AEW Figure Accuses CM Punk Of Lying, Claims Tony Khan Helped Cover-Up

Tony Khan (left) and CM Punk (right)

Not everyone in AEW can move on from CM Punk.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani ahead of WrestleMania, CM Punk took several shots at Tony Khan and AEW. This reportedly spurred Khan into showing the footage of the fight between Punk and Jack Perry at All In on Dynamite.

It was later reported that some in AEW were frustrated by Khan’s response to the comments, wishing everyone would move on.

According to a new report, there are at least some people within the company who feel Punk’s entire AEW tenure was mismanaged, and until certain admissions are made, AEW can never truly move on.

Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer relayed a lengthy statement he received from someone in AEW regarding Punk, Tony Khan, Colt Cabana, and Hangman Adam Page.

The unnamed writer said the CM Punk issue will never truly be over until AEW or Tony Khan admits the star demanded Colt Cabana be fired. They added that “Until AEW can admit that story was true, no one can feel safe to defend themselves in any way.”

“The person said that people being unable to defend themselves against accusations made saying regarding what Punk said on the show, calling it, “some true, some distorted, and some outright lies, will continue to keep the messy situation alive and I think we all want to move past it. Tony coming right out and saying `Phil never asked for Colt to be fired,’ and continuing to cover for him about that story, even now, makes saying anything unsafe for anyone. It definitely did happen.”

The source claims CM Punk made “verifiably untrue statements” in an ESPN interview ahead of his return to AEW and the launch of Collision. Furthermore, had AEW not intervened and got some of his statements omitted from the finished interview, the person claims the public would have seen Punk was lying.

The interview was described as a “mess” although the anonymous figure said most felt interviewer Marc Raimondi was fair in his coverage.

“The person also said that “the company made sure his transparent lies didn’t get published because it would have also proven their public statements about the issue to be untrue.” They also said, “I can understand why the company, and Tony, wouldn’t want to be truthful about it.

Even owning up to firing Colt because Punk demanded it and admitting it was a mistake could have legal ramifications. Maybe Tony doesn’t want to accept that personal responsibility in the mess.

Maybe he’s been hoping that we could all just put it behind us, but it’s been over two years ago and it’s still ongoing. To admit what happened would take a lot of courage and I’m not sure he’s able to do that either.”

Interestingly, Meltzer claims a “major star” said they felt they’ve never been told the truth about the situation. He added that when Khan publicly backed Punk’s assertion that he had nothing to do with Cabana, “a number of wrestlers” said that wasn’t the case.

Punk was reportedly told that “far more people” aside from The Young Bucks, Adam Page, and Kenny Omega would be kept away from him at pay-per-view events.

Top AEW Talent Wanted To Move On From CM Punk

“Another wrestler” noted that after a talent meeting at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2022 led by Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and Chris Jericho, Megha Parekh told a number of top stars that Khan might forgive Punk. This was despite the meeting being centred around moving on from Punk and keeping any issues within the company.

“It was said that one top star after another went to see Khan after the meeting and told him that Punk was not on our team, we have a great team meeting and we’re moving forward and basically that should be the end of the story.”

CM Punk was eventually fired by AEW in September 2023 as a result of a backstage fight with Jack Perry.