AEW's Backstage Reaction To CM Punk WWE Return REVEALED

CM Punk is BACK in WWE, but how is AEW reacting?

CM Punk Tony Khan

As in WWE, CM Punk's Survivor Series 2023 return appears to have been met with a less-than-explosive backstage response in AEW.

Fightful Select reports that on Saturday, when Punk mounted his sensational, internet-breaking WWE return, AEW founder and CEO Tony Khan appeared more concerned with Katsuyori Shibata's impending return to Japan than his former World Champion joining the market leaders.

Shibata, who dropped his ROH Pure Championship last week, is understood to be departing the United States for Japan for "an extended period" imminently. The hard-hitting star had spent much of the past few years in the States, working primarily for Khan's umbrella of promotions.


Fightful states that within AEW, most reactions have involved company personnel inquiring about the backstage response within WWE.

Some WWE talents had asked if Punk was ever to be involved in AEW's ongoing 'Devil' storyline. Per Fightful, Punk was never considered for a role in that. AEW is yet to pull the big reveal of the masked figure, who has been plaguing World Champion MJF on television for months.


Punk's Survivor Series 2023 appearance was his first in WWE since 2014.

Channel Manager
Channel Manager

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.