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CM Punk has seemingly been removed from the cover of the upcoming AEW video game, following reports that the wrestling firm is looking to part ways with the performer.
Punk, real name Phil Brooks, is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling, as has been since he made his long-awaited return to the world of professional wrestling last year. Punk was also set to the main cover star of AEW Fight Forever, the company’s upcoming wrestling game, however, that no longer seems to be the case.
A new trailer for the game has been released, which ends with new artwork no longer featuring CM Punk, but instead featuring Kenny Omega, Adam “Hangman” Page, and Chris Jericho, along with other AEW stars.
The reason for CM Punk’s removal and apparent ongoing exit from the company is likely why the cover art has been changed. Following AEW’s All Out 2022 event, Punk spoke openly at a press conference, verbally berating several other AEW superstars, however, this wasn’t part of the script, and instead real backstage issues were brought to light.
Following this, some of the wrestlers that Punk referred to, including Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), confronted Punk in his locker room. This quickly lead to a brawl which saw one of Punk’s associates, former pro wrestler Ace Steel, reportedly bite Omega.
Following the incident, all involved were suspended pending an internal investigation, however, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks made their return to AEW television last night, while Punk hasn’t been referenced, and is being widely reported to be done with the company.
Yuke’s confirmed last year that it was working on a new “best in class” console game for AEW. During the game’s announcement, it was revealed that genre luminary Hideyuki Iwashita, the director of classic fighting games WWF No Mercy and Def Jam Vendetta, would also be involved in the AEW title.
Iwashita’s influence can be seen in most of the gameplay footage shown to date, which looks more like a modern version of WWF No Mercy rather than recent Yuke’s WWE games.
It was also confirmed last year that the late Owen Hart, who died in an accident at a WWF show in 1999, will make a posthumous appearance as a playable wrestler in the AEW game, as part of a partnership with the non-profit charity the Owen Hart Foundation.