We still don't know when AEW: Fight Forever will arrive, but we do know that when it comes, it won't have CM Punk on the cover.
A new trailer for the upcoming wrestling game dropped yesterday showcasing various wrestlers that will be featured in-game. Not only was outspoken CM Punk conspicuously absent from the personalities speaking in the trailer, but the game also featured new cover art that removed CM Punk entirely. The former cover art prominently placed Punk at the center, while the new cover art features AEW stars such as Kenny Omega, Adam Page, Chris Jericho, Sting, Jade Cargill, Britt Baker, and others.
The new trailer and cover seem to confirm reports that CM Punk has fallen from favor within All Elite Wrestling. At AEW's All Out event in September, CM Punk went off-script at a press conference, berating several AEW colleagues and airing back-stage gripes. This reportedly led to a locker room confrontation between Punk, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson). The ensuing brawl resulted in CM Punk being stripped of his AEW World Championship title and indefinitely suspended from all future AEW matches.
A day later, it was reported that Punk had received an injury at All Out and he would be off for eight months to recover from surgery. This, combined with being removed from the upcoming video game's cover art, has left Punk's future at AEW very much in doubt. Omega and The Young Bucks, meanwhile, returned to AEW TV last night.
CM Punk's apparent departure from AEW and potentially Fight Forever is just the latest wrinkle in what has been reportedly a contentious development cycle. Rumors from earlier this year stated developer Yuke's, which worked on the WWE 2K series from 2000 to 2018, was trying to "take advantage" of an inexperienced Kenny Omega and AEW, demanding additional funds to finish the game and sending Fight Forever "way over budget." In response, AEW is considering Fight Forever a "one and done arrangement," with the wrestling stable looking for a new partner for future games.
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