The wrestling world witnessed more turbulence as an AEW star returned to the ring after a known feud with CM Punk. This past weekend, news broke that Ryan Nemeth had traveled to Greensboro, NC in anticipation of the August 12th episode of AEW Collision.
In a surprising twist, upon his arrival, Nemeth received word that he wouldn't be needed for the broadcast. An immediate return flight had been arranged for him. This isn't the first time Nemeth and Punk crossed paths. In recent memory, Nemeth had taken to social media to confront Punk, leading to a tense backstage altercation during Punk’s surprise appearance on AEW’s June 21st Dynamite episode.
Whispers around the recent incident suggested that the bad blood had resurfaced at a hotel prior to the Collision event. Eyewitnesses claim that Nemeth greeted various AEW stars, deliberately excluding Punk and his entourage.
Nemeth Challenges, Castagnoli Dominates
Amidst this brewing controversy, CM Punk has been referring to himself as the ‘real world champion’. This didn’t escape Nemeth's notice. On Wednesday, during the Ring of Honor matches, Nemeth, known to fans as the Hollywood Hunk, proclaimed it was 'Hunk Appreciation Night' in Nashville.
The wrestler expressed his desire to challenge a "world champion". However, instead of Punk, Nemeth found himself face to face with ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli. Castagnoli made quick work of Nemeth, securing a victory after executing over 30 rotations in his famed giant swing, followed by a devastating uppercut.
Dave Meltzer, a noted wrestling journalist, weighed in on the situation during a segment on Wrestling Observer Radio. He highlighted the presence of two other wrestlers at the ROH taping who have previously clashed with Punk.
He noted, “On the taping, apart from Nemeth's match, the main event showcased Zack Sabre Jr taking on Christopher Daniels. Furthermore, Colt Cabana stood in Brandon Cutler's corner, hinting at a new alliance. It appears these wrestlers are making one-time appearances on Ring of Honor, as if introducing them anew." In a related development, despite his significant position as AEW’s Head of Talent Relations, Christopher Daniels was barred from attending Collision.
Insiders speculate this decision was in response to Punk's close ally, Ace Steel, being sidelined from shows after his involvement in the now-infamous backstage brawl during All Out 2022.