“Brawl Out” remains a popular topic of conversation within the wrestling community, even 16 months after the backstage fight between CM Punk & Ace Steel and The Elite trio of Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks went down at last year’s All Out PPV.
And even, it seems, in the wee hours of Christmas morning.
The fight that got all five men suspended and was a big contributing factor in Punk & Steel’s eventual AEW exits was in the news again last week. Attorney Stephen P. New, who represented Punk & Steel in the company’s investigation of Brawl Out, confirmed that his clients signed lifetime non-disclosure agreements and would never legally be able to talk about what happened backstage at Now Arena that Labor Day. New also confirmed Steel’s belief that his wife Lucy was the only person in the locker room where the incident happened who did not sign an NDA.
It was a story about about New’s comments from his own website that got Chris Jericho posting about Brawl Out on Christmas Eve, chiming in to let the world know he didn’t sign an NDA...
New responded to that with a joke/dig about NDAs being in the AEW handbook...
It’s in your employee handbook unless you have a special one. We can figure it out— Steve New (@StephenPNew) December 25, 2023
And when Jericho saw that at around 4am ET this morning (Dec. 25), he didn’t like it. At all...
Hey @StephenPNew- I don’t adhere to an employee handbook and have NEVER had one in 4 years of working for @aew. Ive also never signed an NDA in my life ….ever. So stop trying to be a bully and making egotistical fantasy brags for your clients, and start doing some research… https://t.co/P8Fjda7d9K— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) December 25, 2023
Hey @StephenPNew - I don’t adhere to an employee handbook and have NEVER had one in 4 years of working for @aew. Ive also never signed an NDA in my life ….ever. So stop trying to be a bully and making egotistical fantasy brags for your clients, and start doing some research before you make blanket statements about your buddies. Because I saw EVERYTHING that night…including how Lucy (and her husband and best buddy) acted and what really went down…and since I was in the room and watching her and everybody else the whole time..I know exactly what really happened. And considering you weren’t there and I was …maybe you should shut your mark ass up. Because what really went down was disgusting. ….
It’s a bit of a puzzling response, and not just because of the time it was sent. There have been reports that others were present for or witnessed Brawl Out, but Jericho was never one of them. In fact, Jericho took part in the post-All Out 2022 media scrum. He appeared about 25 minutes after Punk aired his grievances with The Elite in that forum, which led many to assume that he was seated next to Tony Khan while some or all of the fight occurred.
But it seems Jericho is saying it happened either before or after he spoke to the press that night, and that he was in Punk’s locker room when it did. That would be new information, especially if Jericho is legally free to talk about what he saw. But if he’s as anxious to stand up for AEW as his middle-of-the-night-post makes it seem, there’s not really much benefit in publicly re-litigating Brawl Out for Tony Khan’s company at this point.
Jericho is one of several AEW figures who’s spoken about the need to focus on the good things the promotion is doing rather than dwelling on the past, people who are no longer with them, or the competition. Seeing as Punk now represents all three, a social media back-and-forth with New is Jericho not practicing what he preaches.
We’ll see if he follows up, or if this ends with his Christmas tweet.