It’s been a hell of a week for AEW. To the highest of highs and to the lowest of lows, the company has been on a rollercoaster for the last week. As far as the product itself is concerned, All In at Wembley Stadium was the highest level AEW has reached since its inception in 2019. They drew the largest paid audience in professional wrestling history and might have drawn their second largest pay-per-view buyrate in company history. In the ring, AEW delivered a fantastic show from top to bottom. This was their WrestleMania and they hit a home run. Then came the drama. We found out that Jack Perry and CM Punk were engaged in a fight backstage right before the show went on the air which culminated in the firing of CM Punk.
It is a damn shame that the year long problems surrounding CM Punk in AEW have led to this on what is the greatest achievement in AEWs history and a historic achievement for the professional wrestling business as a whole. I wish that Tony, Punk, and the Elite had sat down and hashed everything out at some point in the last year. I think it absolutely sucks that they didn’t. Whatever the issues were, I believe they should’ve all sat down together and had either found a way to squash all the problems, come together for the good of the company, and move forward. If they couldn’t make any sort of amends, then Tony Khan should’ve taken stronger control of the situation to avoid more problems down the line. Since the fight happened at All In and now Punk is gone, I believe it’s safe to say that didn’t happen. Thankfully, even though the situation stinks and I’m sad to see Punk gone, it feels like Tony is finally taking control and doing what’s best for the company instead of trying to appease everyone.
As for All In, I absolutely loved it. I have nothing bad to say about the show. The show had no weaknesses. I don’t have enough words to convey how much I enjoyed this show. The highlights, in my opinion, were Stadium Stampede, FTR vs. the Young Bucks, and MJF vs. Adam Cole. Every other match was fantastic though. What I listed were just the matches that I enjoyed the most. Stadium Stampede was a glorious exercise in pure carnage, FTR and the Bucks delivered another all-timer in their rivalry, and the main event was full of drama and fantastic in-ring action between two of the best workers in the industry going today.
For CM Punk, I honestly hope that he will be able to work it out with whoever he needs to work it out with and returns to WWE to finish his career. For all the things that Triple H, Vince McMahon, and others have been called throughout their careers at WWE, they are first and foremost businessmen who have shown that they will make amends with just about anyone if it makes sense to the bottom line. In the past, WWE has been able to mend fences with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and Bret Hart. I do not think it is beyond the realm of possibility that they make amends with CM Punk. Speaking as a fan, think of the matches we could get if Punk comes back. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, and Gunther sound like incredible opponents for Punk if he’s able to return.
Regardless of that, it’s more important for Punk to be content and happy with wherever he goes next in his life. If he chooses to retire and never wrestle again, then he went out with a banger against one of his biggest rivals in Samoa Joe. Unfortunately, he will always be attached to controversy whether it was of his own creation or not. It’s also more important for AEW to move forward without a black cloud following them wherever they go, clouding whatever success they achieve in the future. All In was AEWs crowning achievement and people spent more time talking about a backstage fight. Thankfully, Tony Khan has done the right thing for himself and his colleagues by firing CM Punk. It sucks. I feel bad for Tony Khan, I feel bad for the rest of the AEW locker room, and I feel bad for CM Punk. It’s a situation that should’ve been avoided all together dating back to last year when these problems started. AEW should be taking a huge victory lap after the massive success of All In, not cleaning up year long drama that finally went too far. Now, everyone can move on, and they will be better for it.