CM Punk, the veteran wrestler, made a much-anticipated return to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) last Saturday on the inaugural episode of "AEW Collision," emanating from Chicago, Illinois. As reported by Fightful Select, his opening promo led to some noticeable ripples backstage, an incident described metaphorically as "cage rattling." Intriguingly, insiders took specific note of a detail during Punk's speech.
The ex-WWE star audaciously removed the AEW cube enclosing his microphone, reminiscent of a similar act he performed while in the WWE, working for the Stamford-based promotion. This deliberate action triggered a split in backstage reactions.
Punk's Gesture Stirs Controversy
A segment of the production crew interpreted Punk's gesture as an outlet for his unexpressed sentiments, a catharsis of sorts. Contrarily, others perceived it as hypocritical. Critics spotlighted the inconsistency of Punk, a former AEW World Champion, lambasting the fan favorites in the locker room for their perceived "softness," while simultaneously harboring his own grudges regarding his on-screen conflict with "Hangman" Adam Page.
Notably, while there was no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place between Punk and Page, an NDA was in effect concerning Punk and The Elite, ostensibly due to their alleged off-screen disagreement. Further adding to the backstage chatter, Punk's self-reference as "One Bill Phil" during the promo piqued interest.
Inside sources speculated that this phrase hinted at a potential comprehensive broadcasting deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, allegedly valued at approximately one billion dollars over five years, set to cover all AEW broadcasts.
Adding a touch of humor, Punk's jibe about "counterfeit bucks" in his mid-ring speech was reportedly taken in a jovial spirit by The Young Bucks. Looking forward, there are whispers about Punk appearing in this week's episode of "AEW Dynamite" at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
Furthermore, rumblings suggest a potential showdown between Punk and New Japan Pro-Wrestling's KENTA at the forthcoming AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view event this weekend.