Konnan said on his podcast a few weeks ago that during his negotiations with AEW, management told him that CM Punk wanted an “astronomical” amount of money to step back into the ring and join the promotion.
Ahead of Fight for the Fallen tomorrow night, talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy had the chance to speak with Cody Rhodes, who opened up about AEW’s negotiations with CM Punk and the demands that the former WWE Champion had.
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Here’s what Cody told McCarthy about the negotiations he and AEW had with Punk:
“I like Konnan a lot. He’s kind of my AAA buddy. He’s a really smart, smart guy. I wish I could spend a little more time with Konnan – I know I’m waxing poetic on Konnan here but I think he’s a really great guy.
“As far as the CM Punk negotiations go, everyone heard the famous ‘he got a text from us’. Yeah, of course there were negotiations and he did ask for a great amount of money and Punk is worth a great deal of money.
Cody then opened up about AEW’s wider policy on recruitment and suggested that Punk not joining AEW might not have been a purely financial decision:
“But you also have to – and this isn’t speaking to Punk specifically, this is speaking to recruitment and what we’ve learned in wrestling in general – a lot of people think ‘these wrestlers are running this wrestling company’.
“These wrestlers are doing everything they can to run the creative, the brand and the marketing and things, but there are some very smart and fiscally conservative people who surround us and flank us because this isn’t my money. At all.
“And I don’t want a situation that happened with WCW or Jim Crockett promotions where we think we’re flying so high that we can do anything. No – this is a business. And we have to turn a profit.
“The fact we were able to turn a profit as a company within only two years of being alive, very few other companies within wrestling – it’s real limited, you can count on one hand who’s been able to do that versus who has bled money – but in that situation the negotiations, I don’t think they ever got too serious.
“Doesn’t mean they won’t one day, but they never got entirely too serious. I think there is a good relationship there. I think I have a good relationship with Phil, I believe Tony does too and I’m not sure really when it comes to him, it’s not so much about the money. It’s about are you interested in doing this?
“Because the price tag becomes a lot more justifiable if you’re genuinely interested in what we’re doing at the high speed we’re doing it. And again, that’s not even specific to him, just in general, if the passion is not there, the money is not there.”
While CM Punk would probably be the biggest free agent that AEW could get right now, the finances have to be right for both parties to make the deal worthwhile.
If he did join AEW, would you like to see CM Punk face in his return match? Let us know on Twitter.