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By Mike Johnson on 2023-04-25 10:48:00

Since we keep getting questions about the CM Punk situation, this is what would have been one of my Q&A columns for later this week, published now instead of later this week.


Shouldn't Tony Khan be pissed Punk was at Raw?

That's a question for Khan but in the past, everyone from Ricky Starks to QT Marshall to Andrade have been backstage at WWE events while under contract to AEW.   Some have been backstage at Wrestlemania and other events with Cody Rhodes.  There have also been lots of instances of contracted WWE talents backstage at AEW events.  Unless one side forbids the other from doing so, I can't see anyone getting mad when someone does something others have done without repercussions.  I personally wouldn't want any of my talents at other shows, but given there are couples who work for different companies, how can you really forbid someone's wife/husband from being there?  That just creates ill will.

I have to ask this:  you're telling me after the lawsuit, the bad blood, Dr. Amann, staph infection, etc. that Punk just WALKED INTO a WWE show and no one stopped him?  No one in the company was like WTF is he doing here?

Yes, that's pretty much what happened.  He was walked in by other talents.  I can't say that "no one" reacted like that, because the first source we heard from within WWE pretty much asked me why the hell was Punk just asked to leave the building and WTF was he doing at the show, so at least one person in WWE had that reaction when they heard he was there.  Those who saw him, based on what we were told by different WWE sources that actually witnessed him being there, said talent who saw him approached him and it was all positive.  It's not like, say, Baron Corbin was going to see him and tell him to get the hell out.  That wasn't going to happen.

Did Chicago Phil come across Seth Rollins?

Not that we've heard.  

It seems obvious to me that Punk was trying to get a WWE contract here.  Why would you say he wasn't?

Well, there are these things called contracts that would legally prevent him from doing such a thing.  If Punk was looking to negotiate, I'm pretty sure his lawyers would be the ones to try and open those lines of communication - if he was legally able to do so.  I am guessing he has at least 1-2 years left on his AEW deal, especially if they added time for the periods he was out injured.  If you think Punk thought that he could magically walk into WWE's backstage area hours before they are running a live three hour TV show, get a meeting and sign a new contract the same day while magically making his AEW contract disappear quicker than you can say Harry Houdini, well, you'd be mistaken.  That's not how business is done on a corporate level.

Why do you think Vince McMahon asked Punk to leave?  He's let Sable, Brock and others back and they had legal entanglements in the past.

Again, I don't know for sure, but given the history there, the last thing anyone in WWE expected was for Punk to show up at their doorstep and say hey, how are you?  You bring up Sable and Lesnar, but the difference is, they were brought back by WWE to work for them and when Vince McMahon made that decision, he also decided to let the past be the past, same as when he brought back Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior or anyone else he at some point had issues with that led to conflict.  This wasn't WWE bringing Punk back to work for them.  This was Punk making a decision, apparently, to come by and say hello.  Different situation.

Do you think Vince McMahon would have met with Punk if he was physically there?

No, I do not think the Chairman of a company would have met with someone under contract to his prime competitor - not in such a public setting, anyway.  

What did CM Punk get out of any of this?

A question for Punk to answer.  Maybe he just wanted to see old friends?  Maybe he just wanted to clear the air with Miz?  Maybe he just said, "The hell with this, let's see what happens?"  Maybe he wanted people to say "WTF" as he prepares for his AEW comeback?  Maybe none of us know what was going on in his head and unless/until he tells us, we won't know, and I bet that no matter what he says about it, some won't believe him anyway.  He got you asking about it, so maybe that was the gameplan here - get people talking about him and not about him in the media scrum from All Out or the fight afterward, which seems to be all people talk about when it comes to him online.

Do you believe the reports he went there to see if WWE would take him back?

No, because he's under contract.  If you are going to tell me he went there to see if WWE would maybe, perhaps, please take him back in 2025 or 2026 when he's 46 or 47, I really don't think anyone is playing that long of a chess game.

Was AJ Lee with Punk?

No.  The footage that popped up online of him talking with what appeared to be Tamina was Punk by himself, not with his wife.

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