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CM Punk Reportedly Done With AEW; Sides Negotiating Early Contract Buyout

– The first domino fell earlier this week in the ongoing investigation of the AEW post-All Out brawl when it was reported that Ace Steel was not surprisingly let go in his role in the fight where he threw a chair at Nick Jackson’s face and bit Kenny Omega. That immediately brought up questions about CM Punk’s future with AEW and in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote that it looks “doubtful” that Punk will be back.

– Citing people close to the situation, Meltzer wrote that AEW and Punk are in talks about a buy-out of the remaining years of his AEW contract, which is a clear sign that they are not looking to bring him back. There is a hold up, however, and it is the non-compete period that would be attached to any potential buyout. If true, that would mean there’s interest from Punk in going to WWE and/or there is a belief on AEW’s part that he would go there if a release was granted as there would be no need for a non-compete if WWE wasn’t in the picture.

– While people in WWE have been very negative towards him in the past, Triple H’s philosophy right now is to load up Raw and Smackdown with surprise debuts or returns and snagging Punk would be considered a huge coup. While a non-compete would also coincide with Punk being out of action due to injury, without one, he could conceivably be released from AEW and then appear on WWE in a non-wrestling capacity, which again would be a massive get for WWE, especially with AEW’s popularity dipping. For what it’s worth, Punk is said to be close to WWE’s Adam Pearce as well as Paul Heyman, both of whom have a measure of influence and some pull within the company.

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