AEW Gives Ace Steel 'Back Pay' on CM Punk's Push

AEW backstage tensions rise ahead of 'Collision' premiere.

by Atia Mukhtar
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AEW Gives Ace Steel 'Back Pay' on CM Punk's Push

Recent revelations have provided more profound insights into Ace Steel's tumultuous journey with AEW. The aftermath of AEW All Out has been etched into wrestling folklore, marked by a colossal altercation involving CM Punk, The Elite, AEW's Head of Talent Relations, Christopher Daniels, and Punk's confidant and mentor, Ace Steel.

The brawl wasn't limited to fisticuffs; Steel reportedly hurled a chair at Nick Jackson and even took a bite out of Kenny Omega. The repercussions were swift. All participants faced suspensions, with Steel bearing the brunt of the fallout, resulting in his termination.

However, in a twist, Steel was discreetly rehired, albeit in a remote capacity.

Punk's Return Marred by Discord

CM Punk's discontentment with Steel's absence from AEW's backstage has been palpable. This grievance nearly jeopardized Punk's anticipated return on the premiere of "Collision." While Punk did eventually grace the show, the underlying discord persists.

Punk's stance is clear: if Ace Steel, his close ally, is barred from "Collision" tapings, then Christopher Daniels, despite his role as the Head of Talent Relations and his involvement in the brawl, should be too. In a recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer delved into the Daniels-Steel dynamic.

He confirmed that Steel was compensated for the period he was ousted, a move seen as a compromise to appease Punk and ensure his return. Sources close to Punk have indicated that the wrestler's perspective is rooted in fairness.

Daniels, who was among those trying to defuse the backstage chaos in Chicago post-All Out, faced a brief suspension. However, unlike Punk, Ace Steel, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega, his suspension was promptly lifted following an internal review that deemed most involved were merely peacemakers.

Steel's rehiring, albeit covert, came with back pay, a gesture to appease Punk. However, Steel's remote-only role remains contentious, especially given the severity of his actions during the brawl. Images of Omega, taken over a week post-incident during his Japan visit, unmistakably display bite marks on his forearm, a testament to the brawl's intensity.

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