Key AEW Talent “Shocked” By Ace Steel’s Apparent Return

CM Punk and Ace Steel stand in-ring on AEW Dynamite 2022

In another rollercoaster week for AEW, it would seem many key people weren’t aware Ace Steel was set to return to the company.

Earlier this week, the announcement was made that AEW would launch Collision in June as its third weekly television offering. Whilst this had been rumored for some time, it had originally been thought that this would be the destination for CM Punk’s return. However, when the artwork and literature were released, his name was nowhere to be found.

This led to speculation that the former AEW World Champion was once again at odds with the company. However, another cog in the system was Ace Steel, who was the only person fired after the All Out brawl where he seemingly threw a chair at Nick Jackson and bit Kenny Omega.

Whilst there has been some speculation that Steel returned to the company remotely shortly after the incident, it would seem that whether he will be part of Collision has been a part of the discussion regarding Punk’s return.

Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has noted that many weren’t aware of Ace Steel’s apparent return.

I don’t believe anyone, past Punk and whoever he may have told, knew about Ace Steel (Chris Guy) returning until a few found out about a week ago. It also should be noted that while we had heard talk about a Steel deal to return as a producer for Collision from multiple sources, we had also been told from the top in checking that we were told it was not true.

Steel and Punk were under the impression he would be back in his old role as a producer. Steel had been in talk with Impact until several weeks ago, concurrent with the detailed story (and as noted denied to us by AEW) that he had inked a new deal to return. The story is that Tony Khan told Punk that Steel could have his job and work closely with Punk, but that he would work remotely and not be brought to the Collision tapings. Everything fell apart at that point.

Continuing on, Meltzer commented that many key talent only found out two weeks ago, and were “shocked” when they were told.

But at the time those close to him said that it was a closely kept secret and he would actually return at the first Collision show. Even top people in AEW at the time were unaware of this and most still didn’t know until this week. When key talent found out about two weeks ago, they were shocked.

However, there have also been reports that the relationship between CM Punk and Tony Khan are still good, so there is a good chance both Punk and Steel will return to AEW in the near future.