Last week was supposed to be a glorious day for wrestling fans as we got a couple of big pay-per-view shows. Not only did we get WWE’s Clash at the Castle, we also had AEW’s All Out event as well. You would think fans would be talking about how great the matches were all throughout and what are the repercussions for the storylines they’ve developed during those shows. However, no one is really talking about Clash at the Castle or All Out, despite both shows doing real good overall. There’s very little talk about Solo Sikoa’s debut or MJF’s shocking return to become the Number 1 contender for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship.
Instead, the only thing wrestling fans have in mind these days was what happened behind the scenes after All Out and the fallout during, of all things, a media scrum. It’s all because CM Punk went on a tirade during the press conference and a backstage brawl which included CM Punk, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Ace Steel, Michael Nakazawa, Christopher Daniels and, I’m not kidding, a dog named Larry. I can’t blame them because it’s the most interesting thing in wrestling now!
With all of this going on and the state All Elite Wrestling is at right now, I do believe Tony Khan, the owner of AEW, should really take the reins of the situation and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, find a way to get rid of CM Punk, probably the company’s biggest superstar they have.
For those not in the know, trouble has been brewing behind the curtain in All Elite Wrestling for a while now but it all boiled over after AEW All Out after show media scrum. CM Punk went on a tirade against other AEW wrestlers. It didn’t matter if they were still working for AEW or not; none were safe. This did not sit well with a lot of performers in the locker room, including the Young Bucks, who also happen to be EVPs of AEW. The Young Bucks, along with Kenny Omega went to CM Punk’s dressing room and confronted him, leading to a brawl backstage. After the dust had all settled, CM Punk was stripped of the AEW World Heavyweight Championship, the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were relieved of their Trios Championship and everyone who participated in the fracas were suspended. That’s just a very brief overview as there is a whole mess of details which led to this.
So why am I saying Tony Khan should get rid of CM Punk? It seems ludicrous to do so as he’s got one of the biggest fanbases in all of professional wrestling. A lot of fans think he never got his due in the WWE and his transition to AEW was a very good thing. Well, the simple reason is he seems more trouble than he’s worth right now.
First off, CM Punk has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in AEW. It’s not just the Young Bucks who have issues with him. It’s also people like Eddie Kingston and “Hangman” Adam Page. Although he is a legend in the wrestling world, he’s just rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in AEW for various reasons. Whether it be airing out the company’s dirty laundry during a press conference or insulting his fellow AEW wrestlers, CM Punk isn’t exactly welcome backstage anymore. This can get particularly problematic, especially if other AEW wrestlers refuse to work with him during storylines and matches.
Add to this is CM Punk new habit of getting injured frequently. Honestly, it’s rather disturbing how he keeps on getting hurt during his matches, especially after winning the biggest title in AEW. In May, CM Punk battled “Hangman” Adam Page for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship and he won. He did injure his leg during the match, leading him to be on the shelf for some time. Jon Moxley became interim AEW World Heavyweight Champion. When CM Punk returned just last month, he was scheduled to fight Moxley to determine who was the undisputed AEW World Heavyweight Champion. This led to the events of All Out where CM Punk did win the belt. It wasn’t evident, even during the post show media scrum, but it appears CM Punk tore one of his triceps during the match. This meant that, even if CM Punk didn’t get suspended during the backstage brouhaha, he was going to be on the shelf again for a good while.
I’m not saying CM Punk can’t wrestle anymore or anything like that. This just means CM Punk would have to change his entire wresting style as he can’t keep going balls to the walls anymore. He’ll have to work a little bit smarter and take less riskier bumps during his matches. I do think, however, it’s a bad idea to keep on trying to put the company’s top prize on someone who seems to get injured just after he wins the big one, especially now.
Even if AEW do put him on something like the mid-card and CM Punk starts wrestling with less intensity, there’s still a chance he could get hurt again and would have to take some time off. This would lead whatever storyline he’s on unresolved and, well, generally a bummer if they want to tell longform stories.
The biggest reason as to why AEW should let CM Punk go is, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, CM Punk isn’t exactly drawing audiences. Sure, there are the big moments, especially when he made his first appearance in AEW where he made a lot of fans tune in. He certainly brought in the hype and, more importantly, the ratings.
That was then.
If we look at All Elite Wrestling’s ratings for either Dynamite and Rampage, they haven’t exactly hit the same highs as, say, WWE’s RAW and Smackdown shows. You may say AEW doesn’t really need to top WWE’s ratings and I’ll have to agree with you. You do have to take into account, however, what AEW has to pay CM Punk as well as how him being there is causing backstage problems. If he was drawing in massive ratings, I could see AEW keeping him on the roster as higher ratings equals more revenue. That sadly doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. CM Punk can still pull in crowds but the crowds aren’t big enough to warrant all the backstage drama. It’s just not worth it.
Now, I wouldn’t mind if Tony Khan pushed CM Punk over to Ring of Honor, another wrestling promotion he owns. It could be a nice homecoming for him since that’s where he made a name for himself. It would also isolate him away from all the AEW wrestlers who hate his guts. The bottom line, though, it just seems like it’s more problematic to keep CM Punk on the AEW roster. CM Punk is out because of the injury so maybe something can be worked on and maybe all the bad blood can resolve itself by the time he’s cleared for in-ring competition again. If it can’t, well, keeping CM Punk on the roster is, to coin a WWE phrase, bad for business.
Of course, it all could be an elaborate work and, if it is, congratulations, AEW! You worked one hell of an engrossing angle!
What’s your take on the entire CM Punk backstage drama? Let me know in the comments section below!