WWE 2K23 Universe Mode – Chapter 1: A New Universe

“Ah shit, here we go again…”

As I write this, it is the day after WrestleMania 39 has taken place. Tonight’s Raw will start the next ‘calendar year’ of WWE programming, and the road to WrestleMania 40 begins… and whilst the company itself is has been (and is about to go through A LOT more) changes since I last had a go myself, I still want to do it my way. WWE 2k22 was decent, 2k23 is better. Universe Mode is a tad different, but again something I want to have another crack at. I kinda tailed off and lost my passion towards the end of last years game, timing-wise that coupled with the change of creative leadership in the real life WWE, so I felt I no longer had something to be an alternative to. But this time I’m going to do things my way, and I’m going to have some fun with it. For those who didn’t follow my series for the last game, on the WWE 2k23 video game there is a mode called “Universe Mode” where you are in charge of your very own WWE Universe; booking the shows, the calendar, the rosters and the storylines. And this sort of fantasy booking and micro management is something my geeky ass LOVES. So, accompanied by screenshots and videos along the way, I hope this blog series will talk you through my own WWE world that I play out within the 2k23 game.

So… let’s get cracking…

First of all, let me set the scene… my universe will based in a kind of middle ground between reality and my own imagination, but timeline-wise, my mode begins immediately after WrestleMania, and creative wise and where everyone character and story wise is at, I’ll explain as we go through the rosters. My calendar will consist of Raw and SmackDown as my two weekly shows. Raw will have 6 matches and SmackDown 5. (Like with last years blog series, I’ll list the matches I play within the game, and I’ll fill in the creative gaps myself). My PPV calendar (which I’ve changed from my usual 1 ppv a month and always the final Sunday of each month formula I used in 2k22, to be more similar to the IRL PPV calendar WWE use) will be as follows: (all shows listed below will be on Sundays)…:

MAY WEEK 4 – King Of The Ring (Rosemont, Illinois)

JULY WEEK 1 – Money In The Bank (Las Vegas, Nevada)

AUGUST WEEK 3 – SummerSlam (Nashville, Tennessee)

SEPTEMBER WEEK 3 – Clash At The Castle (Cardiff, Wales)

OCTOBER WEEK 3 – Extreme Rules (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

NOVEMBER WEEK 4 – Survivor Series: War Games (Boston, Massachusetts)

JANUARY WEEK 4 – Royal Rumble (St Louis, Missouri)

FEBRUARY WEEK 4 – Elimination Chamber (Montreal, Canada)

APRIL WEEK 1 – WrestleMania (Inglewood, California) *Would’ve been Los Angeles but that doesn’t appear to be on the game…

My rosters, for Raw and SmackDown, will naturally change as my mode goes on and also as more DLC content is released, meaning more roster members will be available, and I may even dip into the community creations that other game players have masterfully made. But to start with, the Raw and SmackDown rosters will be as follows:

RAW roster


Cody Rhodes – F (Babyface aka ‘good’ guy)

Bobby Lashley – F

AJ Styles – F

(Edge – F)

Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins – H (Heel aka ‘bad guy’)

Finn Balor – H (member of Judgement Day)

Kevin Owens – H


Damian Priest – H (member of Judgement Day)

The Miz – H

Carmelo Hayes – F

Johnny Gargano – F

Tommaso Ciampa – H

Dexter Lumis – H

Dominik Mysterio – H (member of Judgement Day)


Becky Lynch – F

Asuka – F

Alexa Bliss – F

Dana Brooke – F

(Indi Hartwell – F)

(Maryse – H)

Carmella – H

‘Damage CTRL’: Bayley (H) and WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Iyo Sky (H) & Dakota Kai (H)

RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: ‘RK-Bro’ (Randy Orton – F & Matt Riddle – F)

‘Viking Raiders’ (Erik – H & Ivar – H)

‘Street Profits’ (Montez Ford – F & Angelo Dawkins – F)

‘Alpha Academy’ (Chad Gable – H & Otis – H)

Shelton Benjamin – F & Cedric Alexander – F

‘Dirty Dawgs’ (Dolph Ziggler – H & Robert Roode – H)

Mustafa Ali – F

Titus O’Neil – F

Akira Tozawa – F

Elias – H

T-Bar – H

(Omos – F)

(MVP – F)


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Roman Reigns – H (with Paul Heyman) (The Bloodline)

Drew McIntyre – F

Rey Mysterio – F

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) – H

Sheamus – F (The Brawling Brutes)

Big E – F (The New Day)

Santos Escobar – H (Legado del Fantasma)


Ricochet – F

Braun Strowman – F

LA Knight – H


Liv Morgan – F

Raquel Rodriquez – F

Shotzi – F

Natalya – F

Tamina – F

Aliyah – F

Sonya Deville – H

Shayna Baszler – H

‘Toxic Attraction’ (Jacy Jayne – H & Gigi Dolan – H)

Xia Li – H

SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: ‘The Usos’ (Jimmy – H & Jey – H) (with Solo Sikoa – H)

‘Brawling Brutes’ (Ridge Holland – F & Butch – F)

‘The New Day’ (Kofi Kingston – F & Xavier Woods – F)

‘Imperium’ (Giovanni Vinci – H & Ludwig Keiser – H)

Shinsuke Nakamura – F & Rick Boogs – F

‘Legado del Fantasma’ (Cruz del Toro – H & Joaquin Wilde – H)

Sami Zayn – H

Tyler Breeze – F

Madcap Moss – F

‘Los Lotharios’ (Angel – H & Humberto – H)

Happy Corbin – H

Jinder Mahal – H

So with the scene-setting done, let’s get underway with my first Raw and SmackDown shows of MY WWE Universe!!!

Raw (after WrestleMania) – May Week 1

Cody Rhodes comes out to open the show with an in-ring promo. He talks about his return to WWE, getting the win against Seth Rollins at Mania the night before, the goals he has upon his return to WWE, his dreams (and a certain championship), before then going on to talk about the upcoming King of the Ring tournament and it being for the WWE Championship… He is then interrupted by a former 2x WWE Champion… The Miz.., which leads to…

Cody Rhodes defeated The Miz

Cody gets the win, all is good for the American Nightmare…


KEVIN OWENS runs out and attacks Cody. The beating is so bad (including a pop-up powerbomb through the announce table) that Rhodes is carried out on a stretcher.

‘RK-Bro’ are interviewed backstage, ahead of their match later…

Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander

This would be a fairly routine win for the Vikings, with other… business… down the line for both Shelton and Cedric…

Becky Lynch gives a backstage interview. She is… emotionless… (coming after her defeat to Bianca Belair at WrestleMania, and ahead of the rematch tonight…)…

Austin Theory comes out to the ring. He cuts a promo in the ring, before out comes… CARMELO HAYES!!!

Carmelo Hayes defeated Austin Theory

Judgement Day (Finn, Rhea, Priest and Dominik) come out and each cut a promo…

… before… out comes Bobby Lashley! They go back and forth on the mic, before Lashley challenges each of Judgement Day (RHEA INCLUDED) … they each laugh and back away… Lashley left in the ring starring them all down.

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Matt Riddle) (C) defeated Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)

This would be a solid match with all 4 guys getting a chance to shine. For the finish, Otis would be taken out over the ropes, before Riddle would stun Gable leaving him prime for an RKO … OUTTA NOWHERE!!!

Seth “Freakin” Rollins would come to the ring for an in-ring promo…

… still smarting from his WrestleMania loss to Cody Rhodes, but also laughing at his beating from Kevin Owens earlier in the show. He says it’s laughable that Cody would talk about the WWE Championship…

AJ Styles comes out after to interrupt, and the two talk about who would win should they face off in the upcoming tournament…

Elias is in the ring cutting a classic promo, with his guitar etc… he’s eventually interrupted by his opponent…

Johnny Gargano defeated Elias

Straightforward win for Gargano. We got PLANS for him…

Bianca Belair takes part in a backstage interview, talking up her match next up…

Bianca Belair (C) defeated Becky Lynch to retrain the Raw Women’s Championship

After the match, Becky and Bianca would show mutual respect to one another… before being interrupted by Bayley… and then Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky!

Damage CTRL then attack the two heroes in the ring, with Becky in particular taking the most of the beating… they then go at Belair, until Asuka and Alexa Bliss run out to try and make the save. Damage CTRL run off before back up arrives, and with the babyfaces in the ring we have a stare-off between the two groups to end the show.

SmackDown (after WrestleMania) – May Week 1

SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair opens the show with an in-ring promo. She brags about her WrestleMania win, blah blah ‘I’m the Queen’ blah blah blah, and she talks of how her reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion will last 4eva… One by one we then have Liv Morgan, Sonya Deville, Shayna Baszler and then Raquel Rodriquez. All staking their claims to be the one who ends Charlotte’s championship reign… The 4 get into it as Flair flees the scene, and that leads to…

Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriquez defeated Sonya Deville & Shayna Baszler

After a solid tag match with a big win for the babyface team, they are then attacked after the match by…

SmackDown just got TOXIC!

Gunther (with Ludwig Keiser and Giovanni Vinci by his side) has a backstage interview.

The New Day come out and cut a promo. They are interrupted by Legado del Fantasma…

Legado del Fantasma defeated The New Day

This would be a really good and fast paced 6-man tag, with the heels getting the win over the established babyfaces…

We then have a video package for Karrion Kross

Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) defeated Tyler Breeze

This would be essentially a squash. Sorry Breeze, but needs must…

LA Knight then has a backstage interview, talking about the upcoming contenders match for the IC title, and why it is HIS time… “YEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!”

LA Knight - Wrestling News | WWE and AEW Results, Spoilers, Rumors & Scoops

Shinsuke Nakamura & Rock Boogs defeated ‘Los Lotharios’

Not sure what I’ll do with this team going forward, but if Big E isn’t hurt in my universe, neither is BOOGS! And Shinsuke I will always try and find a good spot for. I loved this team and it was a shame it had to split when it did, so lets have some fun!!

And next up… our main event MATCH!

Braun Strowman defeated LA Knight, Ricochet and Rey Mysterio in a fatal-4-way match to become the number 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship

I feel like I can make sure I’ll have big spots for all 4 of these guys, but it felt right that Braun got the win here. Him vs Gunther, given the shape both guys are in these days, was and is such a good matchup!

And now for our main event SEGMENT!

As you may have noticed, I have chosen to split the world title belts. With the WWE Championship going back over to Raw with the tournament, I must still crown our Tribal Chief. And so to do that, I have decide to coronate him as the world’s BEST, meaning the return of my favourite championship belt of all time…

Roman Reigns; World Heavyweight Championship Coronation Ceremony

The Bloodline (The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman) are in the ring. The ring floor is a red carpet, there is tribal Ula Fala on the ring ropes, with each of the Bloodline all wearing one also. Heyman cuts a promo talking about what an occasion this is, and he eventually reveals what is underneath the cloth that is on top of the podium in the ring, the ‘Big Gold’ belt. That is when The Tribal Chief himself makes his way to the ring. After taking his typical time in getting there, once in the ring he is handed the World Heavyweight Championship belt by Paul Heyman. Reigns tells the crowd to ‘ACKNOWLEDGE ME!’, and then talks about how he is going to continue to rule the world for as long as he wants!

As The Bloodline pose, out comes Drew McIntyre, followed by The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland).

And of course, we get a huge brawl afterwards! But it is The Bloodline who are the ones who retreat! The two teams stare off with The Bloodline the ones on the entrance ramp, and we close SmackDown with Reigns holding up the World Heavyweight Championship!

So that’s the first one out the way. My second chapter of the series will see me play through my Raws and SmackDowns for May, as well as my first PPV of King Of The Ring, where I will of course crown a brand new WWE Champion.


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