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CM Punk hints at the length of his AEW non-compete in return to MMA commentary


We still haven’t gotten the rumored “explosive response” to his recent AEW firing, but CM Punk was back in the public eye last night (Sept. 15) when he returned to his semi-regular gig calling mixed martial arts action for Cage Fury Fighting Championships.

Just as he did in Punk’s first Brawl Out appearances for CFFC last year, his play-by-play partner John Morgan didn’t waste any time getting in a reference to Punk’s issues with Tony Khan’s company:

“He’s back, might I add with cause — CM Punk!”

You’ll recall of course that AEW’s official statement on the termination of Punk’s contracts stated that it was “for cause”.

When CFFC owner/promoter Rob Haydak joined the UFC Fight Pass stream to make it a three-man booth, they joked about expanding his brand beyond MMA. That expansion might have included Cage Fury Pro Wrestling, but Haydak didn’t know Punk would be a free agent...

And the soundbite getting the most play online today involved Haydak ribbing Punk when he asked “you got time on your hands?” The official clip shared on the app/site formerly known as Twitter cuts off Punk’s full response, but after saying, “Yeah, yeah, I’ve got some time”, the former WWE & AEW World champ added:

“... for the next two months.”

As many an online wrestling fan has already pointed out, if Punk has some sort of agreement with AEW to not sign with a competitor for two months, that means a deal with WWE to return at Survivor Series in his beloved Chicago is a possibility.

Tony Khan declined to comment on any non-compete mechanism in Punk’s contracts when he addressed the firing after All Out earlier this month.

His CFFC gig is also a reminder that while there may be questions about how the people in charge at WWE feel about Punk, he’s remained on good terms with management at their new corporate sibling, UFC (CFFC is owned & run by Haydak, but their shows air on UFC’s subscription platform). The decision won’t be Dana White’s, but that relationship could work in Punk’s favor if/when TKO Group considers making him another contract offer.

Interesting times...

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