CM Punk hasn’t been seen in AEW since taking part in the now-infamous brawl following AEW All Out.
Minutes after winning the AEW World Championship in the main event of All Out, Punk took part in a media scrum where he launched into a verbal tirade against former friend Colt Cabana, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page, and though he didn’t call them out by name, the AEW EVP’s, who he said “couldn’t manage a Target.”
Enraged, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega confronted Punk in his dressing room, and the brawl that ensued has now become the stuff of legend. Not only were punches thrown, Punk’s trainer and friend Ace Steel reportedly threw a chair at Nick Jackson as well as biting Kenny Omega. Everyone involved in the melee was suspended, and Punk and The Elite were stripped of the title’s they’d won just hours before. Steel was fired from his role as backstage producer the following October following an investigation into the brawl.
The Elite returned to television at Full Gear, but Punk has remained absent. However, an April report revealed that at long last, he was on his way back to the company, expected to be part of the upcoming debut of a Saturday night broadcast called AEW Collision.
Collision was officially announced at today’s Warner Bros Discovery upfront, but Punk’s name was notably absent. While an email with links to the press release did make mention of his name, Warner Bros Discovery adamantly denies that he’s affiliated with Collision in any way.
CM Punk Wants Ace Steel Involved In AEW Collision
However, a report from Fightful Select reveals that CM Punk is very much still planned as part of Collision and that he was originally going to feature heavily in the announcement of the show despite references to him being removed by this morning. According to the report, the WBD upfronts were taped in advance, and decision not to feature talent came as a result of the ongoing WGA writers’ strike.
Fightful notes that there were “active content plans with Punk as of this week,” but also notes that plans are subject to change.
Punk has reportedly been in constant contact with AEW President Tony Khan ahead of his return and didn’t want to be advertised too far in advance, though it is unclear whether his wishes had any impact on changes to the press release. Khan is set to make a major announcement on tonight’s episode of Dynamite, and it remains to be seen whether Punk’s return plays into this announcement.
In addition, Fightful reports that Punk is pushing for the company to rehire Ace Steel to be involved in Collision, though there is no word on whether or not he will be returning to the company. Punk also wanted FTR and Andrade El Idolo involved in the new show, and that is reportedly the plan as of now.