I started a run on that one last year (the HD version on the Wii U). Fun game, but you're right, the pacing can be awful. The beginning of the game is notoriously slow paced. I never finished my run this time around, since I thought I was close to done but wasn't. I believe I made it to the City in the Sky and lost interest. I know that's fairly close to the end, but I just couldn't make it at the time.
This weekend I found a gem on the PS4 (on sale too!): Fire Pro Wrestling World. I know this series has been around for ages, but I have never played one. Considering the 2K games are pretty trash (though I have never played those) I've had heard great things about FPWW. I was a huge fan of the old N64 WWF/WCW games (Attitude/Nitro era), and was looking for a 'new' wrestling experience. FPWW has a retro look that reminds me of the old SNES wrestling titles. It's plays well once you get used to the button timing. The goal isn't simply to button mash and win matches - it's to put on a good show, even if you lose. It's a strange concept to wrap your head around at first, but it's true to the pro wrestling world at large.
The real reason I got FPWW is the large community that creates wrestlers to download. Though the game itself is branded with New Japan wrestlers, the community has created wrestlers from all promotions and eras. Getting the wrestlers into the game is a bit clunky, but it's free. I've added about 300 wrestlers from WWF/WWE, WCW, ECW, NXT, TNA, and AEW. If I didn't do any sorting of the available characters and items (mats, aprons, etc.) there's ~70K things available. It's awesome!