“I hear the Battle Cry, Under the Devil’s Sky, I hear the Battle Cry, Under the Devil’s Sky” These are lyrics to one of All Elite Wrestling’s Executive Vice President’s Kenny Omega also known as “The Cleaner” also one of the greatest pro wrestlers on the planet. With every wrestling company, comes the want of a game for said promotion. During the “Monday Night Wars” between World Championship Wrestling and the then, World Wrestling Federation came a renaissance of wrestling games from AKI, Acclaim, Yuke’s, and countless more. With the dismal response to 2K and Visual Concepts’ WWE 2k20 last year, and the launch of a competitor to World Wrestling Entertainment in the form of All Elite Wrestling led by Kenny Omega, Matt and Nick Jackson, and Cody Rhodes; fans who have gone from WWE to AEW want to see a video game from the company. Well, you are in luck.
There was a tease for something happening with AEW and video games so earlier today EVP Kenny Omega opened the video in a Steve Jobs way appearance and all, he cited the highs the company has reached and thanked the fans who have supported the company. He then revealed the following image in his PowerPoint presentation
He went on to say that he wanted to “give the wrestling fans the game they want, and the game they deserve.” He name-dropped NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and Ken Griffey Jr’s Home Run Derby as what he wants the games to be like. After showing “concept footage” of him and World Champion Jon Moxley in a very pixelated video, he said that the fans want games like No Mercy and Virtual Pro Wrestling. He then went from the “Concept Footage” to the actual concept footage with the announcement that the game will be on current and last-generation consoles.
The trailer featured only Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, and Women’s champ, Hikaru Shida. Kenny Omega is then wooshed off stage by All Elite Wrestling Senior Referee Aubrey Edwards who also is in a Steve Jobs getup and makes a similar speech that Kenny Omega made but instead of wanting to make the greatest wrestling video game, she wants to create the best mobile wrestling game. From here we see The Young Bucks, MJF, Jon Moxley, Cody Rhodes, and then Big Swole and things go to the second game, a mobile game “Elite General Manager“. This hypes up the return of GM Mode, which is a feature that was in Yukes’ WWE Smackdown vs Raw games from 2005-2007.
There was a break as Britt Baker walked onstage to reveal an AEW Games shirt which you can buy here. Kenny then tries to get to his “One More Thing” moment but is interrupted by Cody Rhodes who, like everyone else is in a Steve Jobs outfit. He had some comedic moments I missed seeing so much on old ROH/NJPW episodes of Being The Elite but mentioned that since both of the games are currently in development, there should be something that fans can play now. They then cut to footage of Kenny in a casino with other roster members such as the Dark Order, Ricky Starks, Orange Cassidy, and more. This is AEW Casino: Double or Nothing coming to mobile.
Kenny then reiterates the fact that they have partnered with Yukes and they are working 24/7 in Japan and in the US to bring the best wrestling game to consoles. He then announces that Hideyuki “Geta” Iwashita who was the director of WWF No Mercy on the Nintendo 64, which is also one of the greatest wrestling games of all time would be a part of the project.
My thoughts on this are somewhat conflicted. While I do love All Elite Wrestling and the way they’ve courted the “lapsed fan” that stopped watching wrestling when WCW and ECW went off the air close to twenty-years ago while at the same time featuring the type of wrestling seen at Pro Wrestling Guerilla, with a roster of the best names you have and haven’t heard of. I personally am excited about the console game and Elite General Manager. possibly more so Elite General Manager as I miss running Smackdown into the ground in SvR 2006-2008.
My only concern is that the development team/team’s on the console game over at Yukes aren’t in the same cycle they were in when making the Smackdown vs Raw games. I also hope this game is in the vein of Pro Wrestling X which was a love letter to the AKI games such as No Mercy. You can check it out on steam here.