CM Punk departed from WWE in 2014 after frustration with his bookings. Since then, fans chanted his name on every promotion and believed he will be back. 7 years later, CM Punk returned to professional wrestling by signing with All Elite Wrestling.
The Best in the World won his first championship after seven years by defeating Adam Page at AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view. However, a few days later, Punk suffered a foot injury, and then AEW introduced an interim AEW World Championship.
Last month, CM Punk won the AEW World Title for the second time by defeating Jon Moxley at All Out pay-per-view. During the All Out media scrum, Punk blamed the EVPs of AEW for spreading fake rumors about him, which led to a huge controversy in AEW.
The Elite, Punk, and Ace Steel were involved in a backstage fight during the All Out press conference. As a result, everyone who was involved in the brawl was suspended by Tony Khan. Punk and The Elite were stripped of their respective titles and never mentioned on AEW television until last week. As of yet, Ace Steel is the only person who got fired for the backstage incident.
Now, Wrestling Observer Newsletter has reported that AEW is in talks with CM Punk about a buy-out of his contract. They also noted that the company has no interest in bringing back Punk.
Those with close knowledge of the situation said they are in talks with Punk about a buy-out of the remaining years of his contract which tells you that they are not looking to bring him back. The hold-up right now is said to be the non-compete period.
Obviously if the non-compete is an issue, it’s about interest in going to WWE because there’s no need for a non-compete otherwise because nobody else but AEW and WWE can pay him close to what he was making. There are those in WWE who have been very negative towards him in the past, but it is a wrestling war and the optics of looking publicly like they have taken Punk from AEW would be very significant.
We will update you when we receive more details. Stay tuned with The Spotlight.