AEW is claiming that it will air footage of the All In incident between CM Punk and Jack Perry. The Young Bucks will also comment on the footage. According to Fightful and Wrestling Observer, this is not a bait-and-switch. They will air the real footage from the incident. Some think it will be a parody. Wednesday night on Dynamite, we will find out.

This comes five days after CM Punk appeared on Ariel Helwani’s show. He discussed the incident in detail and claimed that AEW was “not a real business.” AEW wrestlers have made several veiled references to the interview. They have also discussed it in interviews with media outlets and defended the company. The question I have is, Why? Responding to interviews off TV is one thing, but why are they using airtime to respond? What good will it do?

Immediately after the interview, Adam Copeland, Edge in WWE, did an interview at the beginning of Dynamite. He passionately defended the company against the “negativity” of the week. Then he described why AEW is important and the good it does for the industry. Let us assume Copeland decided to do this. Then he went to Tony Khan and asked him to defend the company. How does this help AEW’s business? Those watching and in attendance either did not know what he was referring to or they knew and are on AEW’s side. The phrase “preaching to the choir” comes to mind.

New TNT champion Adam Copeland after his I Quit Match against Christian Cage at AEW Dynamite on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario. Photo by Steve Argintaru, Twitter/Instagram: @stevetsn

New TNT champion Adam Copeland after his I Quit Match against Christian Cage at AEW Dynamite on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario. Photo by Steve Argintaru, Twitter/Instagram: @stevetsn

Adam Copeland is AEW’s biggest name. He is one of the people who could, in theory, help boost AEW’s business. Yet, he goes out on TV and does not hype a match. He does not begin a new feud. This was not a mission statement promo. He goes out and defends the company, doing nothing for AEW’s business. This is how they decided to use their TV time.

It did not stop there. On the same show, the Young Bucks made a comment to the cameras. Matt Jackson said, “Hey, Scapegoat, I love your work.” Scapegoat is the name Jack Perry is using in New Japan. Perry has been there since coming back from suspension stemming from the All In incident. Is Matt referring to Jack Perry’s wrestling in New Japan? Or is he referencing the “work” Perry did in the Punk incident? Either way, this does not help their business.


This is not the first time that valuable TV time has been used to reference off-camera incidents. Several times over the past two years, AEW wrestlers have made comments that were directed at Punk. Not in storyline, but “shoot” comments that, unless you read the wrestling news sites, you would not understand. In fact, this has been a pattern of behavior for wrestlers who are friends with the Young Bucks.

It started with Hangman Adam Page. During a face-to-face interview, Hangman made confusing comments about “defending AEW” against Punk. Within the storyline, it did not make sense. The scene of the two men face-to-face is uncomfortable. A few weeks later, Punk would call out Hangman in the ring when he knew Page was not on TV. Both men went “into business for themselves” and acted in an unprofessional manner. Neither man was punished. Would a real business allow this to happen without consequences?

Adam Page shoots on CM Punk live on AEW TV. Courtesy: AEW.

Adam Page shoots on CM Punk live on AEW TV. Courtesy: AEW.

It did not stop there. CM Punk, after winning the AEW championship, went on a tirade at a post-show press conference. He openly talked about Hangman and The Young Bucks. He called Hangman “empty headed” and said he has never done anything in this business. The Young Bucks were called out for “spreading lies.” Punk went on to say if anyone had a problem with him to “take it up with me.” This all happened while his boss, Tony Khan, sat next to him. Khan sat there, glassy-eyed, and just nodded along as Punk blasted his Executive Vice Presidents. He did not stop him from being unprofessional or doing anything to try to calm the situation. He just sat there.

After this incident, there was a fight backstage. Everyone involved was eventually suspended and was off TV for weeks. So, while this happened off their TV show, it had dire consequences. Their program was without several of their top stars. Punk was also injured. He ended up being out a lot longer. Then, he claims, he was left to find his own surgeon and physical therapy.

He told Helwani: “I had no help. Like, nothing. And that is insane to me. Is that how they treat the Jaguars’ players? I do not think anybody should be treated like that if you are a professional athlete. I had no help; nobody would speak to me.” He explained that “nobody in the company spoke to me for six months.” He claims he had to book his own surgery with only the help of the AEW physician Dr. Sampson.

When CM Punk returned, Tony Khan decided to put him on a separate show from the Young Bucks and their friends. AEW Collision debuted with several wrestlers who had been collecting paychecks but had not been seen for months. While building the huge Wembley Stadium show, Jack Perry crossed over and appeared on Collision. Before the show, Perry wanted to film an angle where he smashed the window out of a rental car. Punk claims he was asked to intervene, because Perry wanted to smash a real window from an actual rental car, possibly ending their relationship with the rental company.

Fast forward to AEW’s huge Wembley Stadium show. Jack Perry was involved in a pre-show match. Before suplexing Hook into the windshield of a car, he looked into the camera and said, “You know what this is? Real glass! Cry me a river!” Punk claims he asked Tony Khan, “Are you gonna handle this?” Khan, the owner of the company, replied, “What do you want me to do?”

Jack Perry rips up his AEW contract

Jack Perry rips up his AEW contract

CM Punk is right. AEW is not a real business. There are other incidents of TV being used to take shots at Punk. Even now, when he is with another company they continue to talk about him on their TV. And now they are airing footage of the All In incident with Jack Perry. Or they are going to show a parody video, which, in some ways, would be worse.

Maybe the footage will show Punk cowering from Perry. Or Punk grabbing Khan by the shirt. Or in some other way, make Punk look like the bad guy. It will not, but just for the sake of argument. The question needs to be why they are airing it at all? It is like WWE airing grainy video from the Madison Square Garden “curtain call.” It was a moment where Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley broke kayfabe and hugged. At the time, Diesel and Razor were in another company. Yet, here was Hunter and Shawn, as they were forming DX, showing this clip on Raw with Nash and Hall on another channel. Why? What did it do for business?

Anyone watching this Perry-Punk footage, real or parody, is already on a side. AEW fans will see what they want to see. Anti-AEW fans will see what they want to see. It will not settle a thing. It might embarrass some people, but the debate will continue between those people who spend their time arguing with each other on twitter. This is a small portion of their audience. Even if it was a larger audience, what does this do for AEW’s business? Punk is not coming back. He is not going to have a match with any of the people involved. So why put it on TV? This is another waste of TV time and another example of why AEW is not a real business.

TOP PHOTO: CM Punk and Tony Khan after All Out 2022.