Absolutely wild news outta the wrestling world today: CM Punk has been FIRED from AEW by Tony Khan after reportedly getting into a fight with Jack Perry (Luke Perry's son) backstage at Wembley Stadium last weekend.
Plenty of different versions of the story are going around right now, but to paint the picture of why this fight even happened in the first place, let's rewind the clock a couple weeks....
Jack Perry apparently had a spot planned on an episode of AEW Collision that involved crashing through glass - and he wanted to use real glass in said spot.
CM Punk, being the locker room leader of Collision (and the whole reason that show exists in the first place), put the kibosh on that, and said there's no reason to put yourself at risk with real glass when you could just use prop/sugar glass. I tend to agree with Punk there, but Perry took this as a slight. Some are reporting that he took it personally because he's friends with The Young Bucks, and thought Punk was trying to hold him back because of it, but we'll get to that in a minute.
Fast forward to a couple few weeks later, Jack Perry is wrestling HOOK at Wembley Stadium RIGHT BEFORE CM Punk and Samoa Joe are set to kick off the main card, and Perry looks right down the barrel of the camera and makes reference to this reported spat….
Here's where the story becomes a bit of a he-said/she-said: allegedly, when Perry made his way backstage after the match, he walked past Punk, and Punk asked him if they had a problem. From there, it got physical quickly; some say Punk started it, while others claim Perry was the cause, but most reports seem to agree on the fact that Punk landed a few punches and put Jack Perry in a chokehold, and then lunged at Tony Khan and screamed "I QUIT!" once the two were separated.
If that were even 50% true, it'd be pretty crazy - and even more impressive that Punk then went out and put on a hell of a match with Samoa Joe moments afterwards….
….but it's now the second time in a year that he's taken the shine and focus off one of All Elite Wrestling's biggest shows by getting into a fight backstage, and that's no good.
Oh yeah - if you weren't aware, Punk got into a huge brawl with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (EVPs of the company) at All Out last Summer that involved biting, chairshots, and major suspensions for all those involved.
This created a ton of hostility between camps/divided the company to a degree, and led many to refuse working with Punk, which then brought "AEW Collision" - a new Saturday night show - into the world. It basically operates as another brand for AEW (RAW/SmackDown style) so that Punk doesn't have to share a locker room with his enemies.
When it comes time to work PPVs, however, the locker rooms are forced to coexist - and if that can't happen with Punk in the locker room, I guess you just can't have Punk in the locker room. As much as that sucks, considering how big a draw/merch seller/money maker he is, it's probably for the best. You can't risk losing your locker room.
It sucks for me to say that - not only as a huge fan of CM Punk the wrestler - but because he's been so cool to me in all of our interactions/interviews over the past few years as well! Not only me, either - but Rone, Carrabis, even Brandon Walker! So I've always tried to defend him, even against my friends in the business who have be slighted by him personally, because I don't think he's a bad guy - but he's definitely made some bad decisions. That's undeniable.
This all comes just hours before AEW runs an episode of 'Collison' at the United Center in Chicago, and just one day before 'All Out' goes down in the same building - which many would consider Punk's home base. It'll be very interesting to see how that's dealt with, if at all - and even more interesting to hear how the crowd handles it.
As for Punk's future - I've got no inside info on this, but I highly doubt the WWE would be interested in bringing him back (and I don't think he'd even be interested in going back) so his professional wrestling career may very well be over. If that is the case, it's unfortunate, but having your final match against one of your best friends/most iconic rivals in front of 80,000 rabid fans at Wembley isn't the worst way to go out.
Plus - we'll always have the incredible moment where Punk returned to wrestling in Chicago….
You can't take that away from us.
P.S. Hey Punk, if you're reading this and want to do another tell-all podcast that breaks the internet, there's always a free seat in the Basement for ya….