AEW is known to censor fans posting clips from their live events, and other social media accounts that frequently posts their botches. Their quest for censorship doesn’t stop there, because Tony Khan’s company also has a strict handbook concerning what talent is allowed to post on social media, and so much more. Now we have pieces of that handbook, and it’s a fascinating read.

CM Punk recently dropped an Instagram story where he unloaded on AEW. He alluded to the idea that he was pressured to compete while he didn’t feel physically able to do so. Then he deleted that story, but his message was already heard loud and clear.

In case you needed a refresher, that deleted message from CM Punk said: “SIGH. I wasn’t cleared to come back to wrestle yet. Then the plan was to wrestle at the ppv. I sat and listened to Moxley’s Rocky three idea. I explained how I’d never seen a Rocky movie. I and thought the idea sucked, but if the boss wanted to do it, whatever. He said he wouldn’t lose to me. I’d never experienced someone refusing to lose to me. I just laughed. I asked Tony [Khan] if this was what he wanted. He said yes. He’s the boss, so I said okay, but I’d need to be cleared first. They kept saying it could just be a squash, so I didn’t need to be cleared. I scoffed at that. My health is more important.”

CM Punk went on to write on the Instagram story that, “Dave Meltzer is a liar. [Chris] Jericho is a liar and a stooge. There were plans but plans always change, but I’ll never put a company above my health ever again.” It makes sense that AEW wouldn’t want CM Punk to post such things, and it turns out that they had backing to make the Second City Savior nix the post.


Brian Last, who is a podcaster and pro wrestling insider, dropped a bit of a bombshell on Twitter. After CM Punk deleted his Instagram story, it drew a lot of attention. This prompted Last to release a couple of sections from the “AEW handbook,” along with a caption that said, “Was CM Punk told to take down his Instagram post? Here is Section 19 of AEW’s Talent Playbook.”

You may check out a portion of that handbook in the space below. This details how AEW talent must conduct themselves, including during interviews and at airports.

All conversations that are held “back of house” at AEW shows or scheduled events, in- person or virtually (including talent meetings), are confidential and are not to be discussed publicly.

3. Directing abusive, profane, or threatening language towards AEW

• Talent and employees must maintain proper respect for AEW at all times. Offenses against AEW include verbal or other non-physical abuse.

This applies at all AEW event locations, including at the arena or event venue, airports and other transportation modes to and from an AEW event, and at hotels or other accommodations provided in connection with AEW.

4. Public Criticism of Fellow Team Members

AEW policy prohibits public criticism of fellow team members. Such prohibited public statements may include, but are not limited to:

Accusations or criticism of fellow team members or the organization as a whole.

Accusations or criticism of tactics/style of wrestling of fellow team members.

Accusations or suggestions that certain issues consistently occur in a particular match.

Innuendos and indirect statements will also be considered prohibited. While understanding that social media can be used to help advance storylines, first please check with those with whom you are working before posting.

Feel free to run potential posts by Christopher Daniels, a coach or a member of Legal/HR or PR team before posting. 5. Unauthorized Media Engagement ·


Do not conduct any interviews, podcasts or engage with the media without alerting and engaging the PR team. You will be breaking policy if you move forward with an unapproved interview. Anonymous Sources: Instances of anonymous AEW talent being cited by media as sources of information will not be tolerated and is subject to discipline upon a first offense. These policies and accountability measures will protect you, your colleagues and AEW. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Talent Development or Legal/HR to discuss.

The pages also reveals AEW’s policy about social media, which includes advisement that talent should run tweets by Christopher Daniels if they have any questions about violating their company policy.

A lot of companies have policies about employees bashing the company or leaking secrets. Pro wrestling is no different, but this certainly doesn’t present the same idea that fans initially had about how AEW would handle such matters. It appears that AEW talent also can’t accept their own interviews without company approval, something that MJF ran into in the past.

Tony Khan and MJF were reportedly involved in an argument about the current AEW World Champion doing an interview without company approval, as Fightful previously reported.

Tony Khan and MJF had a discussion this past weekend that was said to have left both men frustrated. The conversation stemmed from MJF’s interview with Ariel Helwani, where the two spoke for over an hour, notably about his contract status with AEW. MJF’s deal runs until 2024, which looks to be a major year for pro wrestling free agency. 

It seems that AEW doesn’t really give talent all the freedom that they first advertised. AEW talent must follow these guidelines or they will suffer the consequences.

What’s your take on this new development in AEW? Do you have a problem with this policy? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: AEW Featured
Felix Upton

Felix Upton is a seasoned writer with over 30 years of experience. He began his career writing advertisements for local newspapers in New York before transitioning to publishing news for Ringside News. His expertise includes writing, editing, research, photo editing, and video editing. In his free time, he enjoys bungee jumping and learning extinct languages.

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