As expected, we have a report that likely comes from someone close to CM Punk which covers Punk’s post-Collision promo on Hangman Page and subsequent talk of Page & other AEW talents being “sent home” from the Saturday show’s tapings.
Haus of Wrestling’s Nick Hausman has been part of this story since last year’s post-All Out media scrum, and on multiple occasions the Chicago-based member of the wrestling media got the Punk camp’s side of the story on the events that followed. His report on the latest chapter in AEW’s ongoing behind-the-scenes drama focuses on Punk’s untelevised remarks from last Saturday (Aug. 12), and two of the four men Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer & Bryan Alvarez said have been turned away after being booked for Collision since that show launched in June.
Regarding the promo, Hausman was told Punk’s remarks about Page didn’t come across how Punk “would have liked them” to, and that Punk “felt bad about them afterward.” There’s no mention of Punk expressing that to Page or anyone close to him, directly or through a third party. But the report reiterates that “it sounds like Punk is keeping the door open to” a possible meeting with The Elite to “bury the hatchet”.
Punk told ESPN in a controversial interview prior to his return that he’d reached out to Kenny Omega and Matt & Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks about such a meeting, but only got responses from lawyers telling him not to contact The Elite trio.
Regarding talents being told they’re not welcome at Collision despite being booked for tapings, Hausman has “not heard anything in regard to Punk asking to have Page or [Matt] Hardy not be present at the Greensboro Coliseum for the taping.” Page was said to have been asked not to come to that building last weekend, but the report was Hardy was sent home from an unspecified earlier taping at a different location.
The report does confirm that Punk doesn’t want Christopher Daniels and Ryan Nemeth at Collision.
Daniels is banned for his “involvement in the post-AEW All Out altercation” known as Brawl Out. Reports did indicate that Daniels, who also serves as AEW’s Manager of Talent Relations, was suspended after the locker room fight. His role in it was never specified however, and his suspension quickly lifted along with others who were believed to only be trying to separate Punk & Ace Steel from Omega & The Bucks during the melee. Regardless, Hausman reports that “since Ace Steel, Punk’s good friend, was also involved in the altercation but not allowed to return backstage for Collision, Punk is said to feel the same about Daniels and does not want him backstage either.”
Nemeth’s tweet referring to Punk as the “softest man alive” after Punk’s remarks intimating that The Elite are soft in his June return promo was confirmed to be the reason he was asked to leave the Greensboro Coliseum last Saturday. In this case, Hausman wrote that “Punk is said to not be looking for any drama backstage at Collision, and felt Nemeth’s previous comments showed his willingness to unnecessarily stir the pot in the locker room.”
Jim Ross recently remarked on his Grillin’ JR podcast that Collision is “calmer” backstage than Dynamite, saying:
“The atmosphere at Collision, in my opinion, is entirely different than the mindset and the atmosphere at Dynamite. There’s less people, less crew, less talents, so it’s a lot calmer; I think the talents have more time to work their matches out. It’s just a different atmosphere, is what I’m trying to say, and it’s a good atmosphere.”
Which would support Punk’s stance on Nemeth, even if that stance appears contradictory given his shot at Page — regardless of how it was intended.
However things proceed from here, it would again appear that one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that AEW’s management and communication is still lacking. Even before Collision was announced there was talk of a roster split to keep the peace. Simply developing a list of people who should only work Wednesdays or Saturdays and sharing that with those responsible for booking talent on both nights would alleviate much of this current issue.
Stay tuned, as this unfortunately is unlikely to be the last we hear on this issue.