CM Punk and Tony Khan on what led to his AEW negotiations

Sep 3, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

A Twitter Q&A session with fans led to CM Punk’s contract talks with AEW President, General Manager & Head Of Creative Tony Khan.

You may remember back on February 12 how Punk answered fan questions on Twitter, where one fan, @HEELPags, asked him about which AEW wrestler he’d like to work with.

The fan asked, “#AskPunk What current wrestler in AEW would you most like to work with IF you ever came back?”

Punk responded and named then-TNT Champion Darby Allin, Powerhouse Hobbs, Brian Pillman Jr., FTW Champion Ricky Starks, and Jungle Boy.

“I see five guys that have potential. Hobbs, Darbs, Pillman, Starks, Jungle Boy. And that’s not to say there are others, but those guys stick out,” Punk wrote back.

It was revealed in a new interview with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi that Khan texted Punk after this tweet was made, saying he liked the list. Within a few weeks of that text, Punk and Khan were discussing monetary figures and how he would debut in AEW.

“Once he wanted to come back, there was nothing standing between us,” Khan told Raimondi. “He was looking to be well compensated, but I would want to compensate CM Punk. That wasn’t that hard to figure out. Him wanting to wrestle for AEW was the biggest thing we had to establish. Once we had that established, we all wanted the same stuff.”

Punk noted in a 2020 interview that he would need a fun story to tell and “the stupidest amount of money” to come back to pro wrestling. He noted in this new ESPN interview that he is happy with his AEW contract, adding that NBA star LeBron James loves basketball, but “he ain’t showing up unless you pay that motherfucker, right?”

Punk implied that if he returned to pro wrestling for the money alone, it would be with WWE.

“What I mean is, it’s not all about the money for me,” Punk told Raimondi. “Because if it was, I would have probably been the main event of WrestleMania this past year. Or I would have been at the Royal Rumble. Everybody is different. Every situation is different. There’s some people that don’t like me, so all they’re going to hear is ‘Oh, he’s just doing it for the money.’ And I could give a shit.

“The proof is in the pudding. Does it matter why I’m doing it? Do you really care? If you don’t like me, don’t watch. It’s a perfect storm. It’s a lot of everything. It’s the money, it’s the freedom. It’s the creative, and it’s the possibility of working with young, talented people that excite me.”

Punk will make his ring return against Allin at Sunday’s AEW All Out pay-per-view. He will be on tonight’s go-home edition of AEW Rampage to do commentary during Allin vs. Daniel Garcia.

Stay tuned for more.

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