In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer provided more insight into the termination of CM Punk from AEW, shedding light on various aspects of the situation:
- CM Punk reportedly had two contracts with AEW—one as a wrestler and the other as an employee. The details of his employee contract are unclear, but it is known that Punk worked closely with CEO Tony Khan on the creative aspects of the new Collision show.
- It remains uncertain whether Punk has a non-compete clause attached to his release. Standard WWE contracts typically include a one-year non-compete clause if the company releases a wrestler for just cause. However, Meltzer noted that enforcing such a clause could be legally challenging.
- Meltzer hinted at multiple backstage incidents involving Punk, some of which were unreported in the media, while others were leaked and deemed severe. These incidents included confrontations, altercations, and physical fights.
- The possibility of Punk returning to WWE exists, and a return to AEW down the road is also not out of the question. However, it’s noted that there would be significant resistance within AEW to such a move. Reportedly, Punk contacted WWE a few months after the All Out brawl, around the end of 2022, indicating his interest in returning and believing he could secure a contract buy-out from AEW.
- Some individuals within AEW wanted to arrange a meeting between Punk and The Young Bucks, but the Observer notes that this proposal was never made to the Bucks. It was likely anticipated that they would decline the invitation.
- AEW informed The Young Bucks about a legal letter they received, presumably from Punk’s representatives, regarding content aired on Being the Elite. It was alleged that they had violated an agreement not to discuss the All Out incident.
- One person close to The Young Bucks expressed willingness to work with Punk if a period of six months passed without any issues.
- There was reportedly another incident involving Punk after his match at All In, which had no witnesses but involved Punk and Tony Khan. Khan emerged from the incident “very upset.”
- An investigation into the recent All In situation involved legal representatives for AEW, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Khan family, as well as an independent third-party legal firm. These entities reviewed footage of the incident, interviewed witnesses and wrestlers, and unanimously recommended to Khan that Punk’s contract be terminated. Ultimately, the decision rested with Khan.
These details provide additional context to the complex situation surrounding CM Punk’s departure from AEW.