CM Punk Criticizes AEW, Expressing Frustration with Fellow Wrestlers

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CM Punk appeared on “The MMA Hour” podcast on Monday to discuss a variety of topics, including his infamous AEW All Out 2022 media scrum which led to the “Brawl Out” backstage fight between himself, Ace Steel, and The Young Bucks.

During the media scrum, Punk took shots at Hangman Page, The Young Bucks, Colt Cabana, and others. The backstage fight led to Punk, Ace Steel, and The Elite being suspended, with Steel being fired. CM Punk would later be fired following his altercation with Jack Perry at AEW All In 2023.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On if Page diverting from what was talked about beforehand in his promo: “What he said didn’t matter to me. If I’m working with you, and we sit and talk. One of the biggest criticisms of WWE is, ‘it’s overly scripted. There are writers. Pro wrestlers don’t need writers.’ Some people don’t. Some people do. Some people prefer it. I sat down with him and we hammered … I was very gracious. We hammered out this promo. ‘You say this, I’ll say this. You say that, I’ll say this. Great.’ Then, he proceeds to go on live TV and not say any of the sh*t we talked about. I can’t hear him because the crowd is so loud. I’m looking at him and I have to really pay attention to what he’s saying because my responses matter. I can’t just say what I had planned because it’s not going to match what he said to me. He’s saying some sh*t, I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

On his reaction to the situation: “I’m like, ‘Why would you do this? Why would you ruin…’ TV is very expensive. Every minute of TV is hundreds of thousands of dollars between production and all that stuff. You’re sh*tting on me. You’re sh*tting on the business. Why would you do this? I knew the promo ended with him punching me and I had to double leg him. ‘Why is he doing this?’ I didn’t know what was going on, but I was professional and afterwards, I spoke to him and was like, ‘Why would you do that?’ He thinks I got one of his friends, who hasn’t been fired, fired. I went to Tony and the lawyer and I said, ‘You need to fix that. If I do, you’re not going to like the way I fix it.’ I thought I was being professional by not just murdering him on television.

“With me, respect is the default. I respect everybody until you do something that makes me lose my respect for you. I had never done anything to any of those guys. If they’re basing how their attitude is towards me based on some bullsh*t a friend told them, I can’t help you. I have plenty of friends who don’t like certain people, I keep relationships business. Everything went off the rails from there. It’s a shame.”

On the All Out scrum: “Getting out there and seeing reporters that report sh*t about you like it’s fact without ever checking with you to see if stuff happened, who are openly friends with other wrestlers, it’s just f**king high school. It’s high school mean girls drama bullsh*t. I get there and I see these goofs and I just lose my temper. Top three CM Punk promo though.”

On Tony Khan sitting next to him during the scrum: “It’s nothing he never heard before… Should have handled it [beforehand].”

On what he did after the scrum: “Went home. Got surgery. Got my arm fixed.”

On not being able to talk about what went down backstage after the scrum: “I don’t think I can. I didn’t have to sign an NDA for anything I did wrong. It means I have nothing to hide. There is an NDA in place for that one. I wish I never did the scrum. Scrums are stupid anyway. Those things are really cringe … You would have to ask the person [Tony Khan] that wanted me to sign a NDA [why it’s in place]. Yeah. I didn’t want anybody to sign a NDA to hide some bullsh*t that I did.”

On the whole incident growing in reputation since then: “I don’t know. Why does anyone want to talk about it? It’s grown into this ridiculous thing. Believe who you want.”

On if he thought he was close to being released after it: “Nobody in the company spoke to me for six months. Paid for surgery, booked my surgery, thankfully Doc Sampson, who I knew from WWE and have a good rapport with, he helped me with that, but I was on my own with all that stuff. If you think I deserve to be fired or treated like that. That’s your opinion. The recovery for this surgery and that one is night and day. It’s almost a comparison between the two places where there is structure and protocols and professional people in charge of things and I’m not having to research and find a PT spot. I had no help. Nothing. That’s insane to me. Is that how they treat Jaguars players? I don’t know. I don’t think anybody should be treated like that if you’re a pro athlete. I had no help. Nobody would speak to me.”

On his deal at the time and returning to TV: “Yeah, maybe I’m the stupid mark and should have been like, ‘My arm is not healed.’ I don’t think my deal was almost done. I think I had a year left.”

On his relationship with Roman Reigns: “It’s all business, baby. I’m not here to make friends. I have some friends from my prior ten years. If I make friends along the way, that’s sprinkles on top of the cupcake. I’m here to do business and make money. The ironic thing about that. You wind up becoming friends with the people you make money with.”

On his relationship with Triple H: “I think I’m more reserved than he wants me to be. I don’t want to rock the boat. I’m not trying to do this. We’ve had some great conversations and I’m part of the team. I’m doing what I can. I’m sure my responsibilities might grow in the future. I’m totally stoked doing what I’m doing.”

CM Punk, the renowned professional wrestler and former WWE superstar, recently appeared on “The MMA Hour” podcast to discuss various topics, including his infamous media scrum at AEW All Out 2022. The scrum resulted in a backstage fight between Punk, Ace Steel, and The Young Bucks, leading to suspensions and ultimately Punk’s firing after an altercation with Jack Perry at AEW All In 2023.

During the media scrum, Punk took shots at several individuals, including Hangman Page, The Young Bucks, and Colt Cabana. However, Punk revealed that Page deviated from the agreed-upon script for their promo, causing confusion and frustration for Punk during their on-air segment. Punk expressed his disappointment, as he believed Page’s actions were disrespectful to him and the business.

Following the incident, Punk confronted Page about his unexpected deviation from the script. Page believed that Punk was responsible for getting one of his friends fired and tensions escalated. Punk then approached AEW owner Tony Khan and the company’s lawyer to address the situation, warning them that he would take action if necessary. Despite feeling disrespected, Punk chose not to retaliate on live television.

Punk emphasized that respect is his default approach towards others unless they give him a reason to lose it. He expressed disappointment that his relationship with his fellow wrestlers deteriorated based on misinformation from a friend, stating that he keeps his relationships strictly professional.

Regarding the media scrum at All Out, Punk admitted to losing his temper upon seeing reporters who had spread false information about him without verifying the facts. He described the atmosphere as reminiscent of high school drama and considered the incident as one of his top three promos.

When asked about Tony Khan’s presence during the scrum, Punk stated that Khan had heard similar remarks before and should have addressed the issue beforehand. After the scrum, Punk returned home and underwent surgery to fix his arm.

Punk revealed that he is unable to discuss the events that transpired backstage after the scrum due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). However, he clarified that he did not have to sign an NDA for any wrongdoing on his part, highlighting his transparency and lack of hidden agendas.

Reflecting on the incident’s growing reputation, Punk expressed his confusion about why people continue to discuss it. He emphasized that individuals are free to believe what they want.

In the aftermath of the incident, Punk revealed that nobody from the company spoke to him for six months. He had to arrange and pay for his surgery independently, contrasting his experience with the structured and supportive environment he had experienced in WWE. Punk questioned whether other professional athletes, such as NFL players, would receive similar treatment.

Regarding his contract at the time, Punk stated that he still had a year left and acknowledged that he may have been perceived as a “stupid mark” for not prioritizing his health over returning to television.

When asked about his relationships with other wrestlers, Punk made it clear that his focus is on business and making money. While he has made friends throughout his career, he views those relationships as secondary to his professional goals.

Punk also discussed his relationship with Triple H, stating that he feels more reserved than what Triple H may expect from him. However, he expressed satisfaction with his current role and hinted at potential future growth within the company.

In conclusion, CM Punk’s appearance on “The MMA Hour” podcast shed light on the infamous media scrum at AEW All Out 2022 and its aftermath. Punk shared his frustrations, disappointments, and experiences during the incident, offering insight into the complexities of professional wrestling and the challenges faced by its performers.