It is only Tuesday, but it already feels like we have had a week’s worth of backstage AEW news. As we reported yesterday, CM Punk is responsible for Christopher Daniels and Ryan Nemeth being barred from AEW Collision. In the case of Nemeth, the younger brother of Dolph Ziggler shared a tweet earlier this year where he called Punk the “softest man alive.”
Punk confronted Nemeth backstage at the June 21 episode of Dynamite, which The Elite was not at, and a tense confrontation took place. Ultimately, after it was decided violence would not be necessary, the two shook hands and walked away on an awkward note. Punk is said not to be looking for drama in the Collision locker room, and because of that, he did not want Nemeth around.
Now, it sounds like another AEW backstage confrontation between CM Punk and talent has emerged, this time with FTW Champion Jack Perry. Fightful reports that during the early episodes of AEW Collision that were being filmed in Canada, Perry was brought in for a segment involving glass. The two were said to have words once Perry insisted on smashing real glass, and not prop glass, in the segment, which Punk was vehemently against. Apparently, The Second City Saint felt the former Jungle Boy was only making the request so he would not have to come to work the next week, something Punk sees as a problem within the promotion.
Perry’s desire to use real glass went against the wishes of Tony Schiavone, the AEW production team, and the doctors. Towards the end of the confrontation, Punk told Perry that they did not do these sorts of things on Saturday nights at Collision and that he should stick to Wednesday nights on Dynamite. Shortly after the incident took place, a list of “banned moves” and other safety issues was issued to the AEW roster, requiring them to get clearance from the production team and doctors for certain high-risk spots.
It is worth noting that Punk, along with Colt Cabana, went to trial with former WWE Dr. Chris Amann after Amann sued him for alleged medical malpractice on an episode of Cabana’s Art Of Wrestling podcast. Punk and Cabana successfully won once they went to trial, and, in the process, it became evident how much Punk value’s a safe working environment.
Internally, the incident is being viewed as an argument between roster members, with Punk himself feeling like Perry came off like he was throwing a temper tantrum. Several backstage seem to be siding with Punk’s stance in this situation.
This week’s AEW Collision started a slow crawl back up audience-wise from last week’s show-low average of 417,000 viewers when they went head-to-head with WWE SummerSlam. Wrestlenomics reports that this week’s episode, which went up against four NFL pre-season games on NFL Network and NFL Total Access, averaged 476,000 viewers. It was up 14% last week in overall viewership and up 36% in the coveted P18-49 demographic.