AEW Fires CM Punk After Backstage Altercation, CEO Khan Says He Feared for His Life

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: CM Punk in the ring during AEW Dynamite - Beach Break on Janua
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

All Elite Wrestling (AEW) fired wrestler CM Punk on the heels of an incident backstage at the company’s premier event.

AEW CEO Tony Khan announced that the wrestler, whose real name is Phil Brooks, had been fired with cause, Fox News reported.

“Phil played an important role within AEW, and I thank him for his contributions,” the CEO said in a statement. “The termination of his AEW contracts with cause is ultimately my decision, and mine alone.”

Toronto , Canada - 27 June 2023; Tony Khan, CEO, General Manager & Head of Creative, AEW on PandaConf stage during day one of Collision 2023 at...

Tony Khan, CEO, General Manager & Head of Creative, AEW, on PandaConf stage during day one of Collision 2023 at Enercare Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile for Collision via Getty Images)

Khan added that his decision is “in the best interests of the many amazing people who make AEW possible every week.” He added that the wrestler’s actions were “regrettable” and “endangered people backstage.”

“I’ve been going to wrestling shows over 30 years. I’ve been producing them on this network for over four years,” Khan continued. “Never in all that time have I ever felt, until last Sunday, that my security, my safety, my life was in danger at a wrestling show. I don’t think anybody should feel that way at work. I don’t think the people I work with should feel that way.”

Frank Jansky_Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (2)

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The incident reportedly occurred between the wrestler and fellow wrestler Jack Perry, the son of actor Luke Perry, just before CM Punk’s match with Samoa Joe for the Real World Championship. Before the match, the two reportedly got into a shoving match. The shoving was also allegedly started by Punk.

Punk has had altercations with coworkers before.

The wrestler had been out of circulation with AEW since last year’s All Out when he sparked hard feelings with AEW stars Kenny Omega, Nick Jackson, and Matt Jackson.

Immediately after the altercation Sunday, Kahn put out a statement, saying, “Yes, there was an incident backstage before we went live on tonight’s show. We are investigating it. Until I learn more about what happened, I can’t really address it at this time, so I can’t comment — but I did want to be honest with you and tell you that that is the case.”

According to Wrestling Inc., Punk objected to doing a spot with glass on “AEW Collision.”

“The story was that when Jack Perry wanted to do this spot, CM Punk said, ‘We’re not using glass. We don’t use glass around here,'” Bryan Alvarez reported on Wrestling Observer Line. “And the story was something like, ‘CM Punk was afraid that Jack Perry was trying to do a spot where he would be cut up, so he wouldn’t have to go to work.’ So, I heard that and was like, ‘Wait a second.’

“Now, when I asked around, including from friends of the ‘Jungle Boy,’ I’d never heard that part of the story, that Punk thought he was not trying to go to work. I don’t know if Punk said that, but what I was told was Jack Perry had a planned vacation. He was going to Hawaii. It had been approved. He ends up to ‘Collision’ and Punk just says, ‘We’re not going to do glass. It’s too dangerous.'”

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