As CM Punk’s return to WWE was dominating the pro wrestling news cycle this week, we got word that Bryan Danielson was part of the team that recommended AEW fire Punk after his altercation with Jack Perry and Tony Khan backstage at Aug. 27’s All In event.
In fact, the report said Danielson led the three person disciplinary committee which recommended Khan part ways with Punk after what turned out to be the last of several behind-the-scenes incidents Punk was involved in during his two years in AEW.
During an appearance on CBS Sports Radio’s Maggie & Perloff yesterday (Dec. 1), Bryan confirmed he’s on the disciplinary committee and its involvement in AEW’s decision to terminate Punk. But he downplayed his role, and had positive things to say about Punk’s run with the company.
His comments also indirectly support reports that legally-binding non-disclosure agreements are keeping anyone from saying much about Punk & AEW:
Bryan Danielson confirms report that he was on the committee that decided CM punk should be fired from AEW. pic.twitter.com/lbFdE7dYwI— Maggie and Perloff (@MaggieandPerl) December 1, 2023
“Yeah, I’m a part of the disciplinary committee. And clearly, what happened has happened. I’m somebody who, I like CM Punk. I think he brought a lot to AEW while he was there. Buy, you know — there’s not a lot I can say about it, or that I really want to say about it about. But yeah, I am part of it.
“It’s really funny cause — you know how the internet is. It’s like, some people would say I was the head of the disciplinary committee. And I’m like, ‘Listen.’ There were more than three people involved in this decision, but most of them were all lawyers. To say that I was the head — I don’t even have a college degree [laughs]. I’m not in there bossing people around or anything like that... But yeah, I am part of the disciplinary committee.”
AEW was the third time Punk & Danielson were co-workers in their long, legendary careers, and by all accounts they always got along. Maggie Gray asked Bryan if being on the committee was difficult in this instance given his relationship with Punk. He replied:
“Absolutely, yeah. Absolutely. And as somebody who, you know — I have a lot of empathy... and I’m grateful for the time he was able to spend in AEW, and he did a great job for us. So yeah, I wish him the best in his future, and I hope that his run there [WWE] goes well.”
You can read between the lines of Danielson isn’t able to say if you want, but overall these seems like the best possible answers you can give in this situation. Not that we’d expect anything less from Bryan.