There’s been no official word from AEW about the future of CM Punk, but at least one source says that the former World Champion won’t wrestle again.
The fallout from CM Punk’s post-All Out media scrum atom bomb continues, with recent speculation indicating that he might be done with wrestling, not just AEW, for good. Last week on Dynamite, a teaser for The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega aired, leading to the belief that they’ll be back soon. That’s in line with backstage news surrounding The Elite, as some suspect that the inaugural trios champions might be able to return sooner rather than later. Potential legal proceedings have allegedly prevented Omega and The Young Bucks from returning to AEW television so far. Meanwhile, recent reports indicated that Tony Khan was working towards a buyout of Punk’s deal, which led to speculation that he could return to WWE. That won’t be the case, according to at least one insider.
WrestlingInc.com’s Nick Hausman joined Wrestling Observer Radio on November 1 and spoke about what he’s been hearing concerning CM Punk’s future. “Cash does not seem to be an issue for this guy,” Hausman reasoned. “He’s got in-roads in Hollywood going on right now. Stephen Amell certainly shining him up with what they’re trying to do over on [Starz’s] Heels right now. I have a lot of people that have known Punk that say to me, ‘This guy’s never gonna wrestle again.‘” Dave Meltzer noted that no lawsuits have been filed in relation to what happened at All Out, but said that the possibility still exists. (h/t and thanks to Andrew Ravens of WrestlingNews.co for the transcription)
CM Punk & AEW Likely Better Off Without Each Other
Dating back to his days in OVW, Punk has had a reputation for being the guy who will generally do whatever he wants. He’s going to say whatever he wants to say. It’s what made him such a beloved figure in ROH, WWE, and AEW, and also what caused the massive blowup with The Elite following All Out. It took the self-proclaimed best in the world seven years to pop up in All Elite Wrestling following his departure from WWE. At 44 years old and with virtually nothing left to prove inside the wrestling ring, landing a role in Hollywood makes all the sense for Punk. Especially since various reports indicate that he wasn’t particularly easy to work with while in AEW—something that bled into on-screen promos from both Hangman Adam Page and Jon Moxley.
If the rumors of multiple backstage splits are true, then All Elite Wrestling and CM Punk are likely better off going their separate ways. During his first year with the company, Punk was appointment television. Rampage will probably never do better ratings than it did while he frequently appeared on the show. However, rumblings of issues started before All Out, and those problems played out in front of gathered media on September 4. Without Punk, Tony Khan has been able to focus on building up homegrown stars like Wheeler Yuta and Daniel Garcia while moving forward with Moxley as World Champion and MJF in hot pursuit. CM Punk’s wrestling legacy was always going to be complicated. The way that it appears that he’s bowing out of AEW won’t do a thing to change that.
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