconi, the team ended up coming to the conclusion that it felt in-line with Cena’s career to highlight the losses as much as the victories.

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

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