The roller coaster that is the announcement of AEW: Collision, and the non-announcement of CM Punk returning, has been giving fans whiplash all day. Anticipation started early in the day ahead of the Warner Brothers Discovery Upfront 2023/2024 presentation as many expected the announcement of Collision, and possibly Punk’s return as well. In the end, the rollout of AEW’s new flagship show was all that manifested, apparently catching some backstage off guard.
PWInsder is reporting that many AEW’s camp were surprised that Punk was not included in the official Collision announcement, as he is expected to be a big focal point for the show. Some said that they believed the former AEW Champion would be “front and center” as part of the big reveal.
It appears seem that many would be under the impression The Second City Saint’s return was going to be announced due to what appears to be his inclusion in an early draft of the press release. The anecdote was initially noted on Twitter by Jimmy Trainia, who followed the link to the initial release that AEW sent out, and found Punk’s name listed as one of the featured talents.
Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston, who spoke with Haus of Wrestling earlier today, noted that Punk’s listing was revealed in a cached version of the release. Earlier today Warner Brothers Discovery said in a statement that CM Punk is not affiliated with AEW: Collision, so it is possible something dramatically changed, or that Khan is holding off on announcing Punk tonight on Dynamite, or in the near future. After all, Khan is already promising fans more information in regard to Collision will be announced tonight on Dynamite.
Fightful is reporting that despite what Warner Brothers Discovery is saying, CM Punk is still very much expected to be a part of AEW: Collision. They added that Punk has been vocal about wanting to keep his return a surprise, and not announced ahead of time, much like his AEW: Rampage debut. Whether or not that played a role in his return not being announced today is not clear.