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All Elite Wrestling (AEW) debuted in Wembley Stadium in England on Sunday with a pay-per-view event called All In. The show set the all-time record for the most paid fans at any pro wrestling event.
But a real-life altercation has already distracted fans from the favorable attention of the event.
According to Sean Ross Sapp, the Adam Schefter of pro wrestling, there was a physical confrontation between wrestlers CM Punk and Jack Perry before Punk’s entrance to start the show.
Sapps says Perry “came at Punk and got choked.”
The incident stems from a spot during the pre-show in which Perry mocked Punk, shouting into the camera “It’s real glass, cry me a river.”
Take a look:
The line is in reference to a recent report that Punk and Jack Perry were involved in a backstage argument during an episode of AEW Collision over Perry wanting to use real glass for a stunt.
Apparently, Punk got his way. Glass was never used during the episode.
Sapp’s report is not part of a storyline. He is reporting a real altercation between the performers.
Another altercation, that is.
Next week marks one year since CM Punk started a non-scripted brawl with The Elite (Matt and Nick Jackson and Kenny Omega).
Last Labor Day, Punk punched Matt Jackson after a press conference in which he accused The Elite of leaking lies about him to the press.
AEW suspended all parties following that incident and conducted a lengthy investigation into the matter.
AEW has since separated Punk and The Elite during the week. Punk appears on Saturday’s Collision, while the Young Bucks and Omega appear on Wednesday’s Dynamite.
As a result of the brawl, AEW says it will not book a match between Punk and Omega, a money match fans have long clamored for.
Backstage drama, nearly all of which is CM Punk’s fault, has overshadowed the company for the better part of the year.
Nearly every week, leaks emerge after television tapings that Punk has either confronted a wrestler backstage, had one removed from a show, or posted a disparaging note about one on social media.
Punk recently had Christopher Daniels, the Head of Talent Relations, blocked from entering an episode of Collision.
Punk reportedly started another physical altercation in June — that time with Ryan Nemeth.
The drama undermines the unprecedented success of AEW.
The company launched only four years ago. And yet, just sold 80,000 tickets for Wembley Stadium.
Already, AEW is on pace to be the second-most successful wrestling brand in history — behind WWE (which has a 40-year head start) and ahead of WCW, NJPW, TNA, ROH, and the NWA.
Yet Punk continues to undercut the company’s success with negative headlines.
CM Punk is the biggest draw AEW has. The brand is noticeably better with him in competition. However, he’s disorderly, a cancer, and is becoming a net negative for the brand.
Instead of enjoying the historical event in London, fans are on social media looking for updates on CM Punk’s latest backstage melee.
Update: AEW has ordered Jack Perry to leave the stadium, while CM Punk remains backstage.
Keep in mind, there are rumors Punk will address the winner of the MJF-Adam Cole main event later in the show, whereas Perry’s night is none