This past Saturday night, AEW: Collision debuted on TNT, and along with the historic launch of another All Elite flagship show came the return of CM Punk. The Second City Saint had not been seen on TV for nearly ten months following his controversial All Out media scrum, which he has since apologized for, and the subsequent altercation that played out backstage afterward with members of The Elite.
Punk and The Elite’s camp have reportedly not spoken since the incident, and for that reason have been unable to bury the hatchet. For his part, Punk alluded to the existing tension between the two entities in his return promo, throwing in a line about “Counterfit Bucks,” and another about how anyone wanting an apology from him is as soft as their favorite wrestlers. AEW: Dynamite also featured Punk with a live microphone but he kept his comments more focused on building anticipation for Collision’s main event this Saturday.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that at least one top AEW talent legitimately walked away in a bad mood this Wednesday night, noting that despite certain talents being kept apart on different shows, there is a fear of “a ticking time bomb” that could turn the situation negative once again. It was also pointed out that The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page all have contracts expiring at the end of the year, and are being asked to keep quiet about the situation. In some situations, legal papers have apparently been signed that prevent them from doing so, as well.
Prior to Punk’s on-screen return to the AEW fold came his much-buzzed-about ESPN interview with Marc Raimondi. Ahead of its release, word began to circulate that certain things Punk said in it were going to cause further problems in the AEW locker room. Once it was actually released, many rolled their eyes at the idea it was a controversial conversation but even still, it apparently caused problems for “a multitude of reasons” backstage. Punk’s comments about Page, in particular, seemingly caused the most issues.