In the course of a few months last year, Ace Steel went from being someone many current wrestling fans wouldn’t have been able to pick out of a line-up to the center of one of the biggest stories in the business.
CM Punk’s friend & trainer was by his side after All Out 2022 for the backstage fight with The Elite that’s become known as “Brawl Out”. Both men were suspended along with Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks, and eventually brought back when AEW launched Collision earlier this year. Steel’s involvement reportedly led to issues launching that show, and it was eventually decided he’d help produce it remotely. Then when Punk was fired after again becoming involved in behind-the-scenes drama, Steel was shown the door by Tony Khan as well.
Now, with Punk having landed on his feet at WWE, Steel is commenting on all of that. He’s not saying much due to the various legal non-disclosure/disparagement agreements that it seems most of the people involved in Punk’s AEW run have signed, but we were still interested to hear what he had to say about them on Wrestling with Rip Rogers.
Regarding his time in AEW and specifically Brawl Out, Steel said:
“Well, I worked with a lot of great people — some great, some not so much.
“Family still exists in this business. There are things none of us can say, and none of us will. I think actually my wife’s the only one who could probably tell the story since she was there. And maybe someday. As far as that goes, you don’t fuck with family. You just don’t. You just don’t.
“And we came out just fine. I have a great lawyer: Stephen P. New. Stephen P. New. He’s the man. Let’s just put that in the world. That Stephen P. New — he’s a gem, he is for the wrestlers, he’s for the boys, he’s on the right side of the world. So I will give him all the praise in the world [for] why I’m sitting here smiling.”
New supported Steel’s comments with a post on X:
I am proud of my clients and would not represent them if I didn’t truly believe in them as people. And @acesofsteel is correct. Sometimes clients and friends are family.
Steel joked that even though “there are things none of us can say”, Brawl Out will be an episode of Dark Side of the Ring someday: “Someone’s going to want to know.” He also talked a bit more about the good from his time in AEW:
“I was Punker’s producer, so I produced some good stuff, produced his dog collar match [against MJF]... I did have fun, I had a lot of fun. I got to expand my skills as far as that went for producing.”
What he could talk about was Punk’s return to WWE, and Ace unsurprisingly put his guy over huge:
“I’m very proud of my number one student that I’ve ever coached in the world for heading back to show the world who the hell he is.
“I did a speech at the Cauliflower Alley [Club, when they honored Punk earlier this year]. Steve Keirn was supposed to induct Punk at the Cauliflower Alley but he couldn’t make it. So they were kind of scrambling around and I said, ‘I’ll do it, because who else can introduce you and talk about the days we started together?’
“And I said, ‘The reason people hate him or whatever is he’s not about bullshit, and the guy doesn’t take shit, and he doesn’t take it lightly. And when you’ve had enough shit, you either explode, or you take care of business yourself, and you defend yourself. People don’t like him because he defends himself or calls stuff out when it’s not proper. But if you treat him right — he treats everyone else right.’”
You can check out Steel’s entire appearance on Wrestling with Rip Rogers here.