WWE Hall of Famer Booker T is expecting a “significant drop-off” for AEW following the release of CM Punk.
Punk’s release last week came after a week-long investigation into his physical altercation with Jack Perry at AEW All In 2023 inside Wembley Stadium.
On a recent edition of his “Hall of Fame” podcast, Booker T spoke about the influence Punk had on the ratings and predicted a drop now that the ‘Real World Champion’ is gone. He said,
“We all know CM Punk has his fans. I said the smallest little bit of things from a constructive aspect about CM Punk and CM Punk fans came after me like with razor’s edge, daggers, just wanting to kill me. CM Punk’s got an abundance of fans out there. I’m sure CM Punk being fired from AEW is going to affect them in some way just because they had always been trying to crash that [one] million ceiling [in viewership], and they did it a couple of times. I think they did it with CM Punk. I think CM Punk said they even drew their biggest house on his back.
“I think it’s going to be a significant drop-off without CM Punk. How big? We’re gonna find out. Tony Khan backed himself into this situation, though. I don’t think Tony Khan has anybody to blame but himself. Hiring CM Punk, pretty much giving him the keys to the castle and saying, ‘Man, whatever you want because we’re looking for ratings. We need the ratings.’ He got what he paid for. It’s just that simple.”
Tony Khan has said that while a panel recommended he release Punk, the decision to cut ties with the Chicago-Made wrestler was his alone.
For his role in the altercation, Jack Perry has been suspended indefinitely from AEW.