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The CM Punk comments directed at colleagues at the All Out media scrum contradict his actions.
I loved you with a fire red, now it’s turning blue
And you say sorry like the angel
Heaven let me think it was you
But I’m afraid
It’s too late to apologize, it’s too late
I said it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late, whoa
-It’s Too Late To Apologize by Timbaland
Last night AEW put on a great All Out PPV. It featured CM Punk overcoming his short loss to Jon Moxley on Dynamite recently when he lost in under four minutes only to win a hard fought match against Moxley to recapture the title in his hometown of Chicago. After the match, it was revealed that MJF was the Joker that had won the Casino Ladder match earlier in the night. MJF’s return was the culmination of months of careful planning that turned a real life rift behind the scenes between AEW CEO and booker Tony Khan into a storyline designed to boost business down the line after the seeds had been planted in May.
The CM Punk tirade during the post-PPV media scrum is going to overshadow everything good that happened on the All Out PPV and his actions go against a lot of what he talked about in his post-PPV rant about the EVPs (Young Bucks and Kenny Omega), Hangman Page, and other young talent needing to grow up so that he could do big business for AEW as its lead babyface.
“I’m trying to run a f—ing business with somebody that hasn’t done a damn thing in this business jeopardizes the first million dollar house that this company has drawn off of my back,” said Punk in reference to Page going into business for himself on national TV ahead of their Double or Nothing match back in May.
At the go-home Dynamite ahead of Double or Nothing on May 25, Page and CM Punk did an in-ring segment moderated by Tony Schiavone. To start the segment, Page took a dig at Punk and said, “You talk a big game about workers rights yeah? Well you’ve shown the exact opposite since you’ve gotten here. I love this place. I care about this place. This is my home and this Sunday at Double Nothing I will not be defending this championship against you. No, for the first time in my life I will be defending All Elite Wrestling from you.”
The vast majority of the people watching the show at home did not get that this was a reference to the allegations that Punk had something to do with Cabana being moved to ROH. The audience in attendance gasped at Page’s comment, as it fit into the narrative of Page being a homegrown AEW star defending the title against an outsider like Punk who made his name in WWE.
The issue came into the news again when CM Punk cut a promo on the Aug. 17 edition of Dynamite where he called out Page for a match unexpectedly and then called him a coward for not coming out. According to multiple reports, Punk’s comments about Page were not part of what was planned for his segment.
Punk’s promo continued with Punk saying, “A little bit of advice and I suggest you take: The apology must be as loud and as public as the disrespect, and if anyone else has a problem with the champion, well I suggest you come on down. Because everybody wants to be the champ until it’s time to do champ shit.”
Without being asked about Hangman Page at the media scrum last night. Punk seemed to echo what he said in his promo in that he wanted an apology from Page, but that apology never came. Regarding whether or not he got an apology from Page, Punk said he did not get one. “It’s a disgrace to this company,” said CM Punk. “It’s a disgrace to this industry. Now, we’re far beyond apologies right? I gave him a f—ing chance and it did not get handled. You saw what I had to do, which was very regrettable lowering myself to his f—ing level, but that’s where we’re at right now. I will still walk up and down this hallway and say ‘If you have a f—ing problem with me, take it up with me. Let’s f—ing go.’”
Punk’s actions at the media scrum last night were puzzling, as they go against what he was speaking out against in terms of what he felt was hurting his character and the ability for it to draw in AEW. At one point during the media scrum, Punk talked about the young talent not respecting the veterans in the company in reference to Hangman Page doing an interview where he said he didn’t need to listen to advice from anyone ahead of the All Out PPV.
As a veteran, Punk should have known that his actions would do far more damage to AEW and its ability to make money than anything that The Elite leaking stuff about his alleged role in Cabana’s exile to ROH would. Punk said he was forced to lower himself to go into business for himself when he cut a promo on Hangman Page to come out and wrestle him on Aug. 17. As a veteran, Punk should have been the bigger man and not brought an issue between him and Page to the public as his match at All Out was being built up on TV.
Punk is the veteran and therefore he should be setting an example in the locker room of how one acts. When Punk had the chance to set multiple examples of how to act as a veteran, he failed.
“I’m trying to run a f—ing business.” This quote needs to be revisited. Punk spoke these words while sitting next to AEW Owner and booker Tony Khan last night. It isn’t Punk who is trying to run a business, it’s Tony Khan, but Punk clearly feels empowered to speak in this manner and although Khan made several attempts to get Punk to stop talking about behind-the-scenes drama, there were other times during his tirade that it appeared that Khan was nodding along in agreement with what Punk said about The Young Bucks and Hangman Page.
Even if Khan wasn’t intending to come across like he agreed with what Punk said, it left a bad impression that the inmates are running the asylum and there’s no bad guy with power in AEW to step in and ensure that any drama gets handled behind closed doors.
It appears clear at this stage that Punk’s actions were not part of a work, especially given that he got into a fight backstage after he finished speaking at the scrum with some of the targets of his rant. According to a report from PWTorch editor Wade Keller, The Young Bucks confronted Punk backstage about what he said during the scrum and a fight broke out and apparently a number of punches were thrown and AEW agent Ace Steel got involved as well. Keller also reported that given that there were several injuries sustained during the fight, it was possible that legal action might be taken as a result of the incident.
Last night could have been the start of something big for AEW, but their behind the scenes issues came to the forefront much like they did during the week leading into All Out when Khan held a talent meeting prior to Dynamite and addressed several issues and asked the talent to stop leaking things to the press amongst other things.
Punk should be punished for his actions. He provoked a fight with his comments during the scrum saying, “I will still walk up and down this hallway and say ‘If you have a f—ing problem with me, take it up with me. Let’s f—ing go.’” Last night The Young Bucks took Punk up on his offer and now the attention of the fans and media isn’t on All Out and Punk winning the AEW World Championship with MJF set up as his next challenger, but instead it is back on the behind the scenes issues that plagued the company heading into All Out.
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