On March 23rd, CM Punk went on the attack in a post on Instagram, hitting out at the likes of Dave Meltzer, Tony Khan, Chris Jericho, and Jon Moxley.
Punk claimed that he had been pressured to work despite being injured, said Moxley refused to lose to him, and claimed Meltzer was a liar and Jericho a “liar and a stooge.” The insults were in response to comments made by Meltzer on a message board where he suggested Punk almost didn’t turn up for the episode of Dynamite where he lost to Moxley, noting that “you can’t argue he willingly did what he was asked in that scenario.”
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer has now responded to the controversy and admitted that he feels bad about how the situation has played out.
“So then this time, I did a message board post, that I really wish I never did because so much has happened since then in so many destructive ways. Not just him. It was somebody just going, ‘One thing we can say was it was all smooth as far the match that he lost to Moxley, the real quick match before he beat him for the title’. And I just kind of said, ‘It really wasn’t that smooth’ because it really wasn’t, there was a lot going on. There was drama and everything.
When I said it, it wasn’t writing a news story or anything like that, but when I said it, I never said a lot of it had to do with his injury. And it did. In his defense, he was coming back from a broken foot, and it was a serious injury. And, that played into it as far as when he was gonna be ready. Whatever you think of the angle, the way the angle was, and the whole Rocky 3 thing, if you had more time, the angle would have been better if you had more time. But because of the injury, you didn’t have more time.
There’s things they could have done. But the whole point is a message board post that I didn’t need to make and I didn’t mention the fact that the injury was part of it in the fact that there was drama, which there was. So it’s just like, there was. I feel really bad about it.”
Looking at the drama his post seemingly caused, Meltzer said that other people such as Jericho and Moxley were dragged in despite not being involved.
“And then he goes and… it’s not like him saying, ‘Dave Meltzer’s a liar’. I hear stuff like that on a daily basis and I try never to do that, but, it’s like, whatever, I felt like, ‘You know what, I wasn’t really thinking, I didn’t really tell the whole story’, and then everything happens from there.
Again it’s almost the same thing because it’s like… it’s funny how different people take what I call the ‘shrapnel’, because I remember one time somebody was mad at me, and I go, ‘What are you mad at?’, and then they said, ‘Well Bryan said blah blah blah’. And it’s like, ‘I’m not Bryan’, and by the way, I wasn’t fair to what you (Bryan) said either, but whatever, that has nothing to do with it.
He kind of blasted Moxley too a bit, and certainly blasted Jericho, and this was at the time when everyone is trying to… see if you can make up, and make this thing work, and do the best thing for the company. And then this happens which just… how it’s gonna turn out, who the hell knows, but it certainly is never a good time to do that. And Jericho had absolutely nothing to do with this message (board) post. Nor did Moxley. And now it’s like, ‘Ah, god’. I just didn’t like this.
I’m just really sad that it happened this way. I want the best thing for the business, both companies. I’m happy WWE’s doing great, and, shoot, I was really happy watching Wednesday and seeing AEW get the good rating and the good rating pattern which was a really good story. The match (Kenny Omega vs El Hijo Del Vikingo) worked, you kinda made a star in one night, we talked about that was a phenomenal match. So everything was kinda looking… there’s always ups and downs but that was like a real up. And now, who the hell knows what’s going on.”
In closing Meltzer reiterated that he felt bad over how everything had played out, noting that it was “sad” how everything had gone down.
“Usually when something like this happens it means nothing, but when it actually negatively affects the business of wrestling, and this could… I don’t know. There’s so many different things I could say about it but I don’t wanna say more other than, there are people who live for this. And push this stuff. And in a lot of cases, I think that some of the guys may be what they are, and some of the guys may be manipulated by people into thinking, ‘Those guys hate you, those guys hate you’, and just making it that they start believing it.
But I’ll always hear from almost everyone in wrestling at some point like, ‘He doesn’t like me’, and it’s like, ‘Why would I not like anyone?’. It’s not a personal thing….
Anyway, I have no idea how this is gonna turn out, but it was probably, I don’t know, if I had anything to do with it, I’m really sorry that I didn’t… you know it’s funny because it makes no difference probably, but if I had just said, ‘This is the story, he was just coming off of an injury and the injury played a part in this in the timing of everything and how it went down’.
If he got mad and said I was a liar at that point, okay, it’s fine. It wasn’t me, but when he said that about the other guys, it was like, that’s not gonna be great for the dressing room. And I sense that a lot. Will they just laugh it off? I don’t know. It’s just something that it’s just sad to me how it all went down.”
Has WWE Contacted CM Punk?
CM Punk has been absent from AEW since All Out on September 4th. While the event was a mixed night for Punk in the ring, as he won the AEW World Title but suffered a serious triceps injury in the process, it was his conduct after the show that sparked chaos. At the post-show media scrum, he opened fire on a number of big-name AEW stars, before being involved in a brawl backstage.
Punk’s comments will do little to dampen speculation around a spectacular WWE comeback. However, despite reports that a deal might not be impossible between the two parties, WWE hasn’t reached out to Punk since that drama-filled night on September 4th, 2022.
H/t to Wrestle Talk