CM Punk’s Pipe Bomb burns Tony Khan big-time

If you thought that CM Punk’s famous “pipe bomb” promo was vicious and delicious, then his interview with Ariel Helwani was even saltier.

The former AEW & WWE champion sat down with the MMA Insider to talk about his AEW experience, exit and WWE return. And as you expected he answered all the questions with zero filter and gave a brutal assessment of his time with AEW.

The worst was his take on Tony Khan and everything about the way he ran AEW.

“He’s not a boss. He’s a nice guy. And I think ultimately that is a detriment to the company. But it’s not my company. I’m an outsider.”

The worst part about this is that it gives credence to all of us who have been critical of AEW. That the company is in the hands of a guy who is simply over his head and doesn’t want to be a boss. That its a passion project run by a nice guy who just doesn’t know how to run a company.

AEW Fans don’t want to hear it but the Punk interview exposed a lot of flaws with the company.

He told the story how he wanted to be fired before the whole Perry incident and told Tony to release him. He admitted that it wasn’t working and that he wanted to just move on.

But Tony instead insisted on separate shows (which Punk told him was a mistake) and instead things got worse. If you don’t believe me here are some other great quotes that sum up AEW-Khan disaster

“I can’t tell you what Tony is thinking but I can tell you I never did anything to make him ‘fear for his life.” “There is a continued effort to slander my character.”

This is now establishing a pattern that has gone on with a lot of people in and out of wrestling. From Yannick Ngannou to Jamie Carragher to Big Swole and CM Punk, there has been a pattern. Every time someone criticizes or confronts Khan, he slanders or attacks them.

In a perfect world, someone would have taken Tony’s phone away and sent him to media training. But unfortunately, nobody can and he continues to embarrass himself with these outbursts.

Most people backstage confirmed that Punk never struck, attacked, threatened, or threw something at Tony. He got angry and yelled at his boss which happens in every football and soccer locker room in America.

But when Punk was released, Tony went on the offense and said he felt his life was in danger

At best he came across as a maroon and at worst he came across as an angry ex-boss who tried to slander his employee.

I understand that Tony was probably pissed and unnerved at this whole fracas between Jungle Boy and Punk. If you have never been in any locker room or wrestling show, you have never experienced this. But by all reports instead of dealing with it right there and then, he let it stew, let Punk go and has basically ostracized Perry.

For Christ’ sake he wasn’t even touched or threatened in any sense so the “fearing for his life” line is bullcrap.

Which leads me to the next line

“They don’t want me here and I don’t want to be here. Just Let me go.”

Punk admitted what we all knew in that the Elite-Punk relationship was fractured beyond repair.

The five men couldn’t be more different as cats and dogs or Conservatives and Liberals. The Elite are chummy with a lot of the “wrestling Media” while Punk has always kept his distance

The fact that Tony continued to keep all of them under the same roster was insane. After the brawl between all parties there should have been a separation just for morale.

Either fire the VP’s (Young Bucks basically) or let Punk go. It was a simple decision.

This is where leaders shine in making hard decisions even if it’s painful. We see it in sports all the time where sometimes a talented player is traded because he is hurting the team.

For God’s sake, Tony saw this firsthand in Jacksonville when they traded the star defensive end because he was griping about pay.

But Tony has rarely wanted to make the tough choices that will have fans upset. Or have critics second guess him.

So instead, he sold Punk on separate shows and the rest is history. Even though Punk admitted he didn’t want to be here, and it wasn’t going to work.

Which leads to this beauty of a comment.

“This isn’t a real business. This isn’t a business that’s predicated on making money, drawing money, selling tickets, doing business. It’s not what it was sold to me as. Let me go.”

I hope that TKW, Steamy Ray, Meltzer’s army and the rest of the AEW fans sit down and digest this comment.

I mean really chew it to the bone and let it marinate.

Punk basically stated for fact his views on the company that myself, Marvin the Movie Monster, MR. Tito, Duke Loves Rasslin, Brad Shepherd, Alfred Konuwa, Erich Bischoff, Jim Cornette and countless others stated.


In the last few years, they have pissed away a ton of goodwill, relied on shoot from the hip booking, signed too many wrestlers, horrible marketing and ruined their reputation.

Say what you want about Punk; you either love him or you hate him. But he understands that the bottom line in this industry is to make a profit and be a professional wrestling company.

And that comment confirmed that he lost faith in the company wasn’t what was sold to him as.

He was content in retirement and had no real desire to return. But Cody Rhodes and Tony wanted him and sold him on what AEW could be. That it would be an alternative wrestling company that was going to make money and be fun.

It was anything but that for Punk and he called them out on it.

It screws the narrative of AEW defenders that Tony is great.

Punk got so damn sick of the company that he literally told Tony this and wanted him to release him. That despite him getting paid a lot of money and being the star of the promotion, he saw it for what it was.

One can only imagine what made Cody leave, Andrade and even Jade Cargill. The latter three are more diplomatic and refuse to divulge anything negative about the company.

Which is the final nail in this coffin

“Alot of people are stuck in the Indy Mind set. I get it, it’s where I came from. But if your more happy that you had a 5-star match that some goof loved but the building is only a quarter full; then we are not in the same business.”

Once again, every single AEW fan including TKW, Steamy Ray, and Meltzer/Fightful subscribers need to read this.

Five-star match ratings are trivial compared to if fans tune in or if they continue to watch. Dream matches between Indy wrestlers who 95 percent of the world has never heard of are silly. There’s a reason why promoters don’t focus on the hardcore fans; it’s because they already have you.

The wrestling business is the same as the combat sports business in that you are always trying to grow your audience. You are trying to get more casual fans to tune in so that they become AEW fans.

But Punk’s statement confirms the problem that AEW has in that it catered towards Indy fans only.

And as he stated, he understood as he came from the independent wrestling scene. It is how he got on the WWE’s radar and helped launch his career.

But after all these years Punk has transformed into being a businessman. He may have hated the WWE at times, but he understood how business was handled in and out of the ring. If anything, he knew how to get people talking without making all these awesome moves.

At this point you have to wonder if AEW is ever going to take it to the next level. This interview should be a wake-up call to Tony that things need to change.

Punk could have been crueler and attacked Tony in many ways. But instead, he complimented Tony as a person and admitted that he wanted out.

But overall, it’s another damning statement about how AEW is poorly run overall. If your WBD what is the long-term plan for AEW on TBS/TNT? It’s not ratings as they continue to slide with no real boost on the horizon.

And imagine what WBD must be thinking as they are hearing about this. You can bet that anyone in the company who doesn’t want wrestling on the networks or is looking to cut costs will use this.

It’s ironic that of all the pipe bombs that Punk has dropped in the squared circle, his most impactful might be one that was on a podcast. Its up to Tony to see if it is a glancing blow… or a knockout for AEW.

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