In anticipation of CM Punk's impending return to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in June, speculation is rife among industry insiders. A unique viewpoint comes from Teddy Long, a seasoned veteran and esteemed WWE Hall of Famer, who asserts that the uproar surrounding Punk's comeback is a well-orchestrated work.
In the lexicon of professional wrestling, a "work" denotes an event or narrative deliberately staged for dramatic effect, while a "shoot" signifies a genuinely unscripted situation. The dichotomy between these terms is the backdrop for the unfolding saga surrounding Punk's AEW return.
AEW, in a momentous announcement last week, revealed the debut date of its new Saturday night spectacle, "Collision," to be held on June 17th at the iconic United Center. Although Punk's participation wasn't explicitly confirmed, the former two-time AEW World Champion's reemergence is widely anticipated.
NDAs Veil CM Punk Backstage Brawl
The grapevine was further stirred by reports of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) between Punk and AEW associates. These NDAs reportedly aim to preserve the secrecy surrounding a backstage altercation involving Punk at the AEW All Out event in September 2022.
That memorable evening saw Punk clinch the AEW World Title, participate in a press conference, involve himself in a backstage brawl, and sustain a triceps injury – all in a single day. Post-surgery and a nine-month hiatus to recover from the torn triceps, Punk is now believed to be medically cleared to reenter the ring.
Long, who has known Punk for years during their shared tenure at WWE and boasts over four decades of experience in the wrestling business, voiced his perspective in a conversation with Sportskeeda. He believes all the discussions about Punk's AEW involvement are simply a narrative engineered for maximum dramatic effect.
"Drama is the lifeblood of the industry," Long stated, "The suspense keeps you on edge. The whole CM Punk saga? It's undeniably a work." Indeed, if Long's claims prove accurate, it could raise eyebrows. Nonetheless, wrestling enthusiasts perceive many situations as work, even when they veer towards a shoot - a context seemingly applicable to Punk's ongoing saga within AEW.