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Four very popular Divas won't make WWE 2K16's roster — even as DLC

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Four performers anchoring the WWE's "Divas Revolution" of this summer will not appear in WWE 2K16 when it launches, 2K Sports announced yesterday. They won't even make the game as DLC later.

2K Sports made the announcement after releasing its final, on-the-disc roster for WWE 2K16, which launches Oct. 27 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Fans immediately noticed that Sasha Banks (pictured above), Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley were not included, prompting the statement.

In a statement, 2K Sports said its attempts to include the divas "simply did not work out for various reasons." It then definitively shut off the possibility of them joining the roster later. 2K Sports noted that the 13 Divas that are available on the disc's main roster are the most ever for a shipped game.

Bayley is the reigning holder of the NXT Women's Championship, an up-and-comers division of the wrestling promotion. Charlotte is the daughter of wrestling hall-of-famer Ric Flair, and recently missed taking the Divas title from longtime champion Nikki Bella thanks to a technicality. Charlotte and Lynch, another NXT alumna, formed a stable with Paige and brawled with an alliance of Banks, Tamina Snuka and Naomi Knight at SummerSlam in August.

It's possible the new Divas champion will not appear in the WWE's video game.

That match was not a crowd-pleaser, and in the metagame of wrestling fans guessing what the WWE's writers are up to, it led to speculation the various Diva stables will be broken up as soon as a good reason can be found. The exclusion of the four Divas will further fuel rumors that something has gone wrong with the "Divas Revolution" that Stephanie McMahon kicked off in July by calling up Lynch, Banks and Charlotte from NXT.

2K Sports didn't give a specific reason why "the Four Horsewomen" weren't included. When that's the case, licensing conflicts usually are involved. Last year's launch of WWE 2K15 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was held three weeks past the Xbox 360 and PS3 launches of the game, and rumors spread that the delay was partially attributable to licensing troubles with the retired CM Punk's inclusion in an historical mode.

At other times, 2K Sports has had to quietly eat fan discontent without giving a full explanation, such as when Charles Barkley didn't appear with all-time greats in NBA 2K12. It took an act of Jay-Z to get him into NBA 2K13. Scottie Pippen initially refused to join a video game reunion of The Dream Team in that game, but later relented.

Regardless, Charlotte is matched against Nikki Bella again in tomorrow's Night of Champions pay-per-view, and is widely expected to win the Divas Championship now that Nikki has surpassed A.J. Lee's record for longest title reign with that belt. That makes it highly likely the division's title holder will not appear in the WWE's signature video game.

"We all agree the Divas Revolution is great for business," 2K concluded in its statement, "and look forward to celebrating the Divas even more in future WWE 2K titles."

Update: In February, Sasha Banks tweeted that she had been scanned by 2K Sports for inclusion in the upcoming game. This further points to some kind of contractual/creative issue affecting her inclusion, rather than developers having to react to the sudden emergence of new stars.

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