EXCLUSIVE: Punk-Khan relationship might be on brink of being beyond repair after Punk blew up at TK before his match, sources say

C.M. Punk and Tony Khan (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


C.M. Punk’s relationship with Tony Khan might be getting to the point of beyond repair at this point, some PWTorch sources in AEW suggest.

With AEW’s All Out PPV in Chicago this Sunday, there is growing concern about the crowd reaction if Punk doesn’t wrestle on that show. Certainly fans assumed he’d be on the show when they purchased tickets. If Punk isn’t on the PPV taking place in Chicago, it’s an indication Khan couldn’t justify not suspending Punk over what happened on Sunday even if meant not appearing in his home market. Then again, Khan could possibly justify asking Punk to wrestle in Chicago for the sake of the fans, but then begin serving his suspension after that.

However, while Khan has been a big fan of Punk and tried to excuse his behavior or accommodate him in a way to try to steer him away from volatile situations, Punk’s conduct on Sunday could be a breaking point for Khan.

When Perry made his unauthorized comments on the PPV about “real glass,” a reference to stories that Perry believed Punk floated to the wrestling media weeks earlier to try to make him look bad, Punk was already upset about not being picked up at the airport by anyone with AEW. Punk didn’t know at the time that no one was picked up at the airport and he wasn’t singled out or forgotten about. AEW, unlike WWE, didn’t provide that level of logistical travel support to the wrestlers on this overseas trip.

PWTorch has learned Punk confronted TK in front of others and then at his locker room in what has been characterized as a heated, intense manner and, at one point, according to three sources who have heard about the situation, told Khan he quit and chewed out Khan with harsh phrasing.

As we previously reported, there was a moment where it appeared the Punk vs. Samoa Joe match wouldn’t take place at all, or at least not on time. It didn’t take long for Punk to agree to move forward with the match as planned, though. After his match, there was an extended period of time without communication between Punk and Khan, which is unusual given in past situations the two at least communicated via text after blow-ups or backstage situations. We haven’t heard if there has been communication since then.

Sean Ross Sapp reported on Twitter/X earlier this afternoon that “Punk has not been informed of a suspension by AEW.” Nick Hausman from Haus of Wrestling, after being read that Tweet, said on today’s (yet to be released) Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast that he heard Punk had been informed he was suspended, but not necessarily by Khan himself. “I’ve heard the opposite,” Haus said. “I believe Punk was informed of the suspension; I’ll put it that way.” There are no indications that Khan has directly communicated with Punk since Punk lashed out at him in his locker room before his match at All In. Instead, it appears Punk was informed he was suspended through his lawyer.

Sports Illustrated backed up a Bryan Alvarez report on Twitter/X that Punk and Perry have both been suspended. Past fines and suspensions for Punk, and others, have been kept quiet. PWTorch sources say Punk has been fined for past reported incidents, but both parties agreed to not go public with them.

The Gorilla position at All In on Sunday was a big open space between the entrance tunnel and the hallway where many wrestlers were lingering all evening. There have been some questions about how Punk and Perry were allowed to get so close to each other after Perry’s inflammatory comments in his match right before Punk’s.

The Gorilla position, near where the Punk-Perry confrontation and brief scuffle took place, was next to a photo shoot area and even a table with snacks. Perry would have been hanging out there after his match doing the usual post-match routine of mingling with wrestlers and getting feedback on his match. Since Punk’s match was next, they would have naturally been near each other when Punk headed toward the entrance tunnel, but there are conflicting reports regarding who made their way toward the other for the confrontation. Punk was worked up at that point, having just had it out with Khan, according to multiple sources.

If AEW’s investigation found that while Perry instigated matters with his comment to the camera during his match, Punk escalated matters by confronting Perry in person near Gorilla before his match, it would explain why both were suspended over that. It’s also possible Punk lashing out at Khan could be enough for Khan to justify suspending him if Khan felt Punk crossed a line he hadn’t before.

With all of the drama, AEW wrestlers and personnel are opening speculating whether Punk is looking to just remove himself entirely from AEW at this point, and if Khan might be at the same place regarding the viability of the relationship.

With AEW negotiating with Warner Media about TV rights fees on a contract renewal for AEW’s cable shows, Khan might be reluctant to make any big move at this point that would subtract arguably the biggest name on his roster, especially if Khan has any sympathy for Punk who has shown a commitment to trying to move on from controversy and is merely reacting to being prodded by others.

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