AEW Collision Deal Almost Collapsed Due To CM Punk Situation

Tony Schiavone and CM Punk

A new report has given more background into CM Punk’s links to the launch of AEW Collision.

AEW Collision launched on June 17th, 2023, and saw a returning CM Punk positioned as the star of the show. Punk had been absent from the company due to injury and his involvement in a backstage brawl at All Out in September the previous year.

However, the early months of the show were dogged by controversy with reports emerging that Punk wanted certain stars banned from the show. There was also a belief that Tony Khan used the launch of a new show to keep Punk away from The Elite.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Punk said he told Khan this wouldn’t work.

In a new report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter discussing Punk’s controversial AEW run, Dave Meltzer offers more detail on the launch of Collision. Meltzer notes that Khan came up with the idea of splitting the roster after being given two more hours of television by Warner Bros. Discovery. Khan then suggested that Punk would head up the new show. However, more than once things had to be “smoothed over” before Collision made it to air.

Khan then came up with the idea of the split shows months later after David Zaslav gave them two extra hours in prime time on Saturday and the idea Khan brought up was to build that show around Punk. Once that happened, it became very important that he produce Punk as the show’s star.

There was at least one period, if not more, where that was threatened to fall through and at that point WBD absolutely wanted the promised Punk as the flagship star for the new show so things were smoothed over.

AEW Figure Claims CM Punk Lied And Tony Khan Held Conceal Truth

In the same report, Meltzer published comments from someone within AEW about Punk’s time with the company, and the backstage controversy that surrounded him. The anonymous source said CM Punk lied when he claimed he never asked for Colt Cabana to be fired. Furthermore, the source said Tony Khan’s covering for Punk over the issue means the company cannot truly move on.

The person said Punk’s “transparent lies” were removed from a controversial ESPN interview because they would have proven the company’s statements to be “untrue.”