Despite reports saying otherwise, it does not appear Ace Steel is back in AEW.
Earlier this week it was reported that Ace was re-hired by AEW after the chaos of AEW All Out 2022 and has been working with AEW for months now.
Steel, who was the only person fired after the Brawl after All Out last year, for allegedly hitting Nick Jackson hard with a chair in the head and biting Kenny Omega, was apparently one of Punk’s requests or demands to return. Steel and Punk were under the impression he would be back in his old role as a producer.
Steel had been in talk with Impact until several weeks ago, concurrent with the detailed story (and as noted denied to us by AEW) that he had inked a new deal to return.
The story is that Tony Khan told Punk that Steel could have his job and work closely with Punk, but that he would work remotely and not be brought to the Collision tapings. Everything fell apart at that point. AEW told WBD to remove Punk from all press materials. Keep in mind that we went through similar drama with MJF, which was a secret Brian Pillman storyline prior to last year’s Double or Nothing and the storyline goal was to lead to MJF beating Punk for the title upon his return at All Out, which never happened because Punk was injured, delaying the match to Full Gear, and then Punk was injured again, so Jon Moxley had to take his place in losing at Full Gear. While there is no indication from anyone reliable that this is a situation similar to that, we do have a precedent from Double or Nothing where everyone was kept in the dark about everything.
The key difference is that the Punk WBD announcement was supposed to be huge, and while the Saturday show was not completely incumbent on Punk’s return, those at WBD, because of his prior ratings and business success with AEW, pushed very hard for him to be brought back.WON
We will have to wait and see if Steel will remain in the shadows or if AEW will decide to quietly once again let him go.
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