AEW President Tony Khan has explained his decision to address the live Chicago crowd at the Collision taping that took place following CM Punk’s release.
On Saturday, September 2, AEW and Tony Khan announced that they had terminated the contracts of CM Punk with cause.
Punk’s termination came following the investigation into the backstage incident at AEW All In at Wembley Stadium.
CM Punk’s firing came ahead of that night’s edition of AEW Collision, and the next night’s All Out pay-per-view, which were both taking place in Punk’s hometown of Chicago.
While Tony Khan addressed Punk’s departure on air, he made an appearance just for the live crowd to further explain the situation off-screen.
Speaking with Insider, Khan noted that he grew up in Illinois so considers Chicago home:
“Chicago is home to my family. I grew up in Champaign. I’ve been going to the United Center since it was first built when I was 11. My family was at the show, countless friends, everyone I grew up with.
“It meant a lot to go out and speak to the fans and be able to put on a great show.
When asked why he chose to address the fans from the ramp instead of from the ring, he said:
“You can’t see everybody’s face from the center of the ring. You have to choose one side of the crowd to face when you’re in the ring. And I wanted to be able to see everybody.
“I felt like, I’m not a wrestler and I don’t need to be in the ring, and for this moment, I thought I would just sit down and talk to everybody. That’s why I brought out a chair.
“And when I was done and walked backstage, the first person I saw was Ricky Steamboat and he said, ‘That was great, you turned the crowd. You turned them around. That’s so hard to do, and you did it.’
“I felt I at least owed that much to the wrestlers and the fans, to go out there and talk to everybody.”
Samoa Joe has now reflected on the CM Punk incident that took place at All In London, which you can read more about right here.
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