CM Punk recently deleted his Instagram story to refute a report by Dave Meltzer, and a new report has a bunch of updates on Punk’s relationship with AEW and more.
As reported earlier, Punk posted and then deleted a post to his Instagram Stories in which he stated he had not been cleared to compete when he returned to lose the AEW World Championship to Jon Moxley on August 24th, 2022 in a squash match. He alleged that Moxley declared he wouldn’t lose to Punk and that he ultimately went along with the idea because it was what AEW President Tony Khan wanted. Punk called Meltzer a liar and Chris Jericho a “stooge.”
Fightful Select reported back in the fall that Moxley had pitched Punk losing in a match. A new update notes that according to those in AEW, Punk clarified that he wasn’t comfortable competing in any capacity without being medically cleared. There were some existing issues around the creative with regards to the build to the match, and there had been concerns that Punk may no-show, however, AEW made special travel arrangements for the Second City Saint on the day of the match. Punk had also apparently mentioned the idea of an additional payment for the match as he was working without being cleared.
CM Punk and Jon Moxley reportedly have heat with each other, according to those whom Moxley has spoken to since All Out. The Death Rider was among those who led a locker room meeting following the All Out brawl alongside Jericho and Bryan Danielson. There’s been no word of any kind of heat between Danielson and Punk, though it has been reported that Jericho and Punk yelled at each other following the All Out altercation. At present, Punk is very aware of the heat on him, and the possibility that the locker room could potentially walk out if he returned to AEW. The internal belief in AEW is that if things came down to either Moxley or Punk, the promotion would choose Moxley. Some of the heat is believed to have died down since All Out, but there’s still a significant amount.
As for Punk’s relationship with AEW, both sides have been in contact, and those close to Punk opine that he has spoken to or had a couple of meetings with Tony Khan, though there’s no word on whether anything transpired between them. There was also a planned meeting for the middle of February that got delayed due to the late Jerry Jarrett’s funeral.
While Punk wanted out of his contract without any sort of non-compete clause at one point, sources believed in recent weeks that the veteran wrestler was open to an AEW return and even wanted to do so. At least one person noted that Punk was willing to apologize for his comments during the post-All Out media scrum, though it’s unclear to whom he was willing to issue the apology or whether it would be public or private. Punk is also said to have expressed regret for aspects of that night. There’s been no word of anything with respect to any legal action from Punk’s side, and those spoken with believed there had been “productive progression” away from that. However, following Punk’s recent Instagram story, sources in AEW cited they’d lost confidence in the idea of Punk returning to the company.
As for Punk’s heat with Hangman Page over the promo that Punk believed was in reference to Colt Cabana, it is reported that Page had made efforts to remove himself from the entire situation and move past it.
With regards to Punk’s injury, he tore his tricep during his match at All Out and he was reportedly hoping to return to full health by late January. It is believed that Punk would be eligible to be cleared now or very soon.
There was another talent present at the time of the All Out brawl who chose to not get involved and wasn’t suspended. There was also another production employee who took a chair shot that hadn’t been previously reported on. There’s no word on which employee or which individual was responsible for weaponizing the chair.
Additionally, the rumor of Punk and Kenny Omega speaking a few days after the brawl has been debunked. It was noted that Punk was preparing to undergo surgery and that Omega was held up with his own schedule. However, the two wrestlers did have a brief conversation immediately after the brawl, and Punk is said to have told Omega that his issue wasn’t with him. Those near the conversation claimed that they were going to continue conversating, but Ace Steel was still being dealt with. People close to Punk also stated that Omega was very composed in the aftermath.
As noted in February, Punk was in attendance at NJPW Battle in the Valley. Sources in NJPW stated that the company didn’t have any prior knowledge of Punk attending beforehand, but would have welcomed him anyway, without wanting AEW to suspect any sort of conspiracy against them. Any notion of that would’ve been quickly made clear. The only people who knew Punk would be at the show were Lars Frederiksen (his companion), his close friend Lou D’Angeli, who also happens to be Anthem’s VP of Marketing, and Rob Naylor. Frederiksen had asked Rocky Romero in January if he could attend the show with a friend, and it was all set up without NJPW being aware that the particular friend was Punk himself. Punk had gone to support Mercedes Mone for her NJPW debut.
As of this writing, Punk is still under contract with AEW.
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