There is a lot of backstage drama in AEW right now and Rob Pasbani is here to break it down for you on Knotfest Wrestling.
This past Wednesday, AEW delivered an explosive episode of Dynamite that has the internet wrestling community buzzing about AEW once more. So many bits of news and gossip to come out of the show and I wanted to get through them all.
The big featured match for the show was CM Punk facing Jon Moxley to determine the undisputed AEW world champion. As the show wrapped up its first hour, we were told the match would be on next. Could the match be going to a 60 minute draw? No, actually, quite the opposite. The match went all of four minutes, with CM Punk reinjuring his foot, and Moxley pouncing on the injury to get the win.
One thing that’s for certain is Punk didn’t actually injure his foot here. Whether he’s not really ready to wrestle full time, or this is a set up to a rematch at the PPV in a week and a half, we don’t know yet. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which came out this morning, that the match is still scheduled to main event All Out in a week and a half. Perhaps we will get some clarity tonight on AEW Rampage.
Meltzer also reported that Punk has denied the story in last week’s Knotfest Wrestling report, that he was responsible for Colt Cabana’s demotion from AEW due to their past history. Meltzer wrote that Punk has told friends that story is completely untrue.
Bobby Fish took issue with Punk’s kicks. “There truly is no surgery to correct that kick” he tweeted after the match. Responding to a clip of Punk training by kicking a bag, he tweeted “This clip sets Muay Thai, kickboxing MMA and the act of “striking” in professional wrestling back 10 maybe 15 years. Proof be in the pudding, fight fans.” and ended it by posting a clip of himself kicking someone with the caption “Is it actually a head kick if I don’t fall over throwing it?”
Eddie Kingston has not been on TV in the last few weeks and turns out with good reason. News quickly spread on Wednesday that it was because he was briefly suspended for (legitimately) punching Sammy Guevara backstage after Guevara called Kingston “a fat fuck” in an interview segment during an AEW Rampage taping, which Eddie took exception with. The segment never aired on television, and the scheduled match between the two wrestlers at AEW All Out seems to be off the PPV schedule.
Kingston fully admitted to being in the wrong. He was quoted by PWInsider as saying “You know the truth. I wouldn’t lie. I was wrong for being unprofessional. That is the blind fact. He did what he did and the public can judge that but I know for a fact I was wrong.”
Fightful Select reached out to Sammy Guevara for his side of the story and he provided a detailed account of what happened.
“As a professional, you communicate things that you don’t want to be said (like other people I’ve been in programs with and have worked with Matt Hardy, [Chris] Jericho and others) and I did communicate of what I didn’t want to be said in this angle and Eddie didn’t. But Eddie did not do the same and Eddie did not mention to me or the coaches or TK or anyone in AEW what he didn’t want said.”
“So after Tay’s [Melo] and my match with Sky Blue and Dante [Martin], I cut a promo on Eddie insulting Eddie and the fans as a heel. Which I know the thing everyone loves to do is hate me & Tay so I’m the perfect person to play this a**hole character for Eddie to ultimately beat at All Out. I see what people say online about Eddie and his appearance. (Which anyone who legitimately shames Eddie for how he looks can go to hell, it’s the same people who shame me for being too small)”
“So Sammy Guevara the character, I could be the physical person playing that person that Eddie can shut up at All Out. But Eddie did not do the professional thing and communicate to me, which, if he did, I never would have said it cause the last thing I want to do is hurt someone for real.”
“So after the promo, I get to the back and Eddie is flipping out yelling, ‘YOU CANT CALL ME FAT’ over and over as I’m trying to walk down the stairs in gorilla making a big scene. People get in between us, Eddie tries to pie face me and he more like touches my face, it was weird. And everyone backs everyone up.”
“It was unfortunate cause this promo was on a taped show and easily could have been edited (which they ended up doing anyways). I know this isn’t Eddie’s first time being aggressive and getting out of control backstage. I know he had to do some kind of anger management after this whole thing. This whole thing was very unnecessary but it is what it is, live and learn I guess, onto the next we go.”
Kingston tweeted this morning “Last thing I will say about my suspension. I was wrong in the wrong for touching another man’s face. Let it go!” Kingston added “Fuck it ok then after this I’m chilling but leave Sammy alone. In the court of law he is the victim. Let it go and leave the kid alone. For real done with this.”
Here is fan-recorded video of the cut segment:
Before the Dynamite taping, Tony Khan called a meeting of all talent to make sure everybody was on the same page after all the rumors of dissension last week online, as well as rumors that WWE was trying to tamper with talent contracts and see if people were available to return to WWE now that Triple H was in charge.
Here is what I have gathered happened at the meeting according to various online reports. Tony Khan gave what was described as an “impassioned speech” to rally the talent. Khan also discussed the new structure of talent relations positions in the company.
He was described by PWInsider as being “very much animated in talking about how the wrestling business has always been dominated by WWE and how AEW was founded to give fans an alternative.” Meltzer noted that Khan said as long as he was alive that there would no longer be a monopoly in the wrestling business. Khan also addressed WWE trying to contact AEW talents. PWInsider notes Khan told the wrestlers that the AEW head of legal, Megha Parekh, emailed WWE’s Co-Presidents Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon to warn them about tampering with talents. According to Meltzer, it wasn’t just one talent from AEW that got contacted by WWE, but multiple people.
Dave Meltzer reported in The Wrestling Observer that one thing that was not addressed was the CM Punk-Colt Cabana-Hangman situation.
AEW coach Pat Buck explained to the talent how they can pitch story ideas up the system and how the wrestlers need to respect the coaches. Tony Schiavone also spoke and was described to PWInsider as an “Uncle who wanted all the kids in his family to succeed.”
Chris Jericho gave a speech to rally the troops and Young Bucks’ Matt Jackson spoke saying he was there to help anybody who needed it and they were easy to find.
Multiple reports say that when Kenny Omega spoke that he was the harshest of all the speakers, with some describing it as “tough love” and others saying it was more “heavy-handed,” according to PWInsider. Meltzer reported Omega’s speech as “Omega was adamant about certain issues and was harder on the talent, showing frustration at points with the current situation. Some took him being hard on talent as passionate and trying to make people step up. But it was a mixed reaction.”
Meltzer noted “The general reaction is the meeting went well, but I also didn’t sense it smoothed over the biggest issues. And really, the issue of unhappy talent, because they aren’t getting matches every week or in stories, is inherent with a big roster and lack of television.”
AEW Women’s champion Thunder Rosa announced she would not be competing at All Out during a promo on AEW Dynamite this past Wednesday. Rosa said a disc issue in her back that will prevent her from wrestling. As a result, an interim champion will be crowned with Toni Storm facing Jamie Hayter, Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida.
There was a rumor online that Rosa has heat with Bitt Baker and Jamie Hayter after breaking Hayter’s nose during a recent match. Voice of Wrestling claimed Hayter tried to confront Rosa backstage but Rosa locked herself in the women’s bathroom.
Some fans wondered if Rosa was actually injured. She appeared on Busted Open Radio today and denied the rumor.
“I’m not the best, physically right now. I was in a lot of pain yesterday. A lot has been happening in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of commission. I don’t know for how long. For a couple months, probably. I have a problem with my back and yesterday, I was trying to be strong. Back problems are not easy. Some days are good, some days are not. Yesterday was not a good day, I was in a lot of pain.”
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m taking time off. I want to clear the air, this is not fake. This is not a work. I’m not comparing injuries to injuries. If I could fucking walk, I can f*cking work. Doctor Sampson, he didn’t clear me to wrestle. I’m not cleared to wrestle. It’s not that I don’t want to do a match on Sunday [AEW All Out], I can’t walk. It’s a shame that this is being put on social media, not only to discredit me as an athlete, but also discredit me as a wrestler.
“I want to walk when I’m 40. I have the right to say ‘No, I can’t walk, I can’t do it.’ I don’t want to have surgery. If we keep doing this and going through the pain, then I’m going to be out for longer. I don’t want to do that.”
“Not everything that is being said is true. If anybody has a problem with me, anyone, call Busted Open, call my number, tell me to my face. I don’t hide from my problems. I don’t run from my problems. You can talk to me, my door is open. That goes for anybody. I have taken accountability when things have happened. I’m a straightforward person. Some people don’t like that and are afraid of that. I’m not. I’m a trained fighter, I don’t run away from sht. Stop reading stupid sht online.
“My conscious is clear, I know what I’m all about. If there are any problems of any kind, they can contact me. They can contact AEW and clear the air with them. There is a protocol that needs to be followed. People need to respect the company, in general. I respect and represent AEW. I’m still the AEW Women’s Champion. When I come back, whoever is the champion, if you thought you’re going to get rid of me [laughs], you’re not. I’m going to get better and stronger.”
“I have said sorry with people before and apologized and made amends because that’s what you do. I’ve taken accountability for things I’ve done wrong, but this is beyond me doing something. I got injured and I did not blame anybody because it’s wrestling and accidents happen. I don’t have to blame anybody. It might have happened way before and I just noticed that I’m hurt.
“I want to thank AEW family and the medicals. I texted them at 3 in the morning with questions and they answered. Now I have answers and I know what’s wrong with me. For people to discredit my abilities, my career, and me as a person, I’m not cool with that. If I didn’t know what was wrong, I probably would have had the match. It’s physical things I need to take care. Respect AEW. Whoever is doing this, you have to respect AEW.”
Announced for WWE Smackdown tonight at 8pm on Fox:
So far announced for AEW Rampage tonight at 10pm on TNT:
This Sunday, there is a cool indie PPV happening by Amazing Red’s House of Glory, with a pretty sweet card here in NYC at Terminal 5. You can order on FITE.TV:
Vince McMahon was spotted in New York City by TMZ cameras earlier this week, out at a birthday dinner with John Cena and his wife. Although not spotted by the cameras, PWinsdider reports The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Pat McAfee were also at the dinner.
Speaking of Vince, Dave Meltzer reports the Netflix project about him is still a green light.
WWE Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair has signed with talent agency WME, a pretty big deal.
Warner Bros. Discovery has sent a memo to AEW to tone down the language on their broadcast TV shows, according to Dave Meltzer.
Hall of Famer Kevin Nash is releasing his own line of Jacknife cannabis.
Here’s a great video of what happened after Dynamite went off the air: