Update On Ace Steel’s AEW Deal, “Key Talent ” Shocked By Recent Developments

Ace Steel CM Punk

With the launch of AEW Collision confirmed, attention has turned to whether CM Punk will be returning to All Elite Wrestling, and whether he will be doing so with former producer Ace Steel.

Steel is famously close to Punk and was the only person to lose his job following the brawl at All Out in September. It was alleged that the former Ring of Honor star threw a chair at Nick Jackson and was seen biting Kenny Omega.

However, it appears that Steel had already agreed to return to the company along with Punk.

It had previously been reported that Punk will make his grand return on the debut episode of Collision on June 17th in Chicago. However, the announcement confirming the new show came and went without a mention of Punk. This was despite promotional materials being created with the star front and centre, and his name originally featuring in press releases. It was revealed that these mentions were later edited out.

This was followed by suggestions that Punk’s deal to return was falling apart due to his insistence that Steel joins him on Collision as a producer. However, AEW reportedly informed Punk that Steel wouldn’t be allowed to attend TV tapings. To add to the confusion further, a report from Nick Hausman stated that Steel had actually been rehired months earlier.

Reporting in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has offered an update on the confusing and seemingly volatile situation. Meltzer noted that AEW denied that Steel would be returning, although other sources backed up the report from Hausman that he had been rehired already.

However, the company wanted him to work remotely, but those close to Steel believed he would be returning at the premiere episode of Collision. This was said to be a closely guarded secret.

“I don’t believe anyone, past Punk and whoever he may have told, knew about Ace Steel (Chris Guy) returning until a few found out about a week ago. It also should be noted that while we had heard talk about a Steel deal to return as a producer for Collision from multiple sources, we had also been told from the top in checking that we were told it was not true.”

The veteran journalist explained that this disagreement over Steel’s role is where things began to fall apart.

“Steel and Punk were under the impression he would be back in his old role as a producer. Steel had been in talk with Impact until several weeks ago, concurrent with the detailed story (and as noted denied to us by AEW) that he had inked a new deal to return. The story is that Tony Khan told Punk that Steel could have his job and work closely with Punk, but that he would work remotely and not be brought to the Collision tapings. Everything fell apart at that point.”

Those Close To Ace Steel Insisted His Status Was A Secret

Meltzer added that “key talent” was “shocked” when they found out about the situation.

“But at the time those close to him said that it was a closely kept secret and he would actually return at the first Collision show. Even top people in AEW at the time were unaware of this and most still didn’t know until this week. When key talent found out about two weeks ago, they were shocked.”

There remains no official confirmation that CM Punk will be returning to AEW, although he is said to retain a good relationship with Tony Khan.