How CM Punk's Injury Delayed This AEW Mega Feud

CM Punk's surgery impacted more than just Hiroshi Tanahashi and Forbidden Door.

CM Punk Will Ospreay

All Elite Wrestling had planned to build something between CM Punk and NJPW star Will Ospreay prior to the AEW World Heavyweight Champion's injury announcement.

Dave Meltzer reported as much in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Per the writeup, AEW CEO and founder Tony Khan originally wanted Punk and FTR to face Ospreay and United Empire stablemates Aussie Open on Rampage's 10 June. Trent Beretta ended up stepping in for the injured Chicagoan, helping FTR to a win over the Empire.

This match would have led to "more" between Punk and Ospreay. What this means, exactly, is unclear, though it would likely have needed to be a longer-term storyline, given that Khan already had Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy in mind for 26 June's AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view.


Punk was originally set to face New Japan icon Hiroshi Tanahashi at the event. This was rendered impossible on 3 June, when Punk announced during Rampage that he was injured and required surgery. Later, it was clarified that he would remain as AEW World Champion, with Khan booking a tournament to crown an interim title-holder in his absence. This ended up being Jon Moxley, who defeated Tanahashi at Forbidden Door.

No timetable has been set for Punk's comeback as of yet.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.