All Elite Wrestling is firing superstar CM Punk for a reason

Mark RaimondiESPN staff writerSeptember 2, 2023 at 05:55 PM ET2 min read

All Elite Wrestling announced on Saturday that it has fired superstar CM Punk after AEW investigated an incident that occurred during last Sunday’s “All In” pay-per-view event at Wembley Stadium in London.

Punk and fellow AEW wrestler Jack Perry, son of late actor Luke Perry, reportedly got into a physical altercation backstage during the pay-per-view event.

AEW’s statement, released on X (formerly Twitter), said Punk’s wrestling and employment contracts have been terminated.

“Following the investigation, the AEW Disciplinary Committee met with outside legal counsel before making a unanimous recommendation for [AEW owner Tony] Khan said CM Punk will be terminated for cause,” AEW’s statement read.

Khan, AEW’s CEO, general manager and chief creative officer, said in an accompanying statement that he wishes he “didn’t have to share this news” but made the decision “in the best interest of the many amazing people who make AEW possible every year.” week.”

AEW is scheduled to hold its “All Out” pay-per-view show on Sunday at the United Center in Chicago, the day after its weekly “Collision” television show on Saturday in the same building.

Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, is a Chicago native and a big star in the city.

“Phil has played an important role in AEW and I thank him for his contributions,” Khan said in his statement. “Terminating his contracts with AEW for cause is ultimately my decision, and my decision alone.”

Punk, 44, returned to AEW in June after suffering a torn biceps tendon in a match last September. Following last year’s match, Punk engaged in a controversial press conference and then got into a physical altercation with AEW wrestlers Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Kenny Omega, who also serve as executive vice presidents of the company.

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Punk said in June that he apologized to Khan for what he said at the press conference.

The incident came in September 2022 after AEW wrestler Adam “Hangman” Page went off script in a televised interview segment with Punk, bringing up things the two didn’t agree to talk about — and things Punk said were untrue.

Bank said nothing was done to Page for discretion.

“He poisoned everything for me, made everything really ugly, and that’s what led to all of this, and here we are over a year later and we’re not done with this,” Punk told ESPN in June.

The prevailing belief among people in the locker room was that Punk had kicked another wrestler, Colt Cabana, from AEW, or at least tried to do so. Punk and Cabana used to be close friends but had an ugly falling out that included lawsuits. Punk denied trying to fire Cabana. Cabana still works for AEW.

Punk has been one of the most popular stars in professional wrestling over the past two decades. He is a former two-time WWE Champion and three-time World Heavyweight Champion. Punk was also a former two-time AEW Champion. He has fought twice in the UFC after leaving WWE in 2014.

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