As previously reported, CM Punk was pulled from the AEW Collision announcement after being at odds with AEW due to a miscommunication over Ace Steel, who was part of the All Out 2022 brawl, being brought back. Punk was upset that Steel could not physically be at the TV events and would have had to work remotely.
It was later reported Steel was re-hired by AEW “several months ago,” although he hasn’t been working backstage because instead, he’s been working remotely with AEW President Tony Khan on creative in some capacity to prevent Steel’s presence from upsetting some people backstage.
It was believed that Steel could return to the road as an agent once AEW Collision started for the brand, but on Tuesday, the decision was made not to bring him back on the road. When Punk found out, he was pulled from the announcement.
Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Steel and Punk’s return was a tightly guarded secret.
“Steel, who was the only person fired after the Brawl after All Out last year, for allegedly hitting Nick Jackson hard with a chair in the head and biting Kenny Omega, was apparently one of Punk’s requests or demands to return. Steel and Punk were under the impression he would be back in his old role as a producer.”
Meltzer continued: “The story is that Tony Khan told Punk that Steel could have his job and work closely with Punk, but that he would work remotely and not be brought to the Collision tapings. Everything fell apart at that point.”
WBD is under the impression that the situation will likely be resolved by next week.
Meltzer added, “I don’t believe anyone, past Punk and whoever he may have told, knew about Ace Steel (Chris Guy) returning until a few found out about a week ago. It also should be noted that while we had heard talk about a Steel deal to return as a producer for Collision from multiple sources, we had also been told from the top in checking that we were told it was not true.”
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