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By Dave Scherer on 2023-09-03 10:11:00

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After yet another wild, whacky, serious and then finally ridiculous day in the world of All Elite Wrestling, we sure did run the range of emotions in the world of Tony Khan.  We started the day in wonder as to what, if anything, Khan would do concerning the CM Punk-Jack Perry altercation last weekend at All In Wembley. By mid afternoon, Khan had made the tough, warranted decision to fire Punk, which he knew could adversely affect his company both this weekend in Chicago and going forward, but he made anyway.  I commended him for how he handled the Punk part of the situation on Twitter.  

I finally had an inkling of hope that Tony would finally stop acting like the wrestlers’ bestest pal and start acting like their boss.  But, Tony being Tony, he couldn’t just take the win and the respect garnered by people who finally saw him show some sign of leadership.  Instead, he chose to embarrass himself and ruin any chance that I could believe that he fired Punk for the right reasons by going on Collision last night and undoing any good he had done by saying one of the truly ridiculous things ever said on a wrestling program. It’s truly a talent (which no one should actually want to have) that Khan has when it comes to taking the proverbial sunny day and inflicting a hurricane upon it.

As you would expect, a lot of questions have poured in over CM Punk, Jack Perry and Tony Khan in the last day.  I will answer them below but before I do, I want to just try and make sense of the events that transpired yesterday.  I am not sure that I can, but I will give it a shot.

The day opened with us wondering what, if anything, Khan would do about the CM Punk-Jack Perry situation that had festered since last weekend.  Yes, I included Perry because he was part of the problem.  But as I have said since last weekend, this time I put most of the blame on Punk, unlike the situation with him and The Elite where both sides (despite what you have read elsewhere) shared it equally.  

In this case, Punk was a top star and Perry was a lower card guy.  They were not equals.  No matter what Perry did, Punk should not have reacted at all, let alone in the manner that he did.  He’s a top guy and he was headed to the ring to open the biggest show in company history.  He should not have interacted with a pre-show match guy anyway, but he definitely shouldn’t have done it in that moment.  

Punk should have at least been suspended and I personally would have fired him, as Khan did.  If I can’t trust my leader to lead, I can’t trust him at all.  As I said above, in other instances there was plenty of blame to go around, but that was between top guys, some of whom were EVPs, and Punk.  They took shots at him, he took shots back.  This time was different, as mentioned above.

So around four o’clock or so, as you can see above, I was saying, “Way to go Tony!  You showed a spine and there may be a leader in there after all!”   Given how Tony handled the All Out fallout from last year, there was a strong chance that he wouldn’t do anything at all but here he was acting strongly and decisively, making the right call even though he knew it would affect AEW adversely, at least in some aspects of the business.  

Four hours later, he blew up all of that good will, every stinking bit of it, by going on Collision and making the ridiculous statement that he feared for his life when Phil Brooks interacted with Perry.  Obviously, the statement is beyond ridiculous.  Unless Khan has lived in a plastic bubble all of his life, if watching a mad wrestler go after another wrestler, and even if Punk took the swipe at him that we have heard from some sources, made him fear for his life and pee his proverbial pants, he is a different kind of soft, seriously.  But what made it worse was the message: Tony Khan didn’t fire Punk for the unprofessional reasons outlined above, he fired him because Punk being made Tony scared for his life.  At that point in time, all of the goodwill that Tony had created earlier in the day was gone.  From what I saw on Twitter, Tony was getting roasted for his ridiculous statement, and deservedly so.  Not for nothing, my wife and I were on the Las Vegas Strip on 1 October, 2017 when a lunatic named Stephen Paddock, shooting over 500 people (murdering 60) from his hotel room at Mandalay Bay.  People went running for their lives in all directions.  Some came into The Aria, where I was staying with my wife.  Three gunshots were fired and people ran away en masse, trampling my wife in the process.  I somehow was able to get her up and we literally ran for our lives for about ten minutes until we found safety.  Sorry Tony, an angry wrestler made you fear for your life?  Dude, you live a charmed, first world life.  

When I read Mike’s transcription of what Tony said (as I was blogging Payback when he said it), I was dumbfounded, insulted and a bit angry.  How dare Tony, in a country where we have mass shootings on a daily basis, invoke being scared for his life due to a wrestler fight.  How tone deaf can a billionaire be?  Yes, that was a rhetorical question.  All I can tell you is that around 4 p.m. ET Tony had garnered some respect from me.  By 8:15 p.m., he lost every single bit of that and more.

With that said, onto the questions.

If Tony feared for his life in England, why did it take him almost a week to finally take action against Punk?

My hunch is that he had to go through his lawyers before he could fire Punk.  I also have to wonder if a settlement of some kind was made with Punk.  After Tony saying what he said on TV last night, if I am Punk and no settlement was in place, I would be calling my lawyer to get some of that Khan money after Tony destroyed my character on national TV.

So let me get this straight, Tony was scared for his life by Punk and then he sent Punk out there to WIN THE MATCH?  How does that make sense?

It doesn’t.  Once Tony was so scared that he needed some Depends, he should have changed the finish because he had to know that Punk would at least be suspended for his actions.  Joe should have gotten the win since he will be around.

Should Jack Perry be fired too?

He at very least should be suspended for a long period of time.  All reports are that he had something to do with instigating the situation.  If it’s me, I would fire him.  If Tony hadn’t made his ridiculous statement on Collision, it would have sent the message that none of that stuff will be tolerated.  But now?  I guess Tony isn’t scared of Perry so it’s not an issue.

What do you think the chances are that CM Punk shows up on RAW *THIS* Monday to drop another "pipe bomb" but... This time on the "other guys" to stick it to AEW? As Eric Bischoff always said.... "Controversy creates ca$h" and I don't think anything would "break the wrestling internet" harder right now than that.

It would depend of if a settlement was negotiated or not I guess.  I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen before Tony’s Collision promo.  Now?  Tony deserves it if it happens.  Keep one thing in mind, Endeavor takes over WWE soon.  They have a relationship with Punk. They will talk.  Will what Tony did motivate Punk to get his pound of flesh?  Stay tuned.

Could Vince/Hunter/WWE unilaterally do that right now even if they wanted to? Or given how controversial Punk's recent history has been and the fact they are near the close of the sale with Endeavor would they have to at least consult with them first? 

I think that they would absolutely consult with Endeavor before any move is made.

What exactly did Punk do that made tony fear for his life? 

Tony didn’t say and frankly nothing I heard about from the situation would have made any third party scared at all, let along for their life.

Why would Tony Khan feel the need to open collision and say he fired punk cuz he was scared and feared for his life? Why not just say there was a backstage incident and it resulted in me having to fire Punk and leave it at that? 

I literally have no idea what possessed him to do that.  It was about as wrong a move that he could have done.

Is Chicago burned for AEW?

Well, the company sure didn't do much before this whole mess started to get hose locals excited.  Dynamite was way off of the same period last year.  As you can see, as of yesterday morning lots of good tickets remained for both Collision and tonight’s PPV.  They are doing much lower numbers than they did last Labor Day weekend in Chicago, and those shows were 

They also posted that as of a few days ago, tonight’s show was largely even with last year’s All Out, that that show was in the much more remote (and cheaper to run) NOW Arena.  Tonight they are in the big building.

Wrestletix also noted:

Last time here:

6/17/2023 => Collision => 9,280

Things were already down in Chicago and losing Punk won’t help that one bit.

After saying he was scared for his life and saying it made him fire one of his top guys, how could Tony say it was the greatest week in AEW history?

The man is totally tone deaf, no other way to put it.

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