Despite CM Punk’s departure from the company and subsequent return to WWE in late 2023, the lingering tensions between Punk and AEW continue to simmer backstage.

At the heart of the dispute lies a rumor alleging that Punk attempted to orchestrate the firing or removal of Colt Cabana from AEW, which served as the catalyst for escalating conflicts, notably culminating in a backstage altercation during AEW All Out 2022 in September of that year. Punk’s tenure with AEW came to an end after separate incident with Jack Perry backstage at AEW All In: London in August 2023, leading to his eventual return to WWE after nearly a decade at WWE Survivor Series: War Games.

According to recent reports from The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, fresh insights into the ongoing saga between Punk and AEW have emerged. Allegations surfaced from an anonymous source within AEW, who reached out to Dave Meltzer of WON following Punk’s appearance on The MMA Hour With Ariel Helwani and preceding the airing of backstage footage from All In London. The source asserted, “I know there will be a lot of continued discussion about the whole situation with Punk/AEW this week and I just wanted to reach out to give you a perspective and what is ultimately only my opinion.”

The informant claimed that Punk indeed sought to have Cabana dismissed from AEW, and insisted that resolution to the matter requires transparency from both the company and Tony Khan. They emphasized the necessity for acknowledgment “that Punk did indeed demand Colt be fired for no other reason than their previous personal issues,” suggesting that AEW personnel feel empowered to defend themselves in light of how the Punk incident was handled.


Moreover, the source highlighted the inability of individuals targeted by Punk during his MMA Hour appearance to counter his allegations, noting, “Some true, some distorted, and some outright lies, will continue to keep the messy situation alive and I think we all want to move past it.”

The informant criticized Khan’s defense of Punk, alleging that statements denying Punk’s request to fire Cabana were misleading. They claimed, “Tony coming right out and saying ‘Phil never asked for Colt to be fired,’ and continuing to cover for him about that story, even now, makes saying anything unsafe for anyone. It definitely did happen.”

Additionally, the source alleged that Punk made false statements in an ESPN interview prior to his AEW return, which AEW intervened to suppress. The withheld statements purportedly contradicted Punk’s denial of involvement in Cabana’s dismissal. The source speculated that legal concerns may be hindering AEW’s transparency on the matter.

Furthermore, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter disclosed sentiments from another AEW talent, described as a “major star,” who expressed skepticism regarding the veracity of AEW’s account of the Punk-Cabana situation. Despite assurances from Khan, wrestlers reportedly voiced doubts, prompting Khan to assure them that their concerns were noted, albeit without further comment due to legal constraints.

The aftermath of these discussions reportedly influenced AEW’s decision to keep rosters separate between Dynamite and Collision, with plans to feature Punk prominently in the latter. Despite initial hurdles, Punk debuted on Collision. However, subsequent backstage incidents led to his termination from AEW, ultimately prompting his return to WWE.

Despite these developments, Punk’s recent remarks on Helwani’s show and AEW’s release of backstage footage indicate that the issue remains unresolved, suggesting that tensions between Punk and AEW are unlikely to dissipate soon.

What are your thoughts on the ongoing tensions between CM Punk and AEW? Do you believe transparency is essential for resolving conflicts within professional wrestling organizations? Share your opinions and insights in the comments below!

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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