His recent online dust-up with Jon Moxley & others seemed to again dash hopes CM Punk would someday return to AEW. But it’s a “never say never” business, and there remains speculation Tony Khan won’t say ”never” because Punk is good for AEW’s business.
Khan’s announcement last week that his main promotion would be taking its latest big swing and running a show in London’s Wembley Stadium reignited the Punk/AEW hot stove. If you’re trying to fill as much of a 90,000 seat venue as possible, you want to have as much star power as possible on the card. So if there’s any chance to mend fences with Punk, the thinking goes, you mend them so he can be on Aug. 27’s All In.
Reigning AEW Tag champs FTR have been arguing for a while that bringing Punk back is best for business. All In’s given Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler a new reason to make the argument, which they did were talking to Uproxx about their decision to stick with Khan rather than return to WWE or go freelance:
“Wembley Stadium is huge for AEW,” Wheeler continues. “AEW has to be ambitious right now. We’ve done so much as a company over the past three years that everybody said we couldn’t do. When Tony said we’re going to sell 20,000 (tickets at Arthur Ashe Stadium), that seemed ridiculous to people at the time. Everybody wants to keep moving the goalposts. Everybody wants to keep saying you can’t do this. I love that we’re going to Wembley because even if it’s not completely to the brim full, 50-, 60-, 70,000, whatever it ends up being, that’s huge for this company. As a company that’s only a couple years into its existence. You can’t play it safe all the time. The roster right now is so deep, why not go for it?”
There have been reports of 25,000 pre-sale sign-ups over the first 24 hours, and FTR has eyes on doubling that number with a specific dream match in mind.
“CM Punk and FTR versus the Elite,” Harwood says. “That’s gotta be it, right? If you want to sell 50,000 tickets and take this company to the next level, that’s it, that’s me dreaming. That’s the dream match. That six-man tag in Wembley Stadium could help launch AEW to the next level.”
It does makes sense, but it also feels like there’s more bad blood than ever between Punk and AEW decision makers. The Wembley show could be the reason to bring him back, but it could also be a way to prove the company is doing just fine without him.
We shall see.