CM Punk is ready to move on from AEW, but the company continues to pay him while he is ready to move on to something else.
The AEW All Out 2022 pay-per-view ended with CM Punk winning the company’s World Title for the second time. However, what happened after the show got far more attention as Punk went to a post-show press conference to air his grievances about his former friend Colt Cabana, “Hangman” Adam Page and AEW’s EVP’s The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson).
Those comments from Punk led to The Elite confronting him in the locker room after the press conference. That led to the locker room fight with The Elite going after Punk and Ace Steel. All of them were suspended after the fight while Steel was fired as an AEW Producer. Since then, there have multiple reports that Punk will never wrestle in AEW again while his contract may be bought out some day as well.
Since The Elite returned to AEW at Full Gear on November 19th, they have mocked their issues with Punk repeatedly such as when Kenny Omega bit Pac on the arm during a match in reference to Steel biting Omega during the All Out backstage fight. There was also a spot where Matt Jackson botched a Buckshot Lariat on purpose just like Punk did when he tried the move. The Elite also chose to leave in “F**k CM Punk” chants from the crowd during multiple episodes of their Being The Elite YouTube show.
In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available via subscription), Dave Meltzer provided this update on Punk’s status in the company.
“Punk as of the weekend was still under contract to AEW and being paid and those close to him say the hold up on his being released is all on the AEW side as he’s ready and willing to move to his next project.”
Recently, Meltzer’s friend from the Wrestling Observer, Bryan Alvarez, stated that he believed that AEW wouldn’t fire Punk while he was injured. Punk tore his triceps during the All Out match and that requires about eight months of rehab after surgery.
It is currently unknown what CM Punk’s “next project” might be although has done work as an MMA commentator, he’s acted in movies/TV shows including the wrestling show “Heels” and it could also include working for another wrestling company. Whether that’s WWE or somewhere else is also unknown at this point.
For now, Punk remains under contract even if he wants his AEW deal to go to sleep.