“They’ve Shot Themselves In The Foot” – Jim Cornette On AEW Collision Without CM Punk

Jim Cornette reacting to AEW Collision

Jim Cornette doesn’t believe AEW Collision has enough star power without CM Punk, and he blames AEW management for backing out of their original agreement with Punk.

Back in April, it was reported that CM Punk was on his way back to AEW for the first time since the melee following All Out back in September.

It was expected that Punk would be central to the announcement of AEW Collision, a new Saturday night broadcast. However, when the official announcement regarding Collision was made at the Warner Bros Discovery upfront on May 14th, CM Punk’s name was nowhere to be seen, despite having been included in the company’s original press release.

It later emerged that Punk was once again at odds with his employer over the return of his friend and trainer Ace Steel, who was fired back in October following an investigation into the All Out brawl. According to reports, Steel was re-hired by the company several months ago with the understanding that he could return to the road once Collision was up and running. However, the day before the big announcement, it was determined that he would not be able to go back on the road after all, and the disagreement led to Punk being removed from advertising.

While Tony Khan announced multiple upcoming locations for Collision last week, the June 17th debut location has yet to be revealed. It was expected that it would take place at the United Center in Chicago, but with Punk’s return up in the air, the company may resort to a backup location.

Speaking exclusively to Kenny McIntosh for Inside the Ropes, legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette spoke about the messy situation surrounding Collision’s debut, pointing out that the company has put themselves into a bad situation as the show desperately lacks star power without Punk involved.

“Well, for one thing, they couldn’t announce the date, not the date, but they couldn’t announce the place of the debut episode. They announced the following five weeks and from what I understand tickets have gone on sale and they are literally limping out the door. Because the press release was to feature CM Punk plus Samoa Joe and Thunder Rosa and all the other names that were mentioned, they took the big one out of there.

“I’m not downgrading Samoa Joe, Thunder Rosa, anybody else involved in that press release but they are names that have either been absent from Ring of Honor television, or AEW television or have been in Ring of Honor, which is not on television, or absent completely out injured whatever the case, nobody in that list has been featured as a star.

“So people think well wait a minute, on Wednesday night, they’re gonna get, you know, plumber, Moxley and the BCC and they’re gonna get Jericho and his appreciators, and they’re gonna get Daniels, all these big stars, and over here we’re gonna get f*cking Lee Moriarty or whatever. So again, they’ve shot themselves in the foot.”

“Tony’s People Can’t Keep Their Deal” – Jim Cornette On AEW Breaking Promise To CM Punk

Continuing, Cornette spoke about Tony Khan and AEW management changing their minds regarding Ace Steel’s return to the road, wondering why they agreed to hire Steel back in the first place if they were going to keep him off the road.

“They had time if they didn’t want to put this deal together with Punk if they weren’t going to honour the deal that they did put together then why didn’t they just three months ago say f*ck it, we’re gonna figure something else out. Instead, Tony puts a deal together again, is ready to announce it and it falls apart. Because Tony’s people can’t keep their deal, something keeps happening.”

In fact, Cornette doesn’t believe Steel should have been fired in the first place after examining the reported events of the All Out brawl.

“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.

“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.

“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.