In an interview with Marc Raimondi of ESPN , CM Punk not only discussed his return to AEW on Collision this Saturday night but the on-going animosity between him and some members of the AEW locker room including AEW’s EVPs Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Adam Page.
“So, y’all haven’t seen me since I won the belt. I’m coming back. Tune in to find out exactly what I have to say. I’m picking up right where I left off,” he said about his big comeback this Saturday on the first episode of AEW’s new show: Collision.
Part of the reason Punk and others are spearheading Collision is because of the issues between Punk himself and others have with some members of the locker room. Collision is a roster split of sorts due to backstage politics in AEW. Punk told Raimondi that he had a great working relationship with the EVPs and ‘Hangman’ Adam Page until 2022. He worked with Kenny Omega on their matches or spots together and was concerned enough about Page’s COVID diagnosis that he reached out to him.
According to Punk, things became strained when Page went off script in a televised promo they had discussed beforehand. Page told Punk afterwards he called Punk out on live television because he got Colt Cabana fired from AEW. Punk acknowledged his falling out with Cabana years ago but insisted he never targeted him in any way since joining AEW. Punk says that in his subsequent match with Page he was too concerned about actually physically protecting himself than having a decent match.
“And I proceed to have what I think is a garbage match because I’m trying to protect myself on stuff instead of actually just working and trying to put on the best performance I can. I’m keeping an eye out. He chopped me in the mouth one time, and I’m just like, ‘OK, did you do that on purpose?’ You chip my tooth, and I’m like, ‘All right, should I give him a receipt?’ It changes the dynamic. It poisoned everything for me, and it made it all really, really ugly, and that was what set all of this off, and here we are over a year later and ain’t s— been done about it,” Punk said to ESPN.
Punk says he apologized to AEW head hauncho Tony Khan about going on the offensive during the infamous media scrum after not saying anything publicly for months.
“The first thing I said to Tony when I sat down with him and spoke to him after it was, ‘Man, I’m really sorry I put you in that position,'” Punk said. “I apologize for the scrum. But when you’ve watched that scrum, you’re looking at a very, very frustrated guy who had told people. That’s not the first time he heard all that. It’s not the first time lawyers were told all that. And I was just looking for something to be done and nothing got done. So, if you want something done right, you got to do it yourself. And I just didn’t approach it in the right manner, but tension was high. I was very, very pissed. I pretty much knew that I had just injured myself again. I was hurt, and I was disappointed. Yeah, it’s very easy for me to say I regret that and I handled it the wrong way, 100%.”
Punk affirms he is over the locker room incident that followed the scrum between him and the EVPs. He says he has reached out to the group but the EVPs’ lawyers have interceded.
As far as Collision on Saturday, Punk’s promo on Dynamite this week pretty much said it all: “I won’t know what I’m gonna do or say until I have that microphone in my hand. I have a lot of things to get off my chest,” he said.
The first episode of AEW Collision airs this Saturday, June 17, at 8 p.m. ET.