WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth was a pro wrestling video game released in 2002 for the PS2 as the Attitude Era was coming to an end. By this point the Xbox has been released a year earlier and competition was heating up in the video game industry as Microsoft was establishing itself as a legitimate competitor. Xbox’s WWF Raw has been released in early 2002 and was generally considered to have been a let down, especially given the hype the game and the Xbox’s capabilities had been getting.
This gave Sony an opportunity. Come out with a wrestling game for the PS2 and wipe the floor with Xbox’s attempt. WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth did exactly that. It was miles ahead of WWF Raw in gameplay and features.
The cover featured a stare down between The Rock and Hulk Hogan, the memorable ‘Icon vs Icon’ match that occurred at WrestleMania 18. Characters were up-to-date, even including a young Brock Lesnar, who had recently made his pro debut in March 2002, before he’d eventually try his hand at the NFL and UFC.
Piracy was a problem back then as it is today. The instruction manual pointed out that unauthorised reproduction of the game constituted a criminal offense and that piracy harms consumers, developers, publishers and retailers.
The game provided multiple exhibition options including single, tag, six-man tag, handicap, Royal Rumble, King of the Ring, hardcore, survival, cage match, elimination, Hell in the Cell, “I Quit” match, Ironman, ladder match, last man standing, lumber jack match, slobber knocker (thank good ol’ JR for that one!), special referee, street fight, submission, table match, TLC – Table, Ladder & Chairs… oh my!, and Three Stages of Hell.
THQ wanted to learn more about what customers liked and disliked about WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth. They launched a research project for people to express their opinions and “get involved in the next generation of WWE games“.
And with the game came a chance to win VIP tickets to a live WWE pay per view. What’s not to like, especially when the questions were incredibly easy? “Who is Undertaker’s brother?”