It's been a tumultuous week at All Elite Wrestling (AEW), filled with surprises and unexpected revelations, the most shocking being the under-the-radar return of Ace Steel. Many critical figures within AEW were seemingly in the dark about Steel's comeback, underlining a series of intriguing events within the organization.
Earlier this week, AEW declared its plan to debut 'Collision' in June, adding a third show to its weekly televised roster. This development had been in the grapevine for a while, with whispers suggesting it would mark the stage for the reentry of CM Punk.
However, the promotional materials released painted a different picture, with Punk's name conspicuously missing, fanning the flames of rumors that Punk might be at loggerheads with the company once again.
Ace Steel's Mysterious Return
The plot thickened with the involvement of Ace Steel, notorious for being the only one let go after the infamous 'All Out' melee, where he reportedly launched a chair at Nick Jackson and took a bite at Kenny Omega.
Rumors abounded that Steel was back with AEW, albeit remotely, after the incident. His potential involvement in 'Collision' had become intertwined with the discourse about Punk's return. Veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer noted the general cluelessness about Steel's (also known as Chris Guy) apparent comeback in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
According to Meltzer, only Punk and a few others knew of Steel's return until a week ago. Despite murmurs about Steel resuming his role as a producer for 'Collision,' confirmation from top sources remained elusive. There was a shared perception between Steel and Punk that Steel would reclaim his old position.
Around the same time, Steel had negotiated with Impact Wrestling, coinciding with the narrative (later refuted by AEW) about his inked deal to return. As the story goes, Tony Khan assured Punk that Steel could retain his position and work in close collaboration with Punk, but remotely and without appearing at the 'Collision' tapings.
The plan crumbled at this point. Meltzer noted the shock among the vital talent who discovered this news only two weeks ago. Those close to Steel had maintained that it was a tightly-guarded secret and that his return would be unveiled at the inaugural 'Collision' show.
Most of AEW's top-tier were left in the dark, only learning about it this week. Despite these turn of events, reports indicate that CM Punk and Tony Khan remain on good terms, suggesting that there is a reasonable probability that both Punk and Steel may once again step into the AEW arena in the not-too-distant future.