The focus after AEW’s All In in London was supposed to be on a historic event for the still young wresting promotion, but instead much of the conversation was about yet another backstage altercation involving CM Punk.
Punk and Jack Perry got into a fight prior to Punk and Samoa Joe’s opening match, with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporting recently that Punk went after Perry after a preshow segment and (while there are conflicting reports about the actual actions in the fight) sucker punched Perry and tried to choke him — all in front of boss Tony Khan. (h/t Cageside Seats)
Right after Perry came to the back, Punk went nose-to-nose with him aggressively and asked him if he had a problem. That person said Perry said he was just looking to get heat as a heel. Punk shoved him hard, Perry got in his face and in that version Punk sucker punched him and went for a choke. People immediately broke it up and [AEW owner Tony] Khan was yelling at Punk to let him go.
That person said that once they were separated, Punk lunged in Khan’s direction but a number of people got in his way while Punk was yelling ‘I Quit.’ Monitors were knocked down during all this. Joe was very upset and went to calm Punk down.
After a weeklong investigation into the matter, Khan and AEW announced on Saturday that Punk had been fired with cause following his latest backstage incident, with Khan saying it was in the “best interests” of the talent and staff to let Punk go.
Statement from All Elite Wrestling and Tony Khan pic.twitter.com/3MtW6MkGDf
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 2, 2023
It is a sudden and fairly stunning end to Punk’s tenure in AEW that saw him immediately skyrocket to champion and, unsurprisingly, become a fan favorite as he was in WWE, but included more than a few backstage controversies, headlined by his fight with the Elite last year that earned him a suspension. There were rumblings Punk might end up fired after that but AEW allowed him to return, but it seems this latest incident was the final straw and has led to his firing.