Legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette isn’t one to mince words, and he’s taken AEW to task for firing Ace Steel following the events of All Out.
Steel, who had been working backstage as a producer in AEW prior to All Out, is a longtime friend of CM Punk, who also hasn’t been seen since All Out. An April report indicated that he was returning to All Elite Wrestling, but just as his return was about to be announced, he found himself at odds with AEW over the return of Steel.
Punk was reportedly pushing for Steel to be rehired after he was fired last October due to his involvement in the post-All Out brawl. During the melee, Steel was said to have not only thrown a chair at Nick Jackson, but also bit Kenny Omega. Punk wanted Steel to come back and be involved in AEW Collision, but the decision was made to have Steel not be involved in the actual Collision tapings despite having been hired several months ago with the understanding that he would return to the road when Collision was up and running.
Speaking exclusively to Kenny McIntosh for Inside the Ropes, Jim Cornette commented on the All Out brawl, saying Punk was clearly looking for a fight and The Elite accepted.
“And with Ace Steel, let me ask you this, Kenny. So whether you blame Punk, whether you blame Punk, or whether you blame the EVPs, Punk was in his dressing room. He had already said if you got a problem with me, come find me. That’s not an invitation for a summit meeting while the guy’s injured got gig marks on his head and just had a 30 minute match and it’s two o’clock in the morning after a f*cking press scrum. And that’s if you got a problem with me, come find me means you want to fight.
“So then the people that he was directing those comments to burst through his locker room door in animated fashion. Okay, that seems like they’ve accepted a fight.”
“Ace Steel Was A Third Side” – Jim Cornette On AEW All Out Brawl
Continuing, Jim Cornette blasted Tony Khan and AEW management for firing Ace Steel when Punk, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks were the ones to instigate the brawl.
“Whichever one of those sides that you want to blame, Ace Steel was a third side. He hears f*cking commotion in a room where his best friend and his wife, Ace Steel’s wife, who was in a cast from a broken foot are occupying, and he hears a fight and he runs in and he sees three or four people on top of his friend and his wife’s cowering in a corner. What are you gonna do? Right? But he’s the one that gets fired?! You don’t fire Punk or you don’t fire the EVPs but you fire the guy that came into the goddamn chaos and tried to f*cking help the outnumbered individual.”
Cornette also took the company to task for claiming to have had an independent investigation into the brawl, something he doesn’t believe took place. He believes the AEW EVP’s have a major conflict of interest in the situation, and could even be intentionally sabotaging Punk’s return.
“So what the f*ck, this whole thing has been a clusterf*ck. There was no independent investigation. That was all bullsh*t from the start. And the same people that are apparently handling the legal wranglings to get Punk back in, to potentially give Ace Steel a job again and make everybody sing Kumbaya is the legal team were one of the head legals was one of the people that rushed into the room? Can you say conflict of interest?
“And how, one more question and then respond. And how is it that even though you never hear from Punk in the press until one of these things happens, and he Instagrams or Twitters or whatever he needs to do to make his side known? How is all his sh*t continuing to fall apart? Is it because Tony is letting people try to handle making this deal that don’t want to make the deal and constantly screw it up after it’s made?”
If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Inside the Ropes’ Kenny McIntosh and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.