Report: AEW Divisions Worsen Following CM Punk's ESPN Interview & Collision Promo

Divisions have only widened within AEW, according to a new report

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, divisions within All Elite Wrestling have only worsened since CM Punk's interview with ESPN that was published on Friday, June 16 and the Second City Saint's return promo on the debut episode of Collision one day later. 

Speaking about Punk being backstage at Dynamite and Forbidden Door, Meltzer told John Pollock of POST Wrestling and Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics: "Punk needs to be magnanimous with everyone and I think he will probably try, at least with most. There's a lot of divisiveness, it's so frustrating to me because I see it so closely and I feel it shouldn't be there. It's worse now than it's been, it hasn't gotten better. Right now it's at a pretty bad point."

Meltzer then addressed the ESPN interview from Punk, in which the two-time AEW World Champion discussed his heat with Hangman Page, his infamous rant during the post-All Out media scrum, and the backstage fight with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks that followed.

"I am of the impression that people were expecting worse than it turned out to be but you still have people who really like Adam Page were not happy. And I think there's this feeling of everyone there is pretty much told keep the stuff on the inside on the inside, if it gets out it's not good for the company. The feeling is that one side is agreeing to do that and the other side is not, but the thing is that on both sides they think it's the other side. So it becomes a really weird thing," Meltzer continued.

"When it comes to the ESPN story, there was a lot of people who felt that he shouldn't have gone after Page. Even if privately he believed it, this wasn't the time to do it. Page is not someone that is going to answer back so he becomes the bad guy...If you notice from day one Page has never said a word about anything and he's a focal point of the story. The reason is because he feels the best thing is to not say anything...It's become a tough thing and it makes it a tough work environment when one side will go after the other and the other side is not saying anything, which has to frustrate them because they can't say anything or they feel it's best not to and then now they're the victims. It's just a tough situation."

Punk made his return to AEW on the debut episode of Collision on June 17. During a fiery promo focused around lies and the AEW World Title he never lost, Punk mentioned he was the one true genuine article in a business filled with "counterfeit bucks."

Separate reports haven't painted a quite so gloomy picture of the reaction to Punk's promo with Fightful Select noting that people on both sides of the divide viewed Punk's promo as just him "getting out what he needed to get out", while The Young Bucks reportedly took Punk's comments light-heartedly and told people who enquired that "things were okay."

Some sections of the AEW locker room, however, did feel Punk's "soft" comments were hypocritical as he has complained about his programme with Hangman Page. 

Regardless, The Elite and CM Punk will be in the same building for AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door on Sunday, June 25 so Punk may well get the sit-down with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks that he wants. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons