Last Wednesday, at the Warner Brothers Discovery upfront presentation, AEW: Collision was officially announced, along with its premier date of June 17. What was not announced, was the inclusion of CM Punk as part of the brand, or where the debut event will take place. Later that night, Tony Khan addressed the AEW faithful on Dynamite and announced five of the six cities that will host the inaugural AEW: Collision events. Interestingly, Khan did not announce where the first show will take place, which many have speculated to take place at the United Center in Chicago, IL.
The United Center would certainly play the perfect backdrop for Punk’s return to All Elite action. Roughly two years ago, The Second City Saint officially cemented himself with the company when he debuted on the second episode of AEW: Rampage. The event took place from the United Center and had the added moniker of “The First Dance,” a play on the name of a popular Chicago Bulls documentary, but something many took as an allusion to Punk’s return.
Following Punk’s non-announcement for AEW: Collision, rumors began to run rampant in regard to Punk and his status with AEW. It was reported that graphics had been designed for Punk’s announcement but were not used. It would also appear that Punk was listed on an early, cached version of the Collision press release, but did not make the final draft. As fans and pundits put those pieces together, many assumed something negative had happened between Punk and AEW.
Haus of Wrestling exclusively reported last week that the day before the WBD Upfront presentation, Tony Khan changed his mind in regard to bringing Ace Steel back on-site to work for AEW: Collision. Steel had been re-hired several months prior, and had been working remotely due to his presence upsetting some backstage. The understanding was that Steel would be brought back to work at Collision, along with Punk, but when that didn’t materialize, lawyers got involved and Punk was subsequently pulled from the Collision announcement.
As we also reported, despite lawyers getting involved, the relationship and communication between Punk and Khan remain on sound footing, and the impression we got is that they were working to rectify the situation. One rumor that has popped up since that report is that AEW has Daily’s Place, connected to the Jacksonville Jaguar’s TIAA Field, earmarked as a backup venue in case things with Punk fall apart, and the United Center has to be canceled.
On today’s Haus of Wrestling episode on Premier Streaming Network, now also available on the Haus of Wrestling podcast feed, Grapsody’s Righteous Reg reacted to the rumor about Daily’s Place as a possible backup plan.
“So, we’re all under the impression that CM Punk was gonna be the leader of this show, and then immediately it’s like, ‘Oh, well, actually, maybe he might not be,'” he began. “And then some fake rumors come out about Daily’s Place, and the United Center, and all this stuff going on but it seems as though, we’re all systems go. Tomorrow, they should be announcing that they’re going to have the first collision at the United Center.”
I pressed Reg on whether what he said about the Daily’s Place rumor was speculation or something he could concretely confirm.
“That’s nothing,” he asserted. “I went myself in search for the answer to this, and there was nothing to that rumor. That’s just some random person online getting to Dave Meltzer, and kind of getting this rumor started up. That’s a nothing rumor.”
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