WWE 2K Battlegrounds is getting a strange commentary team made up of NXT’s Mauro Ranallo and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler. The pair were announced yesterday during the gamescom Opening Night live stream event. The choice to go with this duo is not only an old rare one but a choice that only makes sense if we’re calling WWE 2K Battlegrounds the NBA Jam of wrestling games. Take a few minutes to have Jerry Lawler scream at you below.
There’s a running joke about WWE games that makes fun of the fact that they’re never reflective of the product that is currently on television. Given the way that game development goes, this isn’t always the biggest of surprises. The development teams do their best, but there will always be that one fan out there angry that their favorite wrestle boy doesn’t have the exact color of pants and wet hair that they prefer them to have. In the case of
It’s clear that WWE Battlegrounds is going for a new school versus new school kind of feel, given the launch day roster that has more than a few faces that casual fans might have sworn were dead. Perhaps this is the reasoning behind having dad-joke level quip machine and voice of NXT Mauro Ranallo team up with the man who literally had a heart attack on live television and yet somehow still appears on TV. While the pairing seems like a complete case of an odd couple, the two were actually (and briefly) on the case commentary desk.
Ranallo and Lawler, along with consummate third man Byron Saxton were the voices of Smackdown for a short time around the company’s on-air brand split that began in 2016. The team was short-lived and Mauro had a number of commentary partners, including former champion John “JBL” Layfield, who is worth mentioning due to the fact that a continued hostile work environment stemming from Layfield’s alleged bullying of Ranallo led to the voice of NXT leaving the company entirely. He would return months later to retake his position as the commentary lead of NXT.
In many ways, the pairing makes sense as Lawler and Ranallo are the two loudest, most bombastic announcers the company has and is sort of a perfect fit for the bizarre irreverent arcade brawler style WWE 2K Battlegrounds it going for. I don’t know if that will help WWE 2K Battlegrounds when what little gameplay we’ve seen is in the trailer above and we’re only a month out from its September 18 release date, but I suppose it can’t hurt.