AEW President Tony Khan has boldly claimed that there’s no bigger star in all of professional wrestling today than CM Punk.
On October 15th the final 30 minutes of an extended Supersized SmackDown went up against the first 30 minutes of AEW Rampage. The clash marked the first time that AEW programming had directly gone up against a main roster WWE show.
In the lead up to the head to head AEW President Tony Khan hit out at WWE on multiple occasions, expressing his determination to emerge on top.
Appearing on Busted Open Radio ahead of Rampage, Khan talked up the clash CM Punk and Matt Sydal, describing the former as the “biggest star in pro wrestling right now.”
“There’s no bigger star in all of pro wrestling right now than CM Punk. And I’m really excited about his match with Matt Sydal tonight.”
On the night CM Punk continued his undefeated run since joining AEW, picking up the win after a high quality encounter.
Tony Khan’s comments come as WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns was a little less complementary about CM Punk.
Speaking during an interview with Mike DeStefano of Complex, the Head of the Table was asked whether he would like to face CM Punk, now that he sits atop WWE, while Punk is prominently featured in AEW.
Reigns said that if enough fans clamoured for the match he wouldn’t turn it down, but questioned the appeal in taking on Punk. The Tribal Chief suggested that the former WWE Champion had “lost a step or two” since returning to pro wrestling, adding that a match wouldn’t elevate him.
“If our audience wanted to see it and they were clamouring for it, couldn’t shut up about it, and all the stars aligned, as a businessman and as a performer who was trying to seek out the very best for the audience and try to captivate, I wouldn’t say no. But I mean, on a personal level, it doesn’t do anything for me. That’s not going to elevate me at all. He’s older now. I haven’t really seen a full match. I’ve seen a clip or two. And to me, a step or two has been lost. Then also he got his whooped in the UFC.”
Roman Reigns was speaking ahead of meeting arguably the biggest threat to his Universal Title to date at Crown Jewel, Brock Lesnar.