Backstage Details On Heated CM Punk Confrontation With AEW Star Ryan Nemeth

CM Punk

A new report lifts the lid on a heated backstage confrontation between CM Punk and fellow AEW star Ryan Nemeth after Nemeth was critical of Punk on social media.

Earlier today, it was reported that Ryan Nemeth was brought to AEW Collision but later told he wasn’t needed and that a flight had been booked for him to return home. Nemeth is regularly featured alongside The Young Bucks on Being the Elite, and after Punk’s return to the company in June, he got into a backstage altercation with Punk after calling him “literally the softest man alive” on social media after Punk criticized the “counterfeit Bucks” in his return promo.

A new report from Wade Keller of PWTorch sheds more light on the backstage confrontation that took place during Punk’s unadvertised Dynamite appearance on June 21st. Keller wrote:

“The story conveyed to PWTorch is that Punk cornered Nemeth in the locker room, got inches from his face, and angrily and aggressively asked if they had a problem or if they needed to settle things outside. Punk cited to Nemeth that his comments on Twitter inflamed existing tensions and that the optics of the tweet sent a bad message. This incident was witnessed by numerous wrestlers and was characterized as awkward and weird.

“Nemeth moved the argument to the hallway, where Punk continued to berate him, according to our sources. Nemeth defended his judgment in calling Punk “soft” since Punk fired the first shots at the Bucks. Punk pushed back that his timing was bad and worked against the public image they were going for that everyone was either on the same page or at least not inflaming prior issues. Nemeth then asked Punk if he shouldn’t react to things Punk says on TV and Punk said that’d be the right choice at that time. Then they shook hands, but apparently the tension was still high as they went their separate ways.

“Nemeth confided the incident in friends backstage and asked how to handle the situation. Nemeth has almost no leverage in AEW compared to Punk, who is a much bigger star, so Nemeth backed off and laid low, since his job could be at risk if Punk spoke out behind the scenes against him. He even has since deactivated his Twitter account.”

Keller notes that wrestlers are in an “awkward position” when it comes to speaking out against CM Punk backstage as AEW President Tony Khan has made it clear that not only is Punk integral to the company’s strategy for selling PPV’s, tickets, and merchandise, but Khan himself is a big fan of Punk.

In fact, when Punk returned to AEW last June, Khan reportedly began chanting “CM Punk” as he walked by. According to Keller, wrestlers who are not in a position of power have a feeling to “lay low” when it comes to Punk as they don’t want to end up on his list of enemies.

CM Punk Wants AEW Collision To Be A “Low-Drama Environment”

Continuing, Keller reports that other than the stated issues, Punk has been praised for his leadership behind the scenes. He is reportedly very protective of AEW Collision being a “low-drama environment,” which is why he doesn’t want those he perceives as “disloyal” or too closely associated with The Elite backstage on that brand.

According to the report, Punk sees Collision as his show, and wants to use it as a chance to provide the type of leadership he doesn’t believe the AEW EVP’s exhibit on Dynamite. However, that mentality has led to Punk essentially having veto power over who is allowed backstage and who’s not.

In addition to Ryan Nemeth, Adam Page and Head of Talent Relations Christopher Daniels were also turned away from Collision on Saturday.

Back in July CM Punk led a talent meeting at AEW Collision where talent were encouraged to differentiate the show from Dynamite.