So much new news has surfaced since my column on Tuesday, where I wrote about what I initially knew about the backstage fight between CM Punk, who had just regained the AEW world championship, and the Young Bucks & Kenny Omega, who had just won the AEW trios tag team championship. Before we go through what exactly happened, let's cover the aftermath.
CM Punk has officially been stripped of the title. Since Tuesday, the world has learned that Punk suffered a tricep injury during his world title match on Sunday and would be out eight months with the injury regardless of the repercussions of the fight. The Young Bucks and Omega have been stripped of their trios championship and new champions were crowned this past Wednesday in Death Triangle.
AEW is holding a mini-tournament to determine their new world champion, to be crowned at AEW Grand Slam in New York in two weeks. Here are the brackets:
Dave Meltzer reports that the plan is for Jon Moxley to win the tournament and face MJF for the world title at AEW Full Gear in November.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's discuss what has come out about the fight. In my Tuesday column, I went into detail about what went on in the press scrum. After Punk left the scrum, he returned to his locker room, where a trainer allegedly checked him and determined that he was injured. Punk's dog, Larry, and Ace Steel's wife, Lucy, were also in the room. Lucy was supposedly watching Larry and also had an injured foot.
At this point, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega entered the room. While there were some initial reports that the Bucks "kicked down the door," which caused Punk to throw the first punch, both sides have refuted that story. Rather, both agree that the Bucks and Omega entered the room without knocking. AEW Senior VP and Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh was also present, although it's unclear if she was there for the entire altercation or entered halfway through.
The Bucks claim they went to talk to Punk just like Punk said anybody who has a problem with him should. The Bucks' friends say that Punk started throwing punches before they could even say anything. Punk's friends claim he says he felt that the Bucks were coming at him and things were about to get physical, so he threw the first punch.
At this point, Ace Steel comes in the room and sees the fight and his wife unable to move and his instinct, rather than to calm the fight like most producers would, was to join in the fracas. Nick went to stop Punk from punching Matt, and Steel through a chair at Nick.
As the fight broke out, Larry the dog started barking loudly and Omega tried to remove Larry from the room to avoid any harm happening to the dog. Omega tried to remove Steel from Nick Jackson, and had him in a crossface-like move, which is the reason Steel bit Omega and pulled his hair. MJF has been reported to have been a neutral witness in the room during the fight.
At one point, Punk threatened legal action. Dave Meltzer is reporting that AEW hired an independent firm to interview all parties and investigate the matter. This is a very serious situation which is why AEW has not yet officially commented on the matter. Meltzer reports that a friend of Punk's told him that Punk mentioned two weeks ago that the press conference after the PPV would be interesting, with the inference that Punk planned to bury Cabana, Hangman and the Bucks ahead of time.
The Bucks, Omega, and anybody else in the room who was involved have been suspended. That includes Michael Nakazawa, Brandon Cutler, producers Christopher Daniels and Pat Buck and Ace Steel. Punk's situation with the company is unknown at the moment. It is unknown when they will be welcomed back to the road.
Before Dynamite this Wednesday, there was a talent meeting that was ran by Chris Jericho, Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley, and all reports are that the meeting gave everybody in the locker room a renewed sense of hope. Mox and Jericho were supposed to be on break after the PPV, but were called back to duty in light of the suspensions. The biggest request was that talent keep all drama in-house and not report to the dirt sheets.
The show on Wednesday was really fun and today's Rampage looks really good as well.
This was an amazing edit somebody put together of a Dark Side of the Ring trailer of this week in AEW:
Weekend Wrestling Preview
The first Smackdown since Clash at the Castle is tonight and there are some big angles and matches planned.
- Braun Strowman makes his return to Smackdown (his permanent home)
- The Street Profits and Hit Row vs. Los Lotharios & Maximum Male Models
- No. 1 Contenders Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Sonya Deville vs. Natalya vs. Lacey Evans vs.Xia Li
- Drew McIntyre vs. Solo Sikoa in a no DQ match
Rampage on TNT at 10pm looks stacked as well. Spoilers here.
- ROH World Championship: Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs. Dax Harwood
- Tournament of Champions first round: Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin
- Serena Deeb vs. Madison Rayne
- ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe speaks
New Japan continues their Burning Spirit tour. Lineups here.
News and Gossip from Around the Internet
Paul Heyman has been backstage at all the Smackdown events and Clash at the Castle. He is being kept off TV to sell the Brock Lesnar F5 he took at Summerslam. He will be back on TV when the right story presents itself.
Lacy Evans is currently out with an undisclosed injury.
AEW All Out is estimated to have sold between 135,000 and 142,000 PPVs, down from last year with CM Punk's debut that did 205k buys but right in line with AEW Double or Nothing earlier this year and more than the Forbidden Door show.
Triple H has been promoted to chief creative officer and Shawn Michaels has been promoted to "senior vice president of talent development creative" in WWE. Michaels oversees the NXT brand.
Jake Hager signed a contract extension with AEW, according to Chris Jericho.
It is believed that Malikai Black is out of AEW on a conditional release. He has dropped off some indie dates due to "medical issues."
Pat McAfee won't be on Smackdown for the next few weeks as he got a gig with ESPN College Game Day. He may be back after the season is over.
That's all for me.
This week’s video version of Knotfest Wrestling talked all about the drama on the Knotfest Youtube page with hosts Alicia Atout, Colin Young, and Jordan Olds.