Last night at AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door 2, Eddie Kingston teamed with The Elite and Tomohiro Ishii to take on the Blackpool Combat Club, Konosuke Takeshita, and Shoto Umino. Fortunately for the outspoken AEW star, his team came out on top, picking up a big win on a historic night. While it was a big night for Kingston and The Elite, there were still those with their eyes cast beyond the ring and on the backstage area, wondering how they would engage newly returned star CM Punk.
Of course, Punk caused controversy last year at the AEW All Out media scrum when he took aim at various members of the AEW roster, management team, and, in some instances, a combination of both. For his part, Kingston stayed out of the fray that fateful September evening, but it may be, in part, due to the fact he had already publicly had it out with The Second City Savior.
One of the first programs Punk engaged in when he signed with AEW was with Kingston. As part of their feud, Kingston played off real-life comments that Punk had made about his weight and perceived inability to succeed in the business. On the way to their match at AEW Full Gear 2021, Kingston laid into Punk with a heated promo, letting him know that, “Nobody wants you here, they never wanted you here. That whole locker room is afraid to say it, not me.”
The exchange echoes Hangman Page’s promo months later that escalated tensions between Punk and The Elite even further, with the root of the issue being in the belief that Punk somehow tried to get Colt Cabana fired, something he has repeatedly denied. In an interview with The New York Post, Kingston reacted to Punk’s return promo on AEW Collision, where he fired a few shots at The Elite.
“He did it his way, and that’s the way he wanted to do it,” he said. “I expected it. I knew it was happening, knowing Punk and what he thought was right for him. That’s it. I see the reports. I see the clickbait on YouTube. But the locker room is not divided, not the people I hang out with. Punk’s gonna do what Punk does, and if whatever Punk does helps this company, no one can say anything.”
Kingston was pressed about whether Punk’s return has affected locker room morale, with some reportedly being bothered by things has said in the past.
“Not me, man,” he asserted. “Not my crew of people I hang out with. Maybe there’s that one percent that are bothered but the people I chill with, they’re good. They don’t care.”