Predicting an election with football might seem the right way of doing things – teams of many coming together as one in order to both physically and ideologically prevail over an opposition. It is an appropriate parallel. But there’s always that bit of your brain that wants politicians, as individuals, to come together and just batter each other.
Back in 2015 we did just that, with the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon coming out on top – even if David Cameron did then go on to steal her championship. In 2017 we live in more uncertain times than ever, with a world on the brink of something bad, and a US president who has actually starred in the WWE. This calls for a response. This calls for two more political parties added to the list of ‘leaders who will go do some battering on each others’ faces’. This calls for more fighting, and more blood.
The 2017 wrestling tournament to decide who will become Prime Minister (or UK Champion, as I have it in the game) will be fought between Arlene Foster (Democratic Unionist Party), Theresa May (Conservatives), Caroline Lucas (Green Party), Paul Nuttall (UK Independence Party), Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats), Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) and Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party).
That’s one returning leader since 2015, which is just two years ago. God, politics is brutal.
Disclaimer: the editing suite on WWE 2K17 is shockingly poor compared to 2K14, which I used last time I ran this simulation. While you can create female wrestlers (you couldn’t in 2K15), there are hardly any options for morphing body parts. This, combined with the fact men can’t fight against women, means… well, it means the party leaders of the female gender are men with lipstick on. Apologies to all concerned. 2K needs to sort out this terrible editing suite nonsense. It’s been years now.
Anyway, on with the show.
Arlene Foster is either in a supremely confident mood, or she’s seeing the lighter side of her bout with Theresa May, strutting to the ring, pimp cane in hand, ready to take on the world.
Obviously this leads to instant success for the DUP chief, and… no, sorry, the Tory’s boss pulls a signature U-turn in midair, hits the moonsault and grabs the easy victory.
The SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon – the reigning, defending, undisputed champion of 2015’s Wrestlelection – has a straightforward encounter with UKIP’s resident polymath, Paul Nuttall. On her way to an easy victory, Sturgeberg takes great pleasure in thwacking about the bald burqa-hater before grabbing the one, two three.
The third quarter final pits Comrade Campaign himself, Jeremy Corbyn, against the plucky underdog Leanne Wood, in what pollsters are calling ‘something we don’t care about’. The bearded warrior makes everyone sit up and take notice, though, when he hits a huracanrana off the top rope. I mean, come on.
Our final quarter pits the Green Party’s co-leader Caroline Lucas against Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats. When you see Lucas enter like this, you really do get the feeling it’s going to be a five-star classic:
And wouldn’t you know it, this is a humdinger from bell to bell – 20 solid minutes of see-sawing action, the momentum shifting each way, chair shots and near falls galore, a sledgehammer strike to Farron’s receding noggin busting him open and, ultimately, a supremely hard fought victory for Farron. What a match.
Mixing things up a bit, the semi-finals shift the match structure to a tables bout – the first person to put their opponent through a table wins. And it’s where Theresa May gets a quick win over Nicola Sturgeon thanks to WWE 2K17’s dodgy table physics. I mean, look at this shit:
Tories cheating in an election? Who'da thought! May celebrates her victory in her typical vivacious fashion, and is on her way to the final of the UK Championship:
Our second table-based semi plays out in a much more straightforward fashion, with Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron trading blows as they attempt in a seemingly futile fashion to get a table standing in the first place. Corbyn eventually grabs himself a couple of seconds to prop up the MDF in a corner, and that’s that. DAMMIT THAT MAN HAS A FAMILY! And we're heading for a Tory/Labour final.
THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF
Just in case there needs to be a coalition, I’ve got you covered: The six losers from pre-final rounds, bundled into the ring together and forced to compete in an over the top rope battle royale. It’s quick and dirty but still full of surprises – the first elimination sees firm favourite Tim Farron knocked on his arse by the DUP’s bosswoman, swiftly followed by UKIP’s potato-headed gobshite and Foster herself.
With seemingly minimal effort, Caroline Lucas shunts second favourite Nicola Sturgeon off the apron, leaving just the Green co-leader and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood – quiet and, frankly, ineffective throughout, but so far able to keep herself safe. With Lucas’s focus firmly on the one Welsh target, it doesn’t last long. Whoever wins the UK Championship can rely on the Green Party to make up their coalition.
Any pressure there should be on comrade Corbyn doesn’t seem to be showing, as everyone’s favourite granddad/uncle/nice guy at the library who isn’t creepy makes an invigorating, intense entrance for the final showdown.
Mrs May, however, is looking anything but strong and stable as she makes her way to the ring; a ball of barely contained fury struggling to keep it together. It’s probably because those boots are awful.
The Conservatives have been harvesting as much as they can from the magic money tree and putting it all towards training for Theresa, who is quick out of the blocks and feeling really rather mean. Nasty, one might say.
But it doesn’t last, and in the fine tradition of John Laurinaitis it’s the person with people power behind them that has the (cough) momentum. Corbyn busts open May and doesn’t let up.
Years of repressed rage come to the boil for Corbyn; decades of having to carry on being polite to people and having to put up with insane shit from members of the public wh0 want nuclear genocide. No more.
Corbyn absolutely batters May, without taking his foot off the pedal for one second. And, just to rub it in the faces of the right-wing media’s obsession with Jezza and his involvement with Northern Ireland, he polishes Tezza off with a move named simply 1916. I'm not even kidding, it used to be called the Bloody Sunday.
And with that, we have our champion – our winner of the UK General Election 2017, as decided by WWE 2K17: Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. Cheer/vomit at the following gif as you see fit:
And with that, I’ll see you in 2022.
As with 2015, if you’re after a more politically serious take on the theme you can point yourself in the direction of the New Statesman , where games industry hero Dan Griliopoulos runs the party manifestos through election simulator Democracy 3.