Jack Perry's AEW return is a test for both him and Tony Khan's booking

Jack Perry is reportedly finished with NJPW and heading back to AEW for what will be a massive test in the future of his run with the company.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
New Japan Pro-Wrestling / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Jack Perry’s NJPW excursion is over. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it seems like Perry is set to head back to All Elite Wrestling. Coming out of his bout with Shota Umino at NJPW Battle in the Valley, it’s time to see whether Tony Khan was right about his steps to air the CM Punk backstage footage.

Airing the CM Punk versus Jack Perry backstage fight was a hotly debated topic for a few days. It led to a slight boost in ratings for AEW, but nothing that kept the momentum rolling, as the show was back under 800k the following week. But that slight bump isn’t the true test of whether that was the correct step to take. The question is if this can turn into a sustained run for Jack Perry as a top heel in the organization. If “heel” is even the correct word to use.

Perry received a massive response at Battle in the Valley. But that event was in Chicago. It’s understandable that fans in that venue would react in such a way to an AEW performer so intricately linked to matters with CM Punk. But will that translate outside of Chicago? This is the big question that must be answered and answered positively for this situation to be seen as a win.

It’s looking more and more likely that Perry will be added to The Elite. He along with The Young Bucks and Kazuchika Okada is an interesting group that immediately slots him into the main event. But where do they go both individually and as a unit?

The Bucks are heading into their match with FTR at AEW Dynasty. Expectations are that they will pick up the win, further strengthening their hold on AEW and hopefully boosting the tag team division. Okada holds the Continental Championship and he will predictably pick up a big win over PAC in what should be an excellent match.

But what about Perry? Does he go into the main event picture immediately? Many expect Swerve Strickland to defeat Samoa Joe and become champion. The time for that to happen is now. Perry seemingly doesn’t have the cache to fit into the title picture immediately, but there really isn’t anywhere else for him to go at this time. AEW can’t do Punk versus Perry, which would be massive but Punk is in WWE. Kenny Omega is out for an extended period, potentially awaiting surgery. Will Ospreay doesn’t work right now, as he is lined up for an angle with the Don Callis family. It's hard to predict where this angle will go, but it must go somewhere to silence the criticism that will come from some knowledgeable voices if it does not work out.

Jack Perry’s return to AEW is going to be a big moment for the promotion. Will fans shower him with boos or sing his praises? Either way it goes, this is a test of Tony Khan’s ability to book and Perry’s ability to deliver when the spotlight is shining brightest.