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By Mike Johnson on 2023-05-17 17:06:00

For those who have asked what happened that CM Punk was not announced for AEW Collision today, the rumor making the rounds is that Punk and AEW are again at odds currently, now over the status of the return of Ace Steel.  In asking around, there appears to be something to that situation.

The belief among those we've spoken with is that Steel was expected to return in conjunction with Punk next month, working behind the scenes. 

However, the story making the way around AEW backstage today at Dynamite is that a decision was made that Steel would not be working backstage at the actual Collision tapings. 

As you might imagine, that left Punk and AEW on opposite sides of the discussion, which in turn led to Punk being removed from all promotional material released for the AEW Collision series today. 

One person believed MJF replaced Punk in the promotional graphic for the series, but we haven't been able to confirm that with multiple sources.

We do know that Impact Wrestling sources noted today they had interest in bringing Ace Steel in for a tryout and when the invitation was passed on several weeks ago, their belief was that meant he was AEW or WWE-bound.  So the timing fits in that a return was on the table for Steel.

Time will tell if the two sides can work things out in advance of the 6/17 premiere of the series, but Warner Bros. Discovery issued a statement to today stating Punk was "not affiliated" with Collision.   

As of this afternoon, based on what we are hearing, that would be correct.   

Whether anything changes remains to be seen. 

There are a few weeks until the Collision debut, so stay tuned.

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