Amidst their absence from All Elite Wrestling, CM Punk and Ace Steel may find it difficult to fit back into the picture, according to Dave Meltzer.
The post-All Out media scrum saw CM Punk, Ace Steel, and The Elite involved in an alleged backstage incident, which has resulted in numerous suspensions and two AEW championships – the World and World Trios Championships – being declared vacant.
Dave Meltzer discussed the incident on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, where he described how difficult it would be to see Punk and Steel back in the company, explaining how CM Punk had “rubbed people the wrong way” since he joined AEW last August:
“It’s hard for me to see Punk or Steel back. As far as the other guys I don’t know. I know from talent that’s not affiliated with anyone that…you know, with the Punk thing, there was already a lot of divisiveness when it came to Punk. It had nothing to do with The Young Bucks or anything like that, it was just a feeling. I don’t know how to really explain it.
He was rubbing people the wrong way. I know from his standpoint, his feeling was that he’s trying to teach these guys how to draw money. Kind of the veteran thing, how to draw money, how to do stuff, he’s trying to give them good advice and he was very frustrated. There were people that were listening, and there were people that weren’t listening.
He didn’t really realise, I think, that a lot of the guys that are there were told so many times that everything that they’re doing is wrong. And some of them had got very, very successful doing things that they were told were wrong. So when someone comes and tells you ‘Hey what you’re doing is wrong.’ It’s going to have that effect of not listening, because the business is rapidly changing.”
Sports Illustrated published a list of every AEW star currently facing a suspension, which included many on The Elite’s side of the story such as Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa. CM Punk, however, was not listed as being suspended, though, it was noted that he may have been gone from AEW by the end of 7 September.
As it stands, both Punk and Ace Steel remain under AEW contract. Steel is believed to have joined the list of those suspended, while Punk will be out until 2023 with an arm injury.