Former WWE Champ CM Punk Fired From AEW, Owner Tony Khan Says He Feels ‘My Life Is In Danger’ (Updated)

Controversial professional wrestler CM Punk (real name Phillip Brooks) has been fired from All Elite Wrestling after a backstage altercation at their biggest show ever, ‘All In’ at London’s Wembley Stadium last weekend. The promotion detailed the decision both in a statement released Saturday afternoon and at the opening of Saturday night’s “AEW Collision,” where AEW promoter Tony Khan provided a more detailed and personal explanation of the decision.

Opening up “Collision,” Khan told viewers, “Today I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my professional career: Today, I resigned from Phil Brooks, CM Punk, with cause.” This stems from a backstage incident at “AEW All In “ Back last Sunday. The incident was unfortunate and endangered people backstage. That includes the production staff, the people who help put the show together every week, innocent people who had nothing to do with it.”

The promoter went on to speak about how he was personally affected by the incident, which media reported was a physical altercation between punk and wrestler Jack Perry (son of the late actor Luke Perry). Khan was also reportedly close to where the incident took place.

“I’ve been going to wrestling shows for over 30 years. I produced them on this network for over four years,” Khan said. “In all that time, up until last Sunday, I’ve never felt that my safety, my safety, my life was at risk at a wrestling show. I don’t think anyone at work should think that way, I don’t think the people I work with should think that way.”

Khan went on to say that the release had been unanimously recommended by both a disciplinary committee and an outside legal adviser.

“And I followed that recommendation. I’m sorry for any fans who are upset about this, I’m sorry for anyone who is upset about this,” Khan said.

A statement by the company and Khan released early Saturday afternoon said AEW had terminated its contracts with CM Punk “for cause and effective immediately.”

“The termination follows a week-long internal investigation into an incident behind the scenes at AEW – All In London on Sunday 27 August,” the statement continued.

“Phil played an important role in AEW and I thank him for his contributions,” Khan said in his own afternoon statement. “The termination of his AEW contracts for good cause is ultimately my decision, and mine alone.”

It is also not the first incident involving Punk, as the Wrestling Observer and other media outlets have reported ongoing behind-the-scenes tensions between Punk and other wrestlers. Most notable was a backstage brawl at last year’s “All Out” show after Punk made inflammatory comments about fellow AEW wrestlers at a live press conference that led to a backstage confrontation with tag team Young Bucks, which ended with bans for punk Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and others.

You can watch the 2022 press conference here:

At this year’s All In, Punk reportedly threatened to stop wrestling after the incident, yelling directly at Tony Khan, “I give up.” The incident happened backstage just before the show’s main event, after Perry’s match , during which he made a comment on camera citing his personal struggles with punk. Punk ended up fighting in his planned fight.

Khan’s statement continued: “Obviously I wish I didn’t have to share this news, which may come as a disappointment to many of our fans. Still, I’m making the decision in the best interests of the many great people who make AEW possible every week – our talent, employees, venue operators and many others whose efforts are undisputed but essential in bringing great shows to our fans on TV and in the arenas offer and stadiums around the world.”

Punk’s future is uncertain as he has a complicated history with AEW’s biggest rival and market leader WWE, including a legal battle against one of WWE’s doctors, which Punk won. It also takes place ahead of AEW’s Labor Day pay-per-view weekend “All Out” on Sunday, as well as the same day as rival WWE’s special event “Payback.” All Out takes place in Chicago, punk’s hometown, where it was expected to be a major part of the show and possibly the main event.

This also puts the future of AEW TV programming in question. AEW launched a two-hour weekly Saturday night show entitled “AEW Collision” on Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT network, which widely promoted punk as their top star. Punk and wrestlers, with whom he had conflicts, were each assigned to different shows, with the Young Bucks being among those who only appeared on the weekly show “AEW Dynamite” on Wednesdays.

Punk has also appeared outside of professional wrestling, including as a recurring character on the Starz Network show Heels, about a local family-run wrestling company.


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