The Weird World of WWF Smackdown 2
We’ve been in a bit of a wrestling mood lately – we watched Battleground last night and featured WWF Smackdown 2 in a Retro Revival in this month’s issue of Retro Gamer. However, that short piece didn’t cover a whole bunch of stuff that you probably don’t know lurks behind the scenes. Thanks to the work of the brilliant community members at The Cutting Room Floor, the game’s secrets have been exposed for the world to see. So let’s have a look at some of the stuff that, like Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins last night, never quite hit the ring.
The Big Show and Ken Shamrock
Two wrestlers were intended for the final game and were complete and ready, but failed to make the final cut due to real-world issues. Ken Shamrock was in the original Smackdown and sported an updated appearance for his return, but was removed as he had left the WWF a year prior to the release of Smackdown 2 and would never return. Meanwhile, The Big Show was (and still is) an active employee of the company, but had been removed from television and sent to a developmental territory in order to lose weight and improve his fitness.
However, both men can randomly appear in the game as “Unknown” wrestlers during Royal Rumble matches, with generic entrances as their music, though present in the game, was unassigned. You can see this in the video above, alongside other unused/alternate character data.
The first PlayStation 2 game in the Smackdown series would introduce commentary, but audio files on the game disc indicate that the feature was intended for Smackdown 2. You can hear all manner of lines from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, as well as various wrestlers including The Rock, Stone Cold, Chris Jericho and HHH. Some of them are recorded quite poorly…
Many text strings on the disc go unused, of which the majority relate to the game’s season mode, which appears to have been designed as something more extensive than what was eventually delivered – most likely due to the game’s very short development time. Some of the cutscenes which used the lines can be restored, as you can see in the “Raw Is Jericho” video below.
Videos of Evil Zone, an unrelated PlayStation game by the same developer? Generic characters? Andre the Giant? It’s all in there, and more. Head over to The Cutting Room Floor for the full details and to wonder what else might have been.