CM Punk addresses the Jack Perry incidents that led to both being gone from AEW including his account of backstage fight at Wembley Stadium

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

C.M. Punk


C.M. Punk, during a nearly two hour interview this week with “The MMA Hour” hosted by Ariel Helwani, detailed his version of his confrontations with “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry that led to the exits of both wrestlers from the AEW roster last August.

Punk said he initially got involved in the Perry situation when Tony Schiavone came up to him in catering and asked him to have a talk with him about wanting to use a pipe to break the window of a rental car in an angle with Hook. Punk said Schiavone told him that Perry had already “chewed out” him, Mike Mansury, Darryl in production, and the doctor.

Punk said he told Schiavone: “You don’t want me involved in this. If you don’t handle it, I’ll have to and you won’t like the way I handle it.” Punk said those were prophetic words.

Punk said he was “dragged out of catering” to address the situation with Perry, the context being that this was at a Collision taping, and Tony Khan had designated Punk unofficially in charge of Collision as a way to give him autonomy to “make the show his own,” away from the Young Bucks and “Hangman” Adam Page, among others, at Dynamite whom he had issues with.

Punk said he went to Jack and was “very polite” but noted that he was told he cussed everyone out about not getting cleared to break the windshield with a pipe. “We don’t do that here,” Punk said he told Perry. “If you want to do that, go do it (on Dynamite) on Wednesday.”

He said Perry told him he thought it was a really cool idea. Punk said that he used to be that kid who wanted to do stuff like that too, but it was his show and he didn’t want Perry to do that. Punk said that would result in him returning a rental car to the agency with a broken window. He said it could reflect poorly on wrestlers. “This f—ing dumb,” Punk said. Punk alleged that Perry wanted to do the angle because he didn’t want to have to deal with traveling to Canada.

Punk said that Perry took a decision he made that was about business and made it personal. He attributed his attitude of entitlement to being friends with The Young Bucks. “Nothing got squashed, nobody is in charge, it turned into what it turned into,” Punk said.

He said he went to Tony Khan and filled him in and asked him to handle it. He said Khan asked him what he wanted him to do about it. “Just be the boss, please,” Punk said he told Khan in response.

Fast-f0rward weeks later to All In at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Jack looked into the camera during his pre-show match and made a comment about smashing a windshield, widely interpreted instantly as a (petulant or defiant) response to not being allowed to do it on Collision.

Punk said when Perry got backstage after his match, Punk approached him and asked why he “insisted on doing this dumb internet stuff on TV.” He said Jack told him that if he had a problem, do something about it. Punk said he told Jack, “I’d kill you. What are you doing?”

Punk said he thought he was doing the responsible thing. “I didn’t punch anybody,” he told Helwani. “I just choked somebody a little bit.” Punk said Samoa Joe then told him to stop and he did. He said he turned to Tony Khan and said, “This place is a joke, you’re a clown, I quit.” He said he went to his locker room, where Samoa Joe and Jerry Lynn came up to him and told him to go kill it in the ring.

Punk said he went out and wrestled Joe, as scheduled, but did so expecting that it would be his final AEW match. “I thought it was the professional thing to do,” he said. “A lot of fans were probably there to see me.” He said he wrestled out of respect for Samoa Joe, match producer Jerry Lynn, and others invested in the match. He also quipped that there were 100,000 people in attendance, seemingly a dig at the controversy over the announced attendance by AEW versus other accounts.

He then said after his match, he stuck around while Jack had already been told to leave. He said he wanted to watch the show, but then a couple matches later, the person in charge of security, Sam, hinted strongly that it’d be better if he left. Punk said he went back to his hotel room, but was joined later by friends of his from AEW.

“I’ll probably regret talking about all this shit, but that’s what happened,” he said.

When asked about Tony Khan saying he feared for his life, Punk said he didn’t do anything that would make him fear for his life, “but he is who he is.” When asked what it was like working for Punk, he said it was a loaded question, but then answered it. “He’s not a boss,” he said. “He’s a nice guy, but ultimately that is a detriment to the company. I’m an outsider. I thought I was brought in to sell merchandise and tickets and pay-per-views. I clearly did that, but that’s not what the place is about.”

NOTE: PWTorch columnist and podcast analyst Rich Fann joined me for a 100-plus minute analysis of this interview on the VIP podcast “Everything with Rich & Wade” last night. If you aren’t a VIP member, you can listen to it for free on our PWTorch VIP Free Sample feed available in Apple Podcasts when you search “pwtorch” and choose the charcoal PWTorch logo. (You can listen to that episode for free, but also upgrade to unlock all VIP podcasts using your Apple account within the native Apple Podcasts App.)

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