During his infamous performance at the All Out media scrum, CM Punk made it very clear what he thought about several things. Among those things were his ex-friend Colt Cabana, and anyone in the AEW locker room who thought he had anything to do with Cabana being taken off television & relegated to Ring of Honor.
Which is why having Colt return to Dynamite earlier this month raised so many eyebrows. There were already reports out at that point saying AEW and Punk were negotiating a buyout of his contract, as part of the company’s handling of his backstage fight with The Elite following the aforementioned scrum. A storyline justification for Cabana’s match with Chris Jericho existed, but it still gave the appearance AEW was saying, “Punk’s gone, so Colt’s back.”
This week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter reiterates that booking Colt on Nov. 2 was Tony Khan’s decision. Because of that, the talent who “believes and insists” Punk was somehow responsible for Cabana’s ouster and still “openly talk about” it felt the move validated their beliefs, even though “Punk remains adamant he had nothing to do with Cabana being gone.”
Perhaps because of that, Dave Meltzer writes that there’s been “no change as far as we know in the Punk contract situation in that he’s still under contract here.” As of this week, AEW was still selling Punk merch at shows.
Meanwhile, Meltzer also notes that Punk’s recovery from the torn triceps he suffered in his match “is said to be going really well.” Combining that with other signs (MJF alluding to past Punk promos in his on Wednesday’s Dynamite, Khan not using the past tense to describe Punk’s AEW run during his call with the media yesterday) will likely encourage those who think/hope AEW has turned a shoot into a work.
Unless they’re among those who’ve moved on and are now fantasy booking CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 39. And based on this report and the feelings we know Punk has about the Cabana situation, that long shot may have better odds.