There’s a lot to be said about WWE 2K20, the latest instalment in 2K’s annual WWE franchise but the first one to be solely put together in-house by developer Visual Concepts.
On the one hand, it’s a reasonably consistent update to the now tried-and-true WWE 2K formula, with a few small but not insignificant tweaks here and there. On the other hand, Visual Concepts has gone more-than-a-bit out of their way to blow that formula up, squeezing mountains of outrageous, horror-inspired bonus content into the game via their Day 1 Bump In The Night DLC, which features – among other things – the ability to blitz the soul out of an opponent by opening a cursed Necronomicon-like book, or an entire story arc where the decidedly pale Sheamus gets red on him as an impossibly ripped take on Shaun Of The Dead.
And on the third, much meatier hand, there’s Ribbie.
Whispers of an almost-mythical presence within the game spread around the recent WWE 2K20 media preview event in Las Vegas like wildfire. Who was this strange new addition to the WWE Universe? This boney adonis of the squared circle? This walking meatstick capable only of wanton destruction and goofy smiles?
It’s Ribbie, my dudes. And he is the god damned truth.
I’m not sure who this new character in WWE2K is, but I will certainly be using Ribbie pic.twitter.com/A6O1YGNfmB— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) October 14, 2019
With an overall rating of 60, Ribbie absolutely sucks. By some margin, he is the worst wrestler in the game. The only others that come close to Ribbie’s dizzying inabilities are the 2008 version of Maria Kanellis, sporting a 66, and the seldom-seen No Way Jose, who rates 67 despite being virtually erased from TV screens.
Ribbie is an unlockable character accessed through MyCareer, the mascot of a minor league baseball side out of Memphis. Ribbie is floppy, quite turd-like in appearance, rather incapable of entering the ring normally, but totally able to backflip on a whim. The in-game commentary shits on him mercilessly, and I love him.
I would die for Ribbie. I would follow him to the ends of the earth. I would march into the maw of hell itself if it meant the beaming grin stitched into his slow-cooked face shone just a little bit brighter.
Under my watchful eye, Ribbie will soar to heights rarely seen in the realms of professional wrestling. He will belie his inauspicious beginning abilities to throw suplexes so beautiful they will be immortalised in paint. He will attain the undying adoration of the entire in-game audience. My tender, chewy love will amass a collection of titles and championships with no equal all throughout the career I lead him through.
And while the presence of Ribbie in the game is bound to ruffle the odd feather, that’s the beauty of the entire experiment: It’s a giant rib dropping second-rope moonsaults while shucking and jiving. It’s ridiculous. Ribbie is ridiculous. And he whips arse.
If you want to take this hulking bone-in meat lord and have him toss Brock Lesnar around like he owes you money, you can.
If you want to turn one eighth of the sauciest rack in professional wrestling and turn him into a technical grappler that’ll have even Bret Hart fearing to step through the ropes, you can.
If dunking a bunch of cumin, coriander, and garlic powder on him and having him toss springboard hurricanranas around like his headpiece was on the line luchas de apuestas-style, you can.
Because that’s the beauty of putting a goddamned walking rib in a wrestling game. The world is your buffet. The ring is your plate. How the menu is written? Baby, that’s up to you. You, and Ribbie.
The wrestling rib.
Who is my son.
Disclosure: The author travelled to a WWE 2K20 preview event as a guest of 2K.