The CEO Fighting Game Championship is one of the largest fighting game events in the world. And this year, CEO is partnering with All Elite Wrestling to bring the fights off the screen and into the ring.
CEO will be held at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center starting June 28 and will span across three days of hard-hitting action. If you play fighting games, odds are one or more of your favorites will be showcased at CEO. This year’s titles include big names like Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 11, and more.
Virtual fists won’t be the only ones flying at this year’s CEO, however. Pro wrestling and video game fans alike will have the unique opportunity to catch a ton of matches from a new promotion called All Elite Wrestling. The event has been dubbed “Fyter Fest” and will be All Elite Wrestling’s first show since last month’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view event. While Fyter Fest is taking place on Saturday, June 29 at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center Arena, the exhibit hall will remain open for the rest of CEO’s scheduled events.
So why would a fighting game fan be interested in a pro wrestling show from a new promotion? Many fighting games involve characters who are directly from a martial arts based anime or who at the very least look like they were designed for one. Pro wrestling is as close as you can get to a live-action fighting anime.
Pro wrestling has over-the-top characters who use signature abilities to put away their opponents in an extravagant (sometimes brutal) fashion. Just like an epic clash in a game or anime, wrestling matches are set up with weeks or even years of storyline build up. Matches involve good guys, bad guys, and sometimes guys who fall somewhere in the middle.
Although AEW is new to the scene, many of the names headlining the card aren’t. Mainstream U.S. wrestling fans will definitely recognize Jon Moxley, also known as Dean Ambrose during his time with WWE. Moxley recently made his surprise debut as the final act for AEW’s Double or Nothing PPV on May 25. After an exciting match between Kenny Omega and wrestling legend Chris Jericho, Moxley made his debut with the company by walking through the audience into the ring and then laying out everyone in sight.
Moxley’s first big match in the company will be at Fyter Fest against a former independent sensation known as the Bad Boy Joey Janela. Both Moxley and Janela have been known to mix unorthodox violence with hard-hitting athleticism throughout their careers, so you can expect this one to be brutal.
Moxley and crew aren’t the only recognizable names on the card, either. Fighting game fans who aren’t involved with pro wrestling at all may recognize five-star-match machine Kenny Omega. Over the past few years, Omega gained a wide amount of notoriety wrestling overseas for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
In his spare time, Omega streams games like Street Fighter and Apex Legends on his Twitch channel where he regularly plays with viewers. Omega, who’s originally from Canada, gained so much popularity while with New Japan that he’s arguably responsible for much of the company’s recent success in the U.S.
Omega wasn’t alone during his time in Japan, and he won’t be alone at Fyter Fest, either. Fellow AEW stars Matt and Nick Jackson, also known as the Young Bucks, will team with Omega as the trio take on three men who could potentially be the best Lucha Libre wrestlers on the planet. Omega and the Bucks will face Pentagón Jr and Fénix, also known as the Lucha Bros, as they team with AAA sensation Loredo Kid.
If you’re somewhat interested but still skeptical about the event, you should still tune in because it’s absolutely free. AEW Fyter Fest will be streamed on the official AEW YouTube channel, as well as on Bleacher Report Live starting Saturday, June 29 at 6:30pm CT.