Towards the beginning of the year, CM Punk and his future with All Elite Wrestling seemed uncertain, at best. Following successfully retaining the AEW World Championship in the main event of All Out last year, a bloody Punk made his way to the media scrum room and proceeded to rip into the company’s management, and some members of the roster. What followed was a backstage altercation that saw Punk and Ace Steel brawl with The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and other members of the AEW roster.
Following the incident, everyone involved was removed from TV, and those holding championships were stripped of them. Steel, one of Punk’s close friends, was terminated over the incident but was brought back not long after with the idea that he would work with Punk backstage at Collision on Saturday nights. At some point, the decision was made that Steel would work remotely, causing lawyers to get involved and setting back Punk’s return to the promotion.
With the dust now settled in regard to Steel but not quite yet with The Elite, Punk will compete in the main event of the new TNT property, teaming with FTR to take on ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe, “Switchblade” Jay White, and Juice Robinson. In an interview with Barstool Rasslin’, Khan was asked how he expects the AEW fans to react to Punk once he returns since some of them still seem sympathetic towards The Elite, possibly generating a negative reaction.
“I think it’d be very exciting to see how the fans react but I expect a very positive reaction, particularly in Chicago for the first episode,” he stated. “I think then going forward, you know, CM Punk is one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. So, certainly, he’s gonna get a great reaction, and depending on who his opponent is, and the type of reaction he’s trying to get, I expect CM Punk to connect with the crowd, as well as anybody in the entire pro wrestling business.
“He has an amazing connection with the fans, and I think that’s part of his longevity, and his mystique, is his amazing connection with the crowds. CM Punk’s a really great wrestler, and I’m very excited to have him back in AEW starting this Saturday night on TNT on AEW: Collision.”