The WWE 2K games have been a mixed bag over the years. More often than not, they can offer the same features and mechanics that would bore you to tears. Fortunately, the one feature that many fans look forward to the most is the Creation Suite. With this you can craft not only entrances, move-sets, and championships — naturally, you can make your own superstars. We call them CAWs, which stands for Create-A-Wrestler. Making my own CAW is something I tend to do in various wrestling games over the years. For WWE 2K19, one of the first CAWs I made happened to be Mercedes Martinez.
Mercedes Martinez is one of the most decorated female wrestlers in the world. Unfortunately, despite being an in-ring veteran for almost 20 years, she hasn’t made it to the bright lights of WWE. All of that changed last year when she competed in the inaugural Mae Young Classic (MYC) tournament. Although she only made it to the semifinals, she impressed long-time and new fans.
This year, she also had a stellar showing. Even though she lost her second-round matchup against Japanese legend Meiko Satomura, it was considered one of the best women’s matches in recent memory. So I guess this WWE 2K19 guide isn’t just about making your own CAWs; it’s also to shine the spotlight on one of the most overlooked female superstars in the indies.
Here are some highlights from her match with Meiko Satomura:
WWE 2K19 – CAW Basics
So let’s get started, shall we? First off, we’ll need to look for a picture that captures the wrestler or superstar’s face properly. They can’t be smiling or have their heads turned in awkward directions. That’s going to screw up the whole process. I found a render of Mercedes Martinez from WWE; it’s from her matchup screen against former TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne.
Next, we need to cut out her face and paste into a program we’ll be using. Some might use Photoshop or GIMP. I, however, prefer Paint.net. It’s free, similar to GIMP, but its main advantage is that it’s a lot more user-friendly.
We’ll use the Color Picker tool to find a darker color of her skin, and then fill the rest of the canvas with it. We’ll also have two choices here. The first (on the left) is a basic copy-paste-save method. If we do pick the first option, we can use the Face Tattoo design in the Creation Suite to cover up any colors that don’t match the skin tone. I tend to use the oval shape while mixing it with the skin coloring.
The second option (on the right) will require us to download the Smudge Tool, which is a separate (free) download. Using the Smudge Tool has a lot of benefits since it allows the skin color to wrap around the CAWs face when you’re creating it. The downside is that if the outline of the face is too dark, it can mess up the coloring even more. You also don’t want to accidentally smudge some of her facial features.
A third option is to use the Smudge Tool for the colors that easily match the one that you used for the canvas. However, we aren’t going to use it on her cheeks or chin due to the darker contours. We’ll just use the Face Tattoo in the CAW menu for that.
Let’s pick the third option for now. We’ll upload it to the WWE 2K19 photo upload site, and download it via the Image Manager in the game. Here’s what she’ll look like:
From there, you’ll just need to align the proportions of her face and features. Make sure everything matches their corresponding features correctly. You can also make minor edits via the Facial Deformation option such as nose length, ear height, cheekbones, and so on.
CAW Appearance And Tattoos
Mercedes Martinez has several tattoos covering her arms, torso, and back. You’ll want to find pictures of her with these tattoos clearly visible. Cut and paste those to your Paint.net canvas (remember, 512 x 512 size). Because we only want those tattoos to show up and not the rest of the canvas, you’ll want to use the Lasso Tool to select only the body art itself. If you save it as a PNG file, only the tattoos would show up once they’re on the Image Manager menu.
Just place those tattoos in the appropriate areas and you should be good to go. There might be issues where the image starts to blur when it’s stretched or wrapped around certain parts, so you’ll just have to be a bit creative. You can add additional designs or tattoos that will overlap with what you’ve already placed. Likewise, if the color doesn’t match with her skin tone, use the default shapes to cover up any discoloration. The image below shows you the oval shape, which I’ll change to a brownish hue to match the rest of her body.
For her back tattoo, I couldn’t find a clear image, so I used several default designs to imitate it. As for her hair, my main gripe with WWE 2K19 is that, while it does have a lot of options, you can sometimes never truly find the ones that would best fit your creation. That hairstyle is the best one I could find.
CAW Attire And Profile
Some attires are fairly easy to make. Others, especially those with tons of logos, are excruciatingly difficult to accurately portray. In some ways, you can even mix and match to come up with something that’s similar to what the wrestler is wearing.
For my Mercedes Martinez CAW, I chose that attire above, although I did change the color of her wrestling tights and boots a tad bit. You can also create an alternate attire for your CAW. Mine was just a change from turquoise and black to red and black instead.
After that, you’ll need to assign her name, social media account, hometown, crowd signs, and more. The last step is giving your CAW a menu pose. I chose one that’s a bit more expressive since the WWE 2K19 superstars all had rigid poses.
Anyway, here’s my Mercedes Martinez CAW:
CAW Moveset And Entrance
Hold on just a minute! We aren’t done yet. We still need to create her moveset, entrance, and even victory animations. Again, you can do these and a lot more via the WWE 2K19 Creation Suite. For her moveset, I just searched for a YouTube video. I found one that had her “Top 20 Moves” from the channel Internet Wrestling Database.
I couldn’t find the Fisherman Buster and the Surfboard Dragon Sleeper in the game so I had to make do with alternatives. You’ll also have a tough time looking for a full list since moderators are removing wrestler movesets from their Wikipedia pages for some inexplicable reason. You can try to ask around in various wrestling and CAW forums such as Caws.ws and Smacktalks.org for any advice.
For her entrance, it’s as easy as watching one of her matches (in full, of course, not just the highlights that WWE’s YouTube account releases). For instance, if you’re subscribed to the WWE Network — for $9.99 (ahem!) — you can watch some of her bouts in the Mae Young Classic. Certain motions in the Create-an-Entrance feature aren’t available, though, so you’ll have to make do with the next best option.
If you’re a wrestling fan who’s never tried to make a CAW, I urge you to do so. There are several brilliant creators out there who have an infinite amount of talent and patience, so kudos to those folks. However, if you feel that you can do a better job, or you want to put a spotlight on a superstar, give it a go.
You can even craft a version of yourself or some fictional character if you’d like. WWE 2K19 provides you most of the tools you need, and you can let your inner creativity do the rest. Share your talents with a community of fellow wrestling fans.
I know that it does take quite a bit of time and effort to make a decent CAW, but trust me, it’s rewarding. There’s nothing like seeing your own creations duke it out in the ring via exhibition matches. Even better, you can put them in Universe Mode to recreate certain tournaments or PPV bouts. Speaking of Universe Mode, we’ll also have a guide on how to maximize its features in WWE 2K19, so stay tuned for that.