The rankings are returning to AEW for 2024 but it seems former AEW World Champion CM Punk was the one who told Tony Khan to scrap them in the first place.
Since the inception of AEW, ranking systems have been in place to find the top contenders for the AEW World, Women’s, and Tag Team Championship. This was believed to be part of the sports-based presentation in the company but they proved controversial as not all wins were created equally and not every top contender found themselves in title contention as storylines took over.
By September 2022, however, the rankings were no longer updated as they were phased out by the company leaving them not tied to who should be in the championship picture. And it seems it was not Tony Khan who had the idea to ditch the concept.
Speaking on the Bryan and Vinny Show, Bryan Alvarez revealed that he has been told that it was CM Punk who convinced Tony Khan to scrap the ranking system in AEW in the first place:
Do you know whose idea it was to get rid of the rankings? I was told it was CM Punk, he talked Tony into getting rid of the rankings.
The rankings are now returning to AEW and it remains to be seen how they will affect the immediate championship landscape in the promotion.
CM Punk’s Time In AEW Clouded In Controversy
CM Punk re-captured the AEW World Title in September 2022 but was immediately stripped of the title following his backstage fight with The Elite at All Out. CM Punk was fired by AEW for his part in another backstage altercation with Jack Perry at All In.
It was believed Punk had a lot of sway in the company during his time there and Tony Khan admitted he didn’t want to fire the star but the decision was made by a disciplinary committee that featured Bryan Danielson.
CM Punk shocked the world when he returned to WWE at Survivor Series almost ten years after controversially walking out of the company.
If you use any quotes from this article please credit original source and then h/t with a link back to TJR Wrestling for the transcription.