All Elite Wrestling stars CM Punk and The Elite — a faction of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks’ Matt and Nick Jackson — got into a real-life backstage brawl following the September 4 All Out pay-per-view. AEW suspended Punk and The Elite just days later. The company and wrestlers have yet to comment on the matter.
According to longtime wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, AEW has left Punk and The Elite in the dark and unbeknownst to whether they’ll return.
“Regarding the situation with those suspended over the fight at AEW All Out (C.M. Punk, Young Bucks, Ace Steel and Kenny Omega), none of the five have heard anything from AEW. None have been given any impression of a timetable for returning,” Meltzer wrote in his newsletter Thursday. “None have been given any impression of a timetable for returning.”
Perhaps AEW founder and CEO Tony Khan is waiting for the completion of the investigation before informing the wrestlers of their futures. But the extended suspensions and lack of communication could cause other issues.
AEW stands for “All Elite Wrestling.” Khan named the company around The Elite. Omega and The Bucks are star performers as well as company EVPs. They have been there since Day 1 and helped grow the company into the first WWE competitor since WCW in 1998.
The state of Khan’s relationship with The Elite will come into play as they negotiate new contracts. Kenny Omega’s deal expires on January 1, 2023, while the Bucks’ deal runs until January 2024.
It’s worth noting that even if issues exist between Khan and the EVPs, AEW would remain a better fit for Omega and the Bucks than WWE. AEW is a superior wrestling brand to WWE in terms of in-ring action, with which The Elite is synonymous.
As for CM Punk, his future is more in question. He is the reason the brawl ensued. Punk went off script during the All Out presser by accusing The Elite of leaking information about him.
Punk also belittled the company while sitting next to Khan, saying the brand’s past champions haven’t accomplished anything because they hadn’t done what he had in WWE.
Here’s Punk from the presser:
CM Punk just went completely off… pic.twitter.com/oi0Ymv1U3M— Wrestle Ops (@WrestleOps) September 5, 2022
Moreover, Punk threw the first punch during the brawl. Meltzer reports that both sides admit that. Punk’s side says he punched Nick Jackson because Jackson was about to hit him. The Elite say Jackson was only trying to talk to Punk.
The good news is that AEW continues to draw strong numbers despite the absence of four of its top individual draws. AEW’s flagship program “Dynamite” has drawn over 1 million viewers on five of the last seven Wednesdays. Head-to-head competition with playoff baseball and coverage of Hurricane Ian equal the two weeks below the mark.
Prediction: The Elite will return. CM Punk will not.