All Elite Wrestling will release its first console game this year in the form of AEW Fight Forever, but the real drama can be devastating for the game. After a pay-per-view of AEW All Out last weekend, former AEW world champion SM Punk publicly criticized Colt the Boar, “The Gallows” Adam Page and the company’s executive vice presidents Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson. This led to a real fight behind the scenes that shook the whole AEW and could be a disaster for AEW Fight Forever when all is said and done.
There are conflicting reports about exactly what happened behind the scenes after the AEW All Out pay-per-view, but there is no doubt that a physical altercation took place. The most frequently reported details suggest that SM Punk hit Matt Jackson, while SM Punk’s friend Ace Steele is accused of hitting Nick Jackson with a chair, as well as biting Kenny Omega and dragging him by the hair. Who started the fight depends on which version of the story to believe, but regardless of this, the owner of AEW, Tony Khan, in response, suspended all participants and stripped them of their championship titles.
In the last episode of AEW Dynamite, it was announced that even though CM Punk had just won the AEW World Championship and Kenny Omega and Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) had won the AEW Trios World Championship, all four contestants would be stripped of their titles. . AEW immediately crowned new world trio champions after Death Triangle defeated Best Friends, and a tournament is being held to determine the next AEW world champion.
During the broadcast, AEW took special care not to mention directly any of the persons involved in the incident, until they were removed from the introductory part of the show. Since CM Punk, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks are among the most recognizable stars of the company, this is at least important. It remains to be seen what this radio silence on Punk, Omega and The Young Bucks means for AEW Fight Forever, but it’s easy to see how this could prove particularly problematic for the game.
After all, the athletes on the cover of AEW Fight Forever include SM Punk and Kenny Omega, with Punk featured at the center. Since SM Punk is easily the main star of AEW, it makes sense to use his image to promote a video game, but now that Punk is suspended from work and may well leave the company completely, it is unclear what this means for the game. It is possible that the marketing department of AEW Fight Forever will continue to use punk to promote the product, but it is also possible that the publisher THQ Nordic will have to change direction and come up with a new box art and a new athlete on the cover.
Punk has a stormy history when it comes to participating in video games about fighting for companies he’s at odds with. As some may recall, SM Punk was advertised for WWE 2K15 after his controversial departure from WWE in 2014. In response, Punk hired lawyers, and he ended up receiving undisclosed compensation for his resemblance to WWE 2K15.
It’s possible that the ink has already dried on the contracts that will keep CM Punk in AEW Fight Forever, both as a cover athlete and in the game list, but it’s also possible that there will be some disagreements. Similarly, if Kenny Omega and Young Bucks end up leaving AEW for good, it will also call into question whether they can also be featured in a video game.
Speaking of Omega, Kenny Omega has reportedly been of great help in AEW Fight Forever, helping to oversee the development of the game. Omega is a big fan of video games, so it makes sense that he helped oversee AEW Fight Forever as part of his duties as one of the company’s executive vice presidents, but after a real behind—the-scenes brawl in which he allegedly participated. it is unknown how much he will participate in the development of the game.
There are many unknowns about exactly how AEW will handle this situation as it develops. Right now, the parties involved have been removed from office and stripped of their titles, but it’s unclear if they will be fired from the company permanently or will return at some point in the future. In the short term, it’s also unclear how all of this will affect the video game. We must imagine that this will at least interfere with the marketing plans of the game, especially since top stars and athletes from the covers are currently being punished by the company.
The latest issue of AEW Dynamite featured a brief advertisement for AEW Fight Forever, reminding fans that they can pre-order the game on GameStop, and advertising the award received at Gamescom. The advertisement shown in the corner of the screen was not mentioned by the AEW comment team, but it retained the AEW Fight Forever box art with SM Punk and Kenny Omega, so it seems that if there are serious changes, they will not be. it hasn’t happened yet.