Every so often in wrestling, you see something happen that just changes everything about a promotion in the blink of an eye. These things are pretty few and far between, but when they do happen, you know that the fallout is going to be huge as well. As rare as that can be, we got something even more rare earlier this month, as two such major events took place in the span of about an hour. What else could I talk about here?
So as you have probably heard about by now (and heard about and heard about and heard about and now heard about again, because I’m not that original), CM Punk went on an all time tirade at the post AEW All Out media scrum. Punk erupted about Colt Cabana (er, Scott Colton, as he referred to him as instead) and how much he couldn’t stand Cabana anymore. This went on to a rant about how certain people in AEW had leaked stories about Punk and how he was sick of having to take it. All of this happened as Tony Khan was stuck sitting next to Punk, looking more or less horrified at what he was having to see. Oh and muffins.
Punk has been around for a long time and his most famous moment is still the legendary Pipebomb promo, but this is going to be put in the same category. This wasn’t a promo designed to set up a match, but rather a rant where Punk got to let out all kinds of frustrations that seem to have been built up for a very long time now. It is clear that Punk has been thinking about a lot of this for a very long time, as you do not have that many thoughts come to you off the top of your head.
Out of everything that was said in that very long and detailed diatribe, that is what sticks out to me the most: Punk had been wanting to say all of this stuff for a very long time, as he knew everything that he wanted to say and rattled it off, even with lengthy stretches in between. It was clear that Punk had been waiting for a chance to explode and knew what he had waiting on him with a live microphone and a lot of people wanting to ask him questions.
As for the content, what Punk said about Cabana only matters so much. Yes Cabana is a name and he has been around for a very long time, but being realistic, he has never done anything significant in AEW and I don’t think he would argue otherwise. Cabana has not wrestled in AEW in a very long time and it would not surprise me if a lot of people have forgotten that he is there. It isn’t to say that Cabana doesn’t have value, but there wasn’t much of a place for him in AEW as all he was doing was standing in the background while Evil Uno talked. There was more to it than that though, and that is where things got really complicated.
In addition to his rant about Cabana, Punk also went off on the company’s Executive Vice Presidents, meaning Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. Punk does not seem to be a fan, saying that they couldn’t manage a Target and accusing them of leaking stories about himself and Cabana to wrestling media. While not an Executive Vice President, Punk also did not seem too happy with Hangman Page, who was blasted for not wanting to listen to advice and cutting an unscripted promo on Dynamite.
So in other words, Punk went on a total eruption against some of the top stars in AEW, including the company’s executives on a live mic while his boss was sitting right there next to him. I don’t think anyone could expect this to go anything but bad, as there are not going to be many people who were happy with what was said. Believe it or not, this did not exactly sit well with the people Punk was talking about.
Since that is just one game changer, Punk’s weekend, and even night, wasn’t quite done. The details vary depending on whose version you listen to, but the gist of what happened next is the same: the Young Bucks and Omega came into Punk’s locker room and a huge brawl, also involving Punk’s trainer/friend/AEW producer Ace Steel broke out. Omega was bitten and had his hair pulled while Nick Jackson had a chair chucked at his head, with other AEW employee getting involved.
There are so many things to get out of this and I’m not sure where to start. We’ll start with what this whole thing comes down to: AEW’s top star got in a violent brawl with the company’s Executive Vice President after going on a rant against them in a post pay per view media scrum where he hyped up a Chicago bakery and ate muffins. There is more or less no way to spin that and I don’t think it is going to matter what kind of take someone has on the whole thing. It is going to be seen badly and that has more or less been the case no matter whose side you are on.
What matters here is that Punk, who does not have the best backstage reputation in the world, is at the center of a huge controversy and now the whole thing has broken down into a big fight. As a result, AEW has had to suspend almost everyone involved, resulting in Punk’s World and Omega/the Bucks’ Trios Titles being vacated. In other words, quite a bit of the major changes from All Out was completely wiped out because of the brawl that happened after the show.
That is one of the most insane things that you will ever see in wrestling and it all took place over the course of a few days. One of the only benefits from the whole thing was waiting to see what kind of fallout we were going to see when Dynamite started because you knew it was going to be something big. The titles being vacated was about all that could have happened, but throwing in Punk tearing his triceps in the match (yeah remember that he headlined a pay per view right before all of this took place) to put him out of action for about eight months on top of it all made this a pretty crazy few hours. Yes hours.
Can you imagine Punk wrestling for AEW again? Even after missing the better part of a year (maybe a month after coming back from missing a few months due to his other injury), it’s hard to imagine Punk being able to come back without all kinds of baggage. While Khan is a huge Punk fan, I’m really not sure how much extra value Punk brings to the company. He certainly does something for AEW, but is it enough to get him around all of the drama that will be guaranteed to come with him?
At the end of the day, Punk went on a nearly crazed rant about someone who has never meant anything in AEW, insulted a good chunk of the top stars in the company and then got into a wild fight backstage, based on the things that he said. You do not see that kind of thing take place in wrestling and if you did with just about anyone else, they would be blackballed from any major promotion immediately. Punk is a big enough star to get around most of this stuff, but I can’t imagine that is going to be something worth bring him back for after the insanity.
This is one of those moments that is going to be remembered for a very long time and it is not going to be in a good way. I’m not sure what Punk was hoping to do or what happened to set everything in motion, but my goodness this could not have gone much worse. AEW needs to move on from this and find something to make it better. I recommend muffins.
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