CM Punk Calls AEW A "F**king Joke", Tony Khan Is "A Clown"

CM Punk did NOT hold back on his thoughts on AEW and Tony Khan.

CM Punk Tony Khan

Having appeared on Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour yesterday, CM Punk made quite the impression.

With Ariel promising that nothing was off limits for this chat, that was certainly the case, bar certain specifics of Punk's All Out 2022 altercation with the Elite and the fallout of that. Of the topics discussed, the Second City Saint gave his thoughts on AEW, on Tony Khan, broke down his All In 2023 fight with Jack Perry, and went into detail on his WWE return and the unfortunate tricep injury he suffered at this year's Royal Rumble.

Where that WWE return is concerned, this only started to come together five days before Survivor Series 2023. It was Nick Khan who called Punk to discuss a possible return, but that return was to be at the Royal Rumble as it was presumed the Chicagoan had some sort of non-compete clause in place. Punk did not have any such clause, and thus he suggested appearing at Survivor Series, with a WWE deal signed prior to him getting to the Gorilla position on that night.


As for the WWE landscape in comparison to CM Punk's previous run with the company, he described it as "friendlier" and "relaxed" in contrast to the more "shark tank, cutthroat" nature of yesteryear. He also confirmed that, yes, the plan for WrestleMania XL was indeed for Punk to challenge Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship before that tricep injury derailed things.

CM Punk's AEW Exit

When the topic of AEW came up, CM Punk revealed that he actually asked to be released from his contract in the aftermath of All Out 2022. Alluding to the Elite, Punker said he told Tony Khan that "these guys don't want me here", but Khan refused to release him and instead planned to launch a separate show - AEW Collision - where members of the roster could be kept apart.


As Punk put it when discussing that conversation with Tony Khan:

"This isn't a real business. This isn't a business that's predicated on making money, drawing money, selling tickets, doing business. It's not what it was sold to me as. Let me go."

Where the issues with Jack Perry first surfaced, that was on one of the early Collisions. As previously reported, Perry wanted to use real glass for a spot where he smashes a rental car. When certain people - Tony Schiavone being one - advised the former Jungly Boy against this, he hit out at them, to the point that Schiavone asked Punk if he could speak to Perry.

"I'm sitting in catering, minding my own business. Tony Schiavone comes and gets me, and he said, 'Hey, I really need your help. Jack is cussing me out. He's cussed out [Senior Vice President & Co-Executive Producer] Mike Mansury. He cussed out Daryl [Marshall] from production. And he's cussing out the doctor right now.' I was like, '[This] dude isn't supposed to be here. I was told people are getting separated so there's not problems, and you don't want me involved in this. You all need to handle this, because if you don't, I'm going to handle it, and you're not going to like the way I handle it.'"

Punk continued:

"I walked up to Jack and he's sitting in a rental car. What he wanted to do was smash the window of the rental car with a pipe. I was like, 'It's a rental car'. I was very polite, because I like Jack, and I was like, 'Doc told you no, Daryl told you no, Mike told you no, Schiavone told you no. Now I have to tell you no. Apparently you caused them all out, so I'm telling you no. We don't do that here. If you want to do this, go to Wednesday and do it'. He had no problem."

Jack Perry was said to be fine with this, with Punk explaining how smashing up a rental car could lead to problems with rental car companies in the future, and how doctors didn't want that angle happening with real glass for fear of that glass causing damage to someone.

Moving on to the All In 2023 incident with Perry that ultimately resulted in CM Punk being fired after Tony Khan feared for his life, Punk asked Khan to "please handle that" and "be the boss, please".

Of course, this was the "real glass" and "cry me a river" comments from Jack Perry during his All In pre-show match against Hook. As CM Punk explained, he walked up to Perry and asked him "Why do you insist on doing this dumb internet s**t on TV?", to which Jack told Punk to do something about it if he had a problem. Punk stated how he didn't strike anyone, but he "just choked somebody a little bit" before Samoa Joe told him to stop. From there, the Straight-Edge Superstar turned to Tony Khan and said, "This place is a f**king joke, man. You're a clown. I quit'". As for his match against Samoa Joe, Punk went through with that contest for Joe and for producer Jerry Lynn.

Obviously, the above is just the tip of the iceberg of what was a truly fascinating conversation between CM Punk and Ariel Helwani, and the full interview is absolutely worth checking out.

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Senior Writer
Senior Writer

Chatterer of stuff, writer of this, host of that, Wrexham AFC fan.