Tony Khan is apparently still several months away from making a decision on what AEW might do regarding the future of CM Punk.
The last time CM Punk was in an AEW ring was at All Out in his hometown of Chicago in September 2022. All Out should have been a joyous night for CM Punk since he won the AEW World Championship in the show’s main event against Jon Moxley. However, things quickly turned sour after the show.
At the post-show media scrum, CM Punk unleashed a verbal assault against many of his colleagues including The Young Bucks, “Hangman” Adam Page, and Colt Cabana. Following that rant, reports have suggested The Bucks confronted Punk in his locker room leading to a physical exchange. Everyone involved – including Kenny Omega and company producer Ace Steel – were suspended for their actions.
The Elite trio (Omega and The Young Bucks) returned two months later at Full Gear and have since regained the AEW Trios Tag Team Titles that they won at All Out and were stripped of soon after.
Ace Steel, who is Punk’s close friend, was fired as an AEW Producer due to his actions in the fight that included throwing a chair at Nick Jackson and biting Omega’s arm.
As for Punk, he underwent surgery on his torn triceps after All Out. The recovery time for an injury like that is about eight months, so even if Punk wasn’t suspended by AEW for his actions, he likely won’t be able to wrestle again until April, May or perhaps later than that.
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer explained how Tony Khan has put Punk on ice for now, but will have to make a decision once Punk is healthy enough to wrestle again.
“We’re still months away from when Tony Khan will have to make a call regarding Punk. It’s not the easiest call because of all that happened, but Punk was a ratings draw and ratings are weaker than before generally even if there’s positive house show movement.”
“Right now from the Punk side, the belief is that Tony Khan has put Punk on ice for now, as there are no ideas to use him that have been presented but no talk at all of late to release him either.”
What that means is it’s unknown whether AEW tries to bring Punk back and try to smooth things over with The Elite as well as the rest of the locker room. They could opt to buy him out of his contract, which has been rumored in the past, but at this point it hasn’t happened.