It seems that 2022 is the year of backstage drama in top wrestling promotions. In my opinion, the fact that we are having a hard time differentiating between work and shoot is a problem in itself. Working the boys can work if you don't do it often, but trying to always work the boys prevents anyone from truly knowing what is real and what isn't which isn't a good thing. Seven years ago Phil Brooks walked away from the world of wrestling and many of us thought he would never return.
Last year the moment most thought would never happen actually happened when CM Punk returned to the world of wrestling. Since then Punk has attempted to reestablish himself as a top draw in wrestling and prove even after seven years he still is one of the best. However, problems and drama have arose in recent weeks stemming from his previous rivalry with Hangman Page and a certain promo. Over a decade ago Punk had a falling out with his long time friend Colt Cabana who had been a very well liked member of the All Elite roster for a long time. Recently, Cabana was moved from AEW to the Ring of Honor roster which was the start of the drama.
Last night at the media scrum Punk had a lot to say including running down Hangman Page and EVP's ripping them apart (a breakdown can be found below). Punk didn't hold back on his opinion and instead of stepping in Tony sat there and just waited for his chance to speak. Clearly, Tony wants to be friends with his employees and not a strict boss. Punk's actions at the media scrum were unprofessional and completely unnecessary. It wasn't the proper environment for Punk to express his opinion and should've been done in private.
Tony should've cut the scrum short and instructed Punk to keep the question professional instead of allowing him to air dirty laundry in front of the media. Tony himself handled the question about Black's contract in a very professional manner and the situation with Punk should've been handled the same. As the World Champion CM Punk should be held to a hire standard and not allowed to act as he pleases. Tony needed to step in and not allow his World Champion to act unprofessional and should've cut him off. Jericho said it later on himself that it's best to keep somethings in house and yet this will not be handled in house.
A microscope will now be held on not only CM Punk, but Tony Khan, and All Elite Wrestling as a whole. This will be the toughest test the company has had to endure since the advent of the promotion as it involves wrestlers in positions of power. I believe to a point Tony Khan might be in more of a similar position to Eric Bischoff then some might've first thought. Below is again the breakdown of Punk's verbiage:
"Punk continued by saying, “There’s people who call themselves EVPs that should have fucking known better. This shit was none of their business. I understand sticking up for your fucking friends. I fucking get it. I stuck up for that guy [Colton] more than anybody. I paid his bills until I didn’t and it was my decision not to. When somebody [Page] who hasn’t done a damn thing in this business jeopardizes the first million-dollar house that this company has ever drawn off of my back and goes on national television and does that, it’s a disgrace to this industry. It’s a disgrace to this company. Now, we’re far beyond apologies. I gave him a fucking chance. It did not get handled and you saw what I had to do, which is very regrettable, lowering myself to his fucking level, but that’s where we’re at right now.”
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