Reports and rumors have indicated that AEW will soon announce a new two hour television show called Collision. The return of CM Punk to AEW is believed to coincide with the launch of Collision in June. Punk has been gone from AEW ever since his involvement in a backstage fight with the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega at last September’s All Out pay-per-view.
The fight at All Out was the culmination of a whole lot of backstage drama following CM Punk around last year. Tony Khan hasn’t been willing to say a word about Punk in the aftermath of the fight, perhaps due to threats of legal action during an internal investigation into the matter. Not surprisingly, it sounds like the AEW locker room is divided over Punk’s potential return. If the new Saturday show is centered around Punk, it might serve as a way to move forward with a soft brand split and keep Punk out of the same locker room from the Young Bucks and other wrestlers who want nothing to do with him.
On last week’s (May 5) episode of Rampage, AEW shot an angle involving Chris Jericho that a lot of people have interpreted as a reference to this Punk backstage drama. Jericho responded to a recent attack from Adam Cole by saying he doesn’t ever want to be in the same building with him again.
From now on, @IAmJericho and @AdamColePro will not be in the same building! Tune in to #AEWRampage on TNT! pic.twitter.com/BrZB9Us1bL— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 5, 2023
“I want to apologize to you and to all of our wonderful fans for not being able to perform my commentating duties on Rampage tonight due to an unprovoked attack by Adam Cole on Dynamite last Wednesday. I’m gonna need some assurances that he will not be in the same building as me from now on, and I’m working on that, and I’ll have more information on this on Wednesday. Thanks for believing in me.”
The follow-up to that angle occurred on last night’s (May 10) Dynamite, where Jericho secured a legal ban against Cole:
.@IAmJericho has accepted the challenge from @roderickstrong!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 11, 2023
It’s #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/KKoyRGyiK6
“I wasn’t prepared for a fight. Cole, you created an unsafe work environment...so I went and got legal counsel, and I now have a court order. The court order says this, if I’m in the building, you’re banned! If I’m in an arena or a venue, you are not allowed inside.”
Is all of this really a reference to the CM Punk backstage fight and drama with The Elite? Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer sure seems to think so:
“A lot of people are going like, why don’t they say what happened? And the reason is, is because there’s frickin’ legal action involved or threatened. There’s many times legal action has been threatened in the last year, year plus, on many issues here. So they’re essentially spoofing themselves.”
The most interesting tidbit in Meltzer’s reaction is that he refers to threats of legal action from over one year ago, yet the Brawl Out incident happened roughly eight months ago. I didn’t think a wrestler could be sued over passive aggressive promos, but maybe there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than I realized last May when Punk was in the middle of a kayfabe and backstage feud with Hangman Page.
I’m not 100% convinced that this Jericho angle actually is a spoof of the Punk drama. I think there’s a chance it could all be a coincidence. But then again, I’m also a jabroni mark without a life who don’t know it a work when you work a work and work yourself into a shoot marks. So you should definitely form your own conclusion here based on your own critical thinking about the Punk/Jericho situation.
What’s your take on this current Jericho angle and its possible relation to the CM Punk backstage drama? Let us know in the comments below, Cagesiders.