Update On CM Punk's Future With AEW
By Jason Hall
January 20, 2023
CM Punk has reportedly been put "on ice" by All Elite Wrestling CEO, President, General Manager and Head of Creative Tony Khan, according to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer.
“Right now, from the Punk side, the belief is that Tony Khan has put Punk on ice for now, as there are no ideas to use him that have been presented but no talk at all of late to release him either," Meltzer wrote.
The report comes several months after Punk went on a tirade during his post-All Out media scrum prior to a physical altercation, which launched an investigation into the incident and was later reported to have suffered a torn pectoral injury during his match that same night.
Punk, who had won the AEW World Championship in the main event match of All Out, accused "irresponsible people who call themselves EVPs" of "spreading lies" and leaking information that he had falsely gotten his former best friend Scott 'Colt Cabana' Colton "fired," while also referring to former AEW Champion 'Hangman' Adam Page -- a longtime friend of Colton and 'The Elite' members Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), the EVPs in question -- as "an empty headed f*****g dumb f***" for going "out on national television and f*****g go into business for himself" during a promo opposite Punk ahead of their title match at Double or Nothing in May.
The comments led to a reported physical altercation involving himself, his original wrestling trainer Ace Steel -- who then-served as an AEW backstage producer at the time -- and the Elite, who had won the inaugural AEW World Trios titles earlier in the night.
Steel was reportedly fired for his role in the skirmish in October, Meltzer reported at the time.
Other individuals suspended in relation to the incident that have since returned to their television and/or backstage roles includes:
- Kenny Omega
- Matt Jackson
- Nick Jackson
- Ace Steel
- Pat Buck
- Christopher Daniels
- Michael Nakazawa
- Brandon Cutler
Punk had previously experienced a foot injury in May, which caused him to vacate the AEW World Heavyweight championship days after his victory. The 43-year-old returned from injury in September 2021.
Punk defeated Jon Moxley during All Out's main event before a returning Maxwell Jacob Friedman revealed himself to be the disguised 'Joker' entrant in a ladder match won earlier in the night to earn a title shot, teasing another feud with Punk as the show went off-air.
AEW then announced a tournament to decide the new World Heavyweight Champion the following night, which was won by Moxley on the September 21 episode of Dynamite, who later lost the title to Friedman at Full Gear.