Chris Jericho is among the big names in AEW that absolutely don’t want CM Punk to return to the company, according to a new report.
The name CM Punk has been in the wrestling news a lot this week thanks to FTR’s Dax Harwood doing a podcast where the subject of the first episode is CM Punk. They talked about Punk getting into a fight with The Elite after All Out with Harwood revealing that Punk confided in him about what happened.
During that episode, Harwood made a plea for his friend CM Punk to work things out with the guys he fought after AEW All Out, The Elite trio of Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson.
“This is my plea to all four guys. Please find a way to make it work. If we can make it work, we can set up the future of professional wrestling for a long time and we can change the course of professional wrestling for a very long time.”
“When you think about it, unselfishly, we’re doing this for 20-30 years down the road so guys and girls can make a living.”
In the days after the podcast came out, Punk was on Instagram responding to a story with Harwood’s comments, which led to Punk simply writing: “Duh.”
Whether that means Punk is interested in reconciling with AEW is unknown. The reality is that Punk likely can’t wrestle again until March or April anyway because he had surgery to repair a torn triceps that he suffered at All Out in September.
While reacting to Harwood’s comments and Punk’s brief comment on Instagram, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that Chris Jericho was among the leaders in AEW that didn’t want Punk to ever return to the company.
“Several of the top guys, Chris Jericho being among them, told the rest of the locker room that they’d make sure Punk wasn’t brought back. I think a lot depends on where business is in about five or six months when Punk viably could be back. If business is bad, the odds of Khan wanting him back are higher, especially with this being a contract year. If business is strong and they look to be getting a big increase in talks, the situation becomes very different.”
“In theory, the longer he’s out, the more the return means. Whether, because of reality a Punk & FTR (this situation puts FTR in the top non-world title program if not the top program period) vs. Elite match, becomes a hot program is something we don’t know because this fan base has never had that style of program, but on paper one would think it’s big, like the Edge vs. Matt Hardy thing years ago in WWE.”
As Meltzer continued to comment on the situation, he noted that things could change over the next several months when Punk is ready to wrestle again.
“But there are a lot of differences because for this to have any chance of working Punk would have to apologize and maybe he will, but I’m not counting on it and without it it’s probably going lead to a lot of issues. But that same reality is why it could cause a lot of issues, not so much in the ring because everyone involved are pros in the ring, but just backstage aspects.”
“Obviously, this does become of the big stories of 2023 in how Khan handles all this. The injury is very much Punk’s ally in coming back because there is no point in making a decision until months later and the more time that goes by, the more the wounds heal on paper and wrestling history always says there is no such thing as never.”
“I think a Punk apology, which shouldn’t be public but should be for those in the locker room, would make it more palatable, but whether Punk would do that is the unknown. And speculating on anything today is silly because many things will change over the next several months. As of right now, nothing has changed.”
If there’s one thing pro wrestling fans know it’s to “never say never” because we have seen the likes of Bret Hart, Bruno Sammartino, The Ultimate Warrior and numerous others return to WWE when it appeared like they would never be back, but it happened for them. Perhaps CM Punk returns to AEW some day while a guy like Chris Jericho could change his opinion if everybody involved with AEW does what is best for business.
Time heals all woulds, after all.