CM Punk is reportedly headed back to AEW.
After previous speculation on Punk returning in mid-June, the Wrestling Observer now reports that Punk is scheduled to return to AEW on Saturday, June 17 at the United Center in Chicago, IL.
June 17 is a Saturday, and it’s believed that this will be the first episode of the new weekly TV show – AEW Collision. AEW filed to trademark the name in February, when talks for a Saturday show with Warner Bros. Discovery got serious.
As of now, the June 17 taping has not been finalized, but the venue is booked and it will likely be officially announced soon, once the Punk return deal and the TV deal are done.
The decision to bring Punk back was made many weeks ago, despite “a snag” from two weeks ago that was apparently worked out.
It was noted by multiple sources that WBD officials wanted Punk back with the company as the star of the new Saturday show, but other sources have dismissed this. With that said, Punk was “extremely important” in this new TV deal, but whether the deal was incumbent on Punk, the talk going around is both ways.
One non-AEW source has reportedly seen correspondence indicating that WBD definitely wanted Punk back, and other very much behind-the-scenes things that have happened in recent weeks indicate that Punk being back is, if nothing else, very significant in everything going on.
“The reality is from a business standpoint if AEW is getting only what WBD usually pays for first-run programming for this show, and Punk is at least a part in getting the deal, I’m not saying the Punk deal is something they had to make. But it’s a deal that every single promoter in history would have tried to make.If AEW only makes what Discovery has been paying for first run shows as a general rule ($500,000 per hour in general is what Discovery pays for first-run programming), that’s $52 million per year and that’s a game changing financial deal for AEW. The reality is that or all the shows except sports, AEW Dynamite is generally the highest rated cable show on all of the WBD channels except for 90 Day Fiancé on TLC. AEW is paid no more than most of the lower rating original programming. So if anything, a new show should get more,” The Observer wrote.
We noted a few weeks back how there was a meeting scheduled to try and smooth out issues between Punk and Chris Jericho, and to see if the two working together is a possibility. It’s no secret that there was previous heat between Punk and Jericho, and after the 2022 All Out incident, Jericho reportedly told the AEW locker room that Punk would not be welcomed back, and said he does not want to work with Punk.
In an update, The Observer notes that the meeting has not happened as of Thursday, but apparently AEW President Tony Khan and AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR will also be involved. As of this past weekend, there was no resolution to the backstage situation and there are many situations and things involved. It was also noted that Punk has not apologized or attempted to make any direct amends to The Young Bucks, but those close to Punk said that this is because he’s been told not to have any contact with them and without any contact he couldn’t apologize. There are people within AEW who want all parties involved to make amends, but no one has said if Punk would apologize if he could, or he wouldn’t.
It was also said that no one else, at least as far as talent goes, was invited to the meeting. The idea is that if they work things out, they will start with Jericho, and then Jericho would be there for the other guys not invited to work things out, if things go smoothly. This past week saw many things behind-the-scenes that worsened the situation with some, but its still possible that things can get better.
Brandon Cutler responded to a negative Deadspin story on Punk’s return and wrote, “Somebody gets it.” He quickly deleted the tweet, but word going around after that was that no one can tweet anything negative about anyone else right now. Cash Wheeler then defended Dax Harwood, as noted at this link. Harwood also dropped his podcast this week, noting that it had become a detriment to the business.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.
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