The wrestling world is dominated by the WWE, so it isn’t surprising that its video games have a headlock on that category, as well. Other passionate contenders have stepped into the ring — Fire Pro Wrestling World deserves some praise — but not many can compete with the production value, budget, and hilarious glitches of the WWE 2K games. AEW, however, can and has stepped up with AEW: Fight Forever, which has a large pool of talent that’s still somewhat new to the digital world. And this fresh roster is a big part of the game’s appeal, so here’s how each of them stacks up.
This Georgia girl has a fat ass and a bad attitude, which translates to a rotten time for most of her opponents. The Queenslayer is fierce and not afraid to drop some serious offense in the ring or use foreign objects when the situation calls for it. Formerly of the Dark Order, Anna Jay A.S. has more recently allied herself with the Jericho Appreciation Society and tag partner Tay Melo, but it isn’t hard to imagine there’s ambition there for her own path. Her gear looks great and some people have announced publicly that they think she’s, “the hottest bitch in this place.” Gold is most likely in Anna’s future, but with a savvy player backing her, that’ll be sooner rather than later.
The Dark Order has had a lot of ups and downs since its debut, but one of the standouts in their ranks as faces or heels has been John Silver. The muscular mound may be of smaller stature than most wrestling icons, but he can certainly go in the ring and has always felt like somewhat of an underdog, which makes it fun to play him against larger opponents or in matches with seemingly impossible odds. Johnny Hungiee may not be one of the most-picked characters in the game at first, but his charisma spills through even in this digital form. This student of Mikey Whipwreck’s is pro-meat, all beef, and purely entertaining.
She isn’t just a former AEW Women’s World Champion, but the person to hold that belt the longest at this time, so let’s put a little respect on the name. Hikaru Shida is a woman of few words, a samurai on a mission, and as of late that has seen her facing off against The Outcasts. She’s a stylish person anywhere she goes, so it makes sense that her in-game model looks excellent, moves are fluid, and this Japanese warrior is a site to behold in action, especially when using her trademark kendo stick.
Will Hobbs lives up to the name Powerhouse. Everything he does is executed with raw strength and willpower. He is a dominant heel and his moves feel like any one of them could end a conflict right in the middle of the ring. The bigger guys aren’t usually my preferred combatants, but Powerhouse moves decently and I get a kick out of doing his Oklahoma Stampede finisher every time. Hobbs is a former member of Team Taz, associates with QTV, and held the TNT Championship, but his goal is to be the first African American AEW World Champion, and it seems like that chapter is already written in the Book of Hobbs, it’s just waiting to happen.
Her dominant reign may have hit a snag recently, but that doesn’t mean that Jade Cargill isn’t still that bitch. Cargill started out strong in the company, debuting in a feud involving Shaquille O’Neal, as well as Cody and Brandi Rhodes, and she’s continued to conquer the brand with the baddies and showed off her strength with an impressive TBS title run. She’s an imposing figure who sells the shit out of her moves, and it’s great how crisp that Jaded finisher looks in the game. Every piece of her assault feels like it’s going to hurt. Cargill has shown improvement over her time in the company and she’s the type to do stylish and nerdy entrances (Mortal Kombat, X-Men, and Thundercats – her gear looks good, but those would have been great to see here), leaving quite the impression. Jade is the brand of heel this game needs.
As a wrestler, it took a little time for Nyla Rose to grow on me. I was way more interested in her life as an actress, her work with Marvel Comics, and the path she is taking as a transgender athlete. Over the years, however, I came to respect the former champ’s in-ring work more and enjoy Rose’s matches, especially from a presentation standpoint. The Native Beast is a vicious heel and even in a loss, she comes across as a threat. Her model in the game isn’t perfect, but Nyla’s entrance with the mask and that song works very well. I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoy playing as Rose, as her moves can be a bit unruly at times and not connect. There’s just something satisfying about destroying opponents with that Beast Bomb.
I was first exposed to this duo in a fantastic promotion known as Lucha Underground and these two have never ceased to impress me since then. The Lucha Brothers are champions whether they’re currently holding belts or not, whether it’s AEW, ROH, or AAA, whether it’s together or in singles competition, both of these men are kings of the wrestling business. They have the look, moves, and off-the-charts showmanship even though they barely speak. This pair is also two-thirds of the dangerous Death Triangle group, which along with Pac, might be the most overall talented stable in the company.
The man who refers to himself as Absolute Ricky Starks is full of confidence, charisma, and interesting poses. He made his debut in an open challenge against Cody Rhodes and went on to join Team Taz, but everyone who took note of his NWA run knows that his path as a singles competitor is destined to be paved with more gold than just the FTW title. And his revolution will be televised. It’s just a shame that we don’t get to hear Starks more in the game.
This is a wrestler who has made a name for herself in other companies and stands out for a multitude of reasons, but the face paint certainly helps. Thunder Rosa has an excellent look, but she’s definitely had some better gear than what we see here — at least she gets her flag. This ferocious fighter from the graveyards of Tijuana has been a part of some brutal matches, especially against Britt Baker, and being able to recreate those encounters is a thrill. The former Women’s World Champion can be a force of nature, but she has sadly been dealing with injuries as of late. However, her absence may just inspire players to pick the unstoppable warrior in this game even more.
Sammy Guevara was one of the fresh faces in AEW that stuck out. He was a part of the first match to ever take place on Dynamite and as I read up on his training with Booker T, I was sure Guevara was someone to keep an eye on. Now, as one of the pillars of the company and a couple of titles under his belt, the ceiling for the Spanish God seems incredibly high. Playing someone with such spectacular aerial offense is exciting, especially since missing one or two high-risk maneuvers doesn’t take the player completely out of the match. And for those matches, I don’t want to feel like a daredevil I just hit that GTH, because it has such a satisfying crack when it connects.
He’s better than you (and me too).