WWE executive Road Dogg has questioned if CM Punk’s reputation really has been damaged following his ill-fated stint in AEW.
CM Punk arrived to great fanfare in AEW in August 2021 as Tony Khan brought him back into a wrestling ring for the first time in over seven years. Just over a year later, however, things took a turn for the worse after Punk was involved in a backstage fight with The Elite at All Out.
Punk was stripped of the AEW World Title he won at the event and was out of action for several months due to an injury suffered in his title match against Jon Moxley.
However, when he returned to AEW in June 2023 on the debut edition of Collision there seemed to be an air of uneasiness hanging over the situation. Punk was the star of the new Saturday night show while The Elite maintained their distance on Dynamite.
Ultimately things came to a head at All In when Punk was again involved in a backstage fight, this time with Jack Perry. After an investigation into what happened and Punk’s time in the company, Tony Khan made the announcement that he had fired the star one day before the All Out pay-per-view took place in Punk’s hometown of Chicago.
Has CM Punk hurt his reputation in the wrestling world?
Speaking on his Oh You Didn’t Know podcast, Road Dogg – who is WWE’s Senior Vice President of Live Events – gave his thoughts on whether or not CM Punk had hurt his reputation following his AEW stint and suggests people don’t know all the facts or the sides of the story as to what happened in AEW:
“Is his reputation damaged? That’s the question I would ask. His reputation in what? Wrestling? Come on, man! There’s so much more than wrestling. Does he have a reputation that he needs to protect? I don’t know. From everything we heard [about his time in AEW], he did come off as the negative actioner. But was he? Because we don’t really know what happened. We didn’t see and hear everything…”
Since his AEW departure, many fans have been wondering if he’d return to WWE, perhaps as soon as Survivor Series in November which just so happens to take place in Chicago. Recent reports suggest the two sides, however, are not in negotiations with sources in WWE at pains to make this clear so fans do not expect him to appear.