UPDATE: CM Punk has now commented, read more at this link.
A new report has revealed that CM Punk and AEW are at odds once again, hence why Punk was pulled from today’s Collision announcements.
As we’ve already covered, Warner Bros Discovery accidentally revealed that CM Punk was originally scheduled to be on Collision promotional materials but was seemingly removed at the last minute.
Fightful Select also posted a report that said – despite Punk not being promoted – they’d heard he was still planned to be involved, and his long-time associate Ace Steel may have been in line to be re-hired.
Well, as it turns out, maybe not anymore.
PWInsider is reporting that talk backstage in AEW today is that CM Punk and AEW are again “at odds”, this time over the return of Steel.
According to the report, things were in motion for what Fightful had said, with Punk set for Collision and Steel on his way back.
However, at some point, a decision was made that Steel would NOT be brought in to work backstage at Collision tapings.
Punk obviously wants him to be, so there’s been another falling out and that’s why Punk was removed from all the promotional stuff today.
IMPACT sources told PWInsider that the company was recently interested in hiring Ace Steel, and when he passed on that, it became apparent that meant he was planning to go to either AEW or WWE, so the timing lines up that an AEW return was indeed planned.
UPDATE: Fightful Select has reported that the idea of bringing Steel back was something that was suggested by Chris Jericho in the recent Punk/Jericho/Tony Khan meeting.
It was added that there was another new meeting this week between AEW and Punk, where Punk was told Steel would be able to work directly with him, but would not be able to attend AEW TV tapings.
WBD stated today that Punk is “not affiliated” with AEW Collision.
The debut episode of the show is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 17 in Punk’s hometown of Chicago and was supposed to be his big return.
Time will now tell if that happens. We’ll keep you posted with any further updates.
Here’s the full announcement for Collision from AEW:
TNT LAUNCHES A SECOND NIGHT OF WRESTLING WITH “AEW: COLLISION” FEATURING HEADLINERS THUNDER ROSA, MIRO, SAMOA JOE, POWERHOUSE HOBBS AND ANDRADE EL IDOLO ON SATURDAY, JUNE 17
NEW YORK (May 17, 2023) – TNT launches a second night of professional wrestling with a new tentpole series, “AEW: Collision” on Saturday, June 17, it was announced today by Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group, Warner Bros. Discovery, during the company’s 2023 Upfront presentation at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
This live, two-hour, in-ring show will air every Saturday night from 8-10 p.m. ET and feature more wrestlers, more stories and more action to super-serve fans.
“AEW: Collision” will feature headliners including Miro, Samoa Joe, Thunder Rosa, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Andrade El Idolo.
In only four years following the launch of “AEW: Dynamite,” AEW’s footprint has more than doubled across TNT and TBS. Along with “AEW: Dynamite,” Friday night’s “AEW: Rampage,” the recent follow-doc “AEW: All Access,” and now “AEW: Collision,” TNT and TBS deliver the best matches and most entertaining moments in professional wrestling today.
AEW has reached 23M total viewers so far this year across all of its shows on TBS and TNT.*
“We’re doubling-down on wrestling with ‘AEW: Collision,’ which gives fans two more hours every week,” said Jason Sarlanis, President, Turner Networks, ID and HLN, linear & streaming.
“AEW’s roster of talent has expanded so quickly that we felt it needed another night to bring our audience the epic rivalries, unforgettable matches and stars they love to watch
“Adding ‘Collision’ to our programming mix on TNT will allow us to satisfy the massive demand we’ve felt from our hardcore fanbase and be the ultimate complement to ‘AEW: Dynamite’ on TBS.”
“With the addition of ‘AEW: Collision’ on TNT, I’m extremely proud that a Turner network will be the home of Saturday night wrestling for the first time in more than two decades,” said Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW.
“The debut of ‘Collision’ is significant across numerous sectors including television, wrestling, entertainment and sports, and reinforces AEW as the bold property we envisioned when we launched in 2019.
“‘Collision’ will deliver live every Saturday night more of what fans and viewers tell us they want – athleticism, big personalities, exciting storylines and hard-hitting wrestling action, all of which have become synonymous with AEW.”
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