Just days ago it appeared that the situation around CM Punk was close to being resolved. However, following more controversy, confusion, and everything in between, the star’s return appears far from certain.
In recent weeks it had been reported that CM Punk would be making his long-awaited return to AEW on June 17th on the debut episode of Collision. That taping would just so happen to come live from the United Center in Chicago under the name “The Second Coming.”
Despite this, at the announcement confirming the arrival of Collision, there was no mention of CM Punk. It later came to light that he had been featured in promotional materials and press releases for the show before being edited out. This was followed by reports that a deal between AEW and Punk had hit a roadblock over the return of Ace Steel.
Steel left his role as a producer following his alleged involvement in the brawl following All Out, but Punk requested that he also be brought back. Things came to a head when AEW made it clear that while Steel could return he wouldn’t be allowed to attend television tapings, but Punk and Steel were under the impression he would work on location at Collision.
This has placed Punk’s return very much in doubt, something that could have huge implications. With the debut episode of Collision being based around the star and being held in Chicago, there are fears that the show could be derailed if he doesn’t appear.
According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, AEW is so worried that this might be the case, that they have contacted Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida over potentially moving the taping. It should be noted that this isn’t an official switch, and more a case of AEW exploring contingency plans.
“AEW has had contact with Daily’s Place as a possible back-up location for the debut of Collision on 6/17. This is not an official change, but it does appear that the CM Punk situation has until Wednesday to go whichever way it goes and if he’s not appearing then they won’t go to the United Center. People involved with the proposed event said they were told yesterday about the show being possible and that a decision would be made over the next week.
The feeling is, and I agree with this, that the United Center is not the right place for the debut unless Punk is going to be there because fans will expect him and be disappointed if he’s not there, whether he’s advertised or not. Also, without fans believing he will be there, I don’t see them being able to sell enough tickets on such short notice that it would be worth it since they already have a show a few days later at the Wintrust Arena.”
Relationship Between CM Punk And Tony Khan Intact
Following the whirlwind of speculation around CM Punk and Ace Steel, it was reported that Steel had been secretly re-hired months ago, leaving a number of top stars shocked when they found out.
However, the same report noted that Punk’s relationship with Tony Khan remains on a “sound footing.” This seemingly keeps the door open for further negotiation, with a deal to come back far from dead.