Whether he wanted to or not, CM Punk found himself in the middle of yet another wrestling controversy.
The May 17th episode of AEW Dynamite was supposed to be some sort of grand celebration. After Tony Khan teased one of his major announcements, most people presumed it was going to be a double-whammy: that AEW was going to formally announce its Collision Saturday night show and that Punk would appear on its debut episode in Chicago on June 17th.
But when the announcement came, it was only the first part; there was no mention of Punk.
Because of this, fans have wondered what has caused AEW to continue brushing aside any questions about the famous Chicagoan. As it turns out, Punk is allegedly embroiled in internal dispute over his friend Ace Steel.
For those that may not recall, Ace Steel was a producer in AEW and was on Punk’s side during the All Out post-media scrum brawl. He was also the only person fired after the incident was investigated for hitting one of the Young Bucks hard with a chair and for biting Kenny Omega.
But that’s not all. According to Dave Meltzer, another twist in the tale has emerged. Steel was re-hired by Tony Khan at Punk’s request with Khan allegedly promising Punk that Steel would work as a producer for Collision,
And yet, the latest wrinkle goes even further as Meltzer noted that Steel’s position was changed from in-person producer to staff working remote. This change is believed to be the reason Punk’s name was scrubbed from the big Collision announcement and from the May 17th Dynamite in general.
This whole debate has caused many industry veterans to weigh in on the issue, including Eric Bischoff, a man with plenty of in-person experience dealing with egos, negotiations, and factions within a backstage environment.
Eric Bischoff thinks CM Punk “may not be worth the drama”
Speaking on his Strictly Business podcast, Eric Bischoff wondered why AEW was putting so much time, effort, and money into placating CM Punk when he seemed to being as much negative attention to the company as he did positive.
“Unfortunately, Tony will find a way to allow this to continue, and Punk will be back, which will be a big mistake,” Bischoff said. “Who the f–k is Ace Steel anyway?”
Just because he’s a confidant of CM Punk’s? Why is he allowed to jeopardize the network premiere of a brand-new show? Are you f—ing kidding me? People say I’m just being negative when I refer to the dysfunction within the infrastructure and the business side of AEW, but this [is a good example].”
h/t WrestlingInc for the transcription