AEW has confirmed to Sportskeeda that CM Punk has not been removed from their upcoming Fight Forever console game.
Ahead of the title's February release, an image of supposed marketing sleeves for the game was posted to Reddit. They featured currently absent AEW star CM Punk and an 'M' for Mature Age Rating, despite the title being advertised previously as 'T' for Teen.
The post sparked several questions, chiefly those surrounding CM Punk's appearance after the infamous 'Brawl Out' incident. The Cult of Personality is yet to return since All Out, and he was also omitted from the last trailer. This is despite seemingly being revealed as one of the cover athletes in the original showcase trailer.
After reaching out for clarification, AEW representatives told Sportskeeda that if anyone already shown to be a part of the game needed to be removed, they would make an announcement to the fans. They further stated that they expect all characters revealed to be in the game.
Addressing the supposed marketing sleeves, it was said that the cover art shown was used as a placeholder for a long time.
The official cover is featured in the latest trailer. It was also clarified that the game would be rated as 'T' for Teens in the US market. This has been confirmed by Fightful's Will Washington.
AEW: Fight Forever is the promotion's first foray into console gaming. The title will release on PS4/5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and Series consoles.
What has led to CM Punk's absence from AEW?
There are two potential reasons for the absence of CM Punk from All Elite programming. The Cult of Personality has been the center of speculation after his actions in the post-All Out media scrum and alleged altercation with the Elite following that.
Although never explicitly or officially stated, Punk and the Elite were absent from the Dynamite following the incident despite winning titles at the Chicago event. Tony Khan announced that he was forced to vacate the world and trios titles held by Punk and the Elite, respectively.
The Elite has since returned, but even without the questions surrounding Punk's future after the incident, he still could not compete. During his All Out contest with Jon Moxley, he sustained a torn tricep, so if he were to return to the ring, it would have to be in 2023.
Are you looking forward to AEW: Fight Forever? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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