A new report details the reactions those backstage in WWE had toward CM Punk’s media scrum comments and backstage altercation.
At AEW All Out, CM Punk defeated Jon Moxley to become a two time AEW World Champion. However, the bloody action in the ring was only the beginning of an eventful night for Punk, who made waves with his comments during the post-show media scrum where he sat with AEW President Tony Khan and issued verbal assaults against Hangman Adam Page as well as company EVPs The Elite for what CM Punk believes to be their part in spreading stories about Punk’s involvement with Colt Cabana’s diminished role in the company.
As a result of Punk’s comments, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks threatened to walk out of the company, and a physical altercation took place. According to one report, CM Punk was said to have thrown the first punch at Matt Jackson, and Ace Steel also got involved, allegedly throwing a chair that hit Nick Jackson in the eye and biting Kenny Omega.
A new report from Fightful Select detailed the reactions of many people within WWE to the situation. According to the report, one top star said that this seems like the behavior of the CM Punk they knew years ago.
Continuing, the report says that one WWE talent expressed that if the situation is a work, it’s one of the most elaborate works they’ve ever seen. Another talent shared this opinion, stating, “If this Punk press scrum thing is a work.. bravo.” Both talents reportedly reached out to Fightful to note that they’d individually learned that the situation was not a work, and they both expressed confusion as to why Tony Khan wouldn’t respond or provide clarity after Punk verbally bashed the AEW EVP’s.
One talent who worked with Punk in the past had this to say:
“You can’t expect a lot of people here to have a lot of positive things to say about Punk, and I think he’s aware of that and has probably come to peace with it. I feel like he’s trying to run things there, and it looks like he’s doing it.”
The report made note of one top WWE star who was said to be a “longtime main eventer” who got in touch with Fightful and said that they consider CM Punk’s actions to be unprofessional, and that they don’t believe he’s the leader he wants to be. They called CM Punk “selfish and arrogant,” which was a sentiment echoed by numerous others in the company, including some people who worked with Punk on set at FOX.
One WWE official was said to have agreed with Tony Khan that wrestlers having animosity with one another isn’t necessarily bad for wrestling, but that in severe situations like this, power needs to be asserted to let those involved know what’s tolerable and what’s not. The official said that with the exception of the altercation between Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar, these sorts of things didn’t happen anymore in the recent WWE climate because they knew they wouldn’t be welcomed back under Vince McMahon’s regime. When similar situations did arise, such as problems with Alberto Del Rio, the talent was fired.
Another top talent told Fightful that if the parties involved don’t put aside their personal issues in order to make money off of the drama, “none of them have business talking about drawing houses or losing fans or interest. They have a good show but this is still the biggest piece of business they’ve done and they have to capitalize.”