UPDATE: WBD has issued a statement responding to the situation with a major update – click here to find out more.
The AEW Collision announcements today have featured no mention of the expected return of CM Punk… or so it seemed.
As it turns out, Warner Bros Discovery may have accidentally leaked Punk’s status for the show.
As revealed by Sports Illustrated writer Jimmy Traina, WBD emailed out a press release following its Upfront event which included a mention of the Collision announcement.
Although he wasn’t mentioned in the actual press release, CM Punk was mentioned in the email, before WBD edited him out of it.
You can see tweets from Traina and Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston below showing what happened.
Obviously, Punk has been expected to be involved in Collision and even not being included in any of the announcements didn’t really change that, but if it was supposed to be kept a surprise, it probably won’t be as much of one now.
Of course, there is an alternative possibility, which seems a lot less likely, which would be Punk being pulled from all involvement with Collision and therefore removed from the announcements, but there’s nothing pointing in that direction and the idea that his reveal was supposed to be saved for a later date is obviously a lot more likely right now. But we’ll keep you updated.
For the list of stars that AEW has actually publicly revealed in Collision promotional material, click this link.
UPDATE: A new report has revealed CM Punk and AEW have had another falling out, hence why Punk was removed from promotional material for Collision – read more at this link.
Here’s the full announcement 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.”
Here's an interesting one for the wrestling fans: AEW's press release on their new show says, "will feature headliners including Thunder Rosa, Miro, Samoa Joe, Powerhouse Hobbs and Andrade El Idolo." Their email, though, and link to the release, mentioned CM Punk. Hmmm…. pic.twitter.com/gBxbHisvOY
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) May 17, 2023
WBD's press release headline for the AEW Collision announcement originally mentioned CM Punk and other wrestlers, which you can see in the cached listing (left) before it was edited (right).
h/t to @JimmyTraina for noticing pic.twitter.com/VUzkvjzbh1
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) May 17, 2023
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