AEW: Reconciling CM Punk vs The Elite is what’s best for business


Tony Khan has to work tirelessly to find a way to reconcile the situation between The Elite and CM Punk. 

AEW All Out 2022 was nearly six months ago. That night had ramifications that not only impacted the short-term of the promotion but it’s long-term as well. This topic has yet to fully “go away” as questions continue to rise on podcasts, and headlines show up daily. CM Punk and his future with AEW is one of those central topics discussed. While fans may be strongly divided on the topic (and when are they not), the best interest for not only AEW but professional wrestling as a whole is for AEW to find a way to not only keep Punk in the fold but get these individuals to work together to tell what has the potential to be one of wrestling’s best storylines.

To start this discussion, let’s turn to two of the most dominant basketball teams to ever play in the NBA. The Michael Jordan – Scottie Pippen led Chicago Bulls and the Kobe Bryan – Shaquille O’Neal led Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls won six championships while the Lakers won three under this pairing and failed to achieve the fourth.

This isn’t a debate about which team was better, but more of an observation that both teams faced a crucial point where those two team leaders struggled to get along. Both duos had the difficult job of coming together to win more titles or going their separate ways. Jordan and Pippen made things work enough that they continued to gel on the court, while Kobe and O’Neal went their separate ways, doing discernable damage to what could have been within their individual and collective legacies.

AEW, The Elite, and CM Punk are in that same position. Regardless of what is speculated about what happened in that backroom after the PPV, the only individuals that know what went down are those that were there. That hasn’t stopped fans from taking sides within the situation, and AEW can leverage that into major moments, matches, and shows in the future.

As with everything else when it comes to this matter, the proclamation stated is much easier to write than actually do. There’s no telling if these individuals are willing to work together in the future, or can find a way to reconcile what was said and occurred that evening.

If peace is found, the future is filled with opportunity

“I don’t think anyone is happy or proud that it happened or anything like that,” Omega said while speaking with Renee Paquette on The Sessions. “I think across the board everyone thinks it was a terrible situation that was unnecessary. What’s important was no one was seriously injured emerging from that and I’m so thankful for that. We’ve moved on with life. I can’t speak to the other parties, hopefully, they are doing well and I mean that.”

The pressure in this situation is firmly on Tony Khan and the support system he has in leading AEW. Just as a team owner, coach, or general manager has to find a way to get superstars to work together – all eyes are on whether Khan can rectify this situation in a matter that best works for AEW from a business outcome. The momentum within AEW has ebbed and flowed since All Out, but the general idea is that things are “down” from a perception stance within AEW. Especially heading into AEW Revolution on March 5.

When WWE and AEW are both their strongest, professional wrestling as a whole benefit. While some will argue the point, wrestling is better when Punk is involved and the best slot for him at this time would be if AEW can get this situation reconciled and the angle booked to fruition.

Kenny Omega would thrive in WWE. dark. Next

Imagine a series of PPVs headlined by The Elite taking on CM Punk and FTR. Then following that up with a singles match between Kenny Omega and CM Punk. Those matches and the stories told within them – if done right – would have the potential to match what WWE has done with its recent chapter of The Bloodline. The question is whether this group can come to the table to work together and in many ways, it is what’s best for business.