As anyone with a pulse and a vague interest in music in the early 2000s knows, come the turn of the millennium, you just could not move for seeing Fred Durst pop up on something. MTV, Top Of The Pops, live sports games, even freakin' Wrestlemania; if there was a platform for the Limp Bizkit frontman to gesticulate on, chances are, he'd take it.
Perhaps it wasn't too surprising: by around 2001, Limp Bizkit were officially the biggest rock band on Planet Earth, with Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water selling well over a million copies in its first week alone when it was unleashed in October of 2000. It meant demand for Bizkit - and for Fred - was at a premium, which might explain why the rapper turned up in not just one, not two, but three different, fighting-based video games in that era.
Yup, Fred Durst has a storied history of brawling in the digital world. Of course, the redneck fucker from Jacksonville (his words, not ours!) has made no secret of his love of gaming over the years. Lest we forget, Limp Bizkit actually had Sega sponsor their tour in late 2000, with Bizkit fans even getting the chance to face off against members of the band on Sega's ultimately ill-fated Dreamcast console.
Even to this day, Limp Bizkit's fan social media and Reddit channels are littered with anecdotes about Durst's prolific presence within online gaming, and the man himself set up his own official Discord channel earlier this year.
Still, that doesn't make it any less of a trip to gaze back at Durst's unlikely cameo appearances in two WWE (then WWF) games and a Fight Club game (yep, there was a Fight Club game) , which all took place between 2001 and 2004. Let's dig in and take a look at each one.
WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It (2001)
Released in July 2001, the third entry in WWF's Smackdown series positioned it as the premiere wrestling gaming series in the world, courtesy of the introduction of full ring entrances, commentary and a flurry of new match types. At the time, Limp Bizkit's Rollin' was being used by none other than WWF icon The Undertaker for his entrance theme, meaning that THQ needed the song's presence in the game to make Taker's entrance truly authentic. It's believed that part of the deal to bring Rollin' into Just Bring It was to have Fred Durst himself appear as a playable character in the game.
As it turned out, not only did Durst get his wish, but he ended up having one of the coolest ring entrances in the entire thing. Coming out to Rollin' (duh), Durst's entrance saw him arrive in the back seat of a low-rider, dancing and throwing the iconic Rollin' signal as he's driven down the entrance ramp. Upon entering the ring, he continues jiving away and even gets a blast of pyro. Not bad! Durst was also given some mightily impressive wrestling moves, including a 450 splash that you can see being delivered to a hapless Test in the second video below (around the 4:50 mark, funnily enough).
WWF Raw (2002)
A largely forgotten entry into the WWF gaming canon compared to its Smackdown cousins, WWF Raw was released in 2002 on PC and Xbox, serving as the very first WWF game to arrive on the latter. Durst got another A-list entrance here, arriving once again to Rollin' (duh) but swapping his low-rider for a badass-looking motorbike, possibly in tribute to The Undertaker who was using one for his own entrance at the time. Durst still gets some Rollin' moves in, before (um, kinda weirdly) striding into the ring.
As for the wrestling itself, the Bizkit frontman's character was actually given one of Undertaker's finishers, the fearsome Last Ride power bomb, to use as his own. You Durst unleashing The Last Ride in all its glory below as he takes out poor Vince McMahon. This would all mark Durst's final appearance in a WWF/WWE video game. At least, so far.
Fight Club (2004)
Remember this? Nope, us neither. In 2004, five years after the much-debated film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Fight Club got its own video game on Xbox and Playstation 2, featuring characters from both the book and movie and...for some reason...Fred Durst again! We have no idea why, but according to an excellent, extended look inside Durst's video game appearances by YouTuber Matt McMuscles (see below), it was simply a case of the Bizkit man wanting to be in another game based on something he really liked. Fair enough.
While Fight Club attempted to stay true to its namesakes by being a particularly bloody and visceral take on the fighting game genre, it seems no one was interested; the game was panned by critics and failed to make any headway commercially. Still, it did give Fred Durst one more shot at being a digital ass-kicker, so for that, perhaps we should be grateful. Check out Durst's Fight Club appearance below, and if you want more on his unlikely gaming cameos, watch Matt McMuscles' video just below that.