After the biggest week in AEW’s short history, pundits from all across wrestling media are sharing their thoughts on All In, All Out and, of course, the CM Punk situation.
For those unaware, following a backstage scuffle (now being called ‘Brawl In’ – seriously, this stuff writes itself) between CM Punk, Jack Perry, and possibly others, CM Punk has officially been fired from AEW.
AEW announced the release on Friday of last week, and on the following Saturday’s episode of Collision, Tony Khan confirmed it in person, both in a pre-recorded video and in front of a raucous Chicago crowd.
AEW then proceeded to have an absolute classic pay per view that, in many people’s eyes, put to rest any doubt that the company would be fine, with or without CM Punk.
Still, Punk will remain the headline of many an internet report (such as this one – we’re not above it) in the days, weeks, months, and possibly years to come. Whether it’s due to his popularity with some fans, his polarization with others, or just his overall presence in general, CM Punk has proven himself to be the preeminent protagonist of professional wrestling. How was that for alliteration?
But, while he may view himself as the protagonist, many view him as the antagonist. It’s this debate that will rage for some time to come and the constant backstage reports of what did or didn’t happen will continue to add fuel to the fire.
Of course, one of the most prominent prognosticators (I can’t stop, help) of CM Punk-related events has been Dave Meltzer. Meltzer, ever since ‘Brawl Out’ from a year ago, has reported a myriad of stories about CM Punk – many of which do not paint the Second City Saint in the most positive of lights.
This week, for instance, Meltzer revealed that several different parties were interviewed Re: the Punk situation and, he said, Punk actually “lunged” at the owner, CEO, and GM of AEW, Tony Khan.
“So he got fired over what happened Sunday (at All In), but the lawyers and everyone else talked about a lot more than Sunday. They talked about everything, stuff that has come out and lots of stuff that has not come out. Should it have been sooner? Of course, it should have been a year ago but hindsight is whatever. But when he came back, you give him a chance.
“I will tell you when I didn’t have a good feeling before he came back. The two times that he tried to quit or whatever it was, the first one was serious the second one was somewhat. The first time I thought it was a pretty bad situation. He’s not changing, he didn’t learn when he did the promo when he came back [at Collision]. He did the interview, it was just one thing after another. It wasn’t going to work, it was a disaster. There is so much more to it than what has come out, but the big stuff has.”Dave Meltzer
Meltzer also stated that, throughout this situation, he was “far too kind” to Punk when it came to his reporting.
“Throughout this whole ordeal, you [Bryan Alvarez] and I were far too kind to him. That’s the reality, we were far too kind.
“I always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, I always tried to give his side. But they didn’t want to hear it, they just wanted to go, ‘Oh you are after him,’ and everything like that.
“Lunging was far too kind. If you saw the actual wording of what was said, I was toning it down. It was more than lunging.”Dave Meltzer
Special thanks to Inside the Ropes for the above transcription.
Twitter scoffed at Meltzer’s ‘far too kind’ line, as many people have accused Meltzer of purposefully publishing negative reports about CM Punk, due to Meltzer’s perceived relationship with The Young Bucks and The Elite. Some have even gone on to say that The Young Bucks have purposefully leaked negative stories to Meltzer, in order to paint Punk in a negative light. Whether this is actually true or not may never be known, but Conrad Thompson dropped something of a bombshell on Monday in regards to Meltzer’s reporting.
Thompson, while hosting his 83 Weeks podcast with Eric Bischoff, addressed the CM Punk situation and had the following to say:
“Someone really, really close to the situation [between CM Punk and AEW] said to me, in very clear terms, ‘I hope you’ll let the world know that Dave Meltzer is a liar.'”
Thompson went on to say that he doesn’t “exactly know” the context of that statement, and naturally he did not say who actually said it, but he agreed that Meltzer has become somewhat of a polarizing figure throughout this situation.
Bischoff, who is not exactly Meltzer’s number-one fan, enthusiastically agreed.
“I guess now there’s almost like this media beef, if you will,” Thompson said. “There’s the Wrestling Observer group, who says ‘This is what happened.’ And then there’s the Nick Hausman’s of the world who say ‘This is what happened.'”
Hausman is a polarizing wrestling journalist in his own right, who found himself in the crosshairs of CM Punk at the 2022 All Out Media Scrum but, since then, has presented multiple exclusive stories from the ‘CM Punk Camp,’ leading some to believe that Punk and/or his team are leaking stories directly to him. Hausman, to his credit, never actually shares his opinions on the information that comes out, unlike others in the media who claim they were “too soft” in their reporting.
“Most of the folks have put two and two together, and they say, ‘Nick, being a Chicago guy – he’s probably fairly friendly with Punk camp,” Thompson said. “While Dave, being a California guy – he’s probably pretty friendly with the guys whose finishing maneuver is called ‘The Meltzer Driver.'”
Thompson said that there is a lot of he said/she said going on, but he summed up the situation by saying that the real people who have lost out because of this situation are the fans.
Of course, Bischoff being Bischoff, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to offer his opinion on Meltzer and Hausman, given his history with both men.
“You and I have been doing this podcast for over five years,” Bischoff stated. “And during that five-year period of time, I have spent a lot of time shredding and exposing Dave Meltzer, what he is. And the damage that I believe, and I’ve said and shown so many times. I’m sick of hearing myself say it.”
Bischoff continued, stating that “Dave Meltzer is horrible. Always has been. For the wrestling business. And as outspoken as I’ve been about CM Punk, not because I believe anything Dave Meltzer says…and quite frankly, I don’t think Nick Hausman is the most stable human being I’ve ever come across either. Nothing either one of them says really matters. Sometimes I find it entertaining and it makes me laugh. But neither one of them, I don’t think, has any credibility.”
Regardless of who or who does not have credibility, it’s safe to believe that much of the Internet Wrestling Community will continue to write, read, share, and sometimes outright make up stories about CM Punk and his relationship with AEW, WWE, and more. When you’re reading these reports, it’s important to remember this fundamental point: There is one side, there is the other side, and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.
But even that’s not true all of the time.
Follow Nick at @WrestlePerks
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