More notes on the incident at AEW All Out

Sep 9, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

The fallout continues from the backstage incident that took place after Sunday’s AEW All Out pay-per-view, which was described as a melee. You can click here for the full details that were previously reported on the incident, which put CM Punk and AEW Producer Ace Steel against AEW Executive Vice Presidents Kenny Omega, Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson. AEW President Tony Khan opened this week’s Dynamite by vacating the AEW World Title, which Punk won from Jon Moxley at All Out, and the AEW World Trios Titles, which The Elite won at All Out by defeating Adam Page, Alex Reynolds and John Silver. A tournament is being held to crown a new World Champion, while Death Triangle defeated Best Friends on Dynamite to become the new Trios Champions. It’s been reported that a third-party investigation is being conducted to find out exactly what happened on Sunday night at the NOW Arena. There has been speculation on Punk and Steel possibly being fired or suspended, and it was also reported that “everyone involved” were being suspended, including Omega, Nick, Matt, AEW Producer Pat Buck, Talent Relations Head Christopher Daniels, Michael Nakazawa, and Brandon Cutler. One of the earlier reports noted that Cutler, Buck and Daniels were among those trying to diffuse the situation, and it’s unclear why they were reportedly suspended.

In an update, a new report from Fightful Select has revealed more notes from the incident, and the account of what happened from The Elite side of things. The following updates are now being reported:

* Sources close to The Elite’s side of things say that The Bucks went to talk to Punk, as he’d said they should do if they had a problem. The claim was that they opened the door of his locker room, not kicking it in as claimed by the other side, and before Matt could say anything, Punk went off and started throwing sucker punches at Matt’s head. Nick went into intervene and Steel allegedly threw a chair that hit Nick in the face. The Omega involvement was said to be him trying to remove Punk’s dog Larry from the situation to help keep him safe because he was “barking and going nuts.” The Elite’s side of the story also notes that once Omega handed Larry off, he tried to get Steel off Nick, and Steel bit Omega, and also pulled his hair. All sides continued shouting and Punk’s side allegedly made legal threats

* To be clear, the following was previously reported as the account of the incident from the Punk/Steel side of things: It was said that after Punk’s appearance in the scrum, The Young Bucks approached Punk’s locker room, and Punk wasn’t answering the door after working a long match, bloodied, and he’d just finished with an emotional scrum. The Bucks reportedly pounded on the door, with some claiming that they “kicked the door down.” We noted before how Steel’s wife was in Punk’s locker room as she was watching his dog earlier in the night. Steel told people that his wife being in the vicinity of the incident is what set him off and made him go ballistic, throwing chairs and biting Omega. The claim from Steel was that he was looking out for his wife above anything else. Omega reportedly did not seem nearly as upset initially, but things got out of hand and he ended up getting bit by Steel. The physical altercation was described as “very long” but as noted, another source put it at six minutes. It was also said that the back & forth talk did not stop after the brawl

* In the days since All Out, people that have been in touch with Punk and Steel have softened on the stance that The Bucks definitely kicked down Punk’s door. Instead, they’ve followed up with the idea that they could have kicked, shouldered or otherwise forced their way in. They said that “kicking the door down” was clearly a turn of phrase in that sense, and should have been clarified. The reason given was that Punk didn’t feel like talking to anyone as he was either getting medical attention or had just been given medical attention for his cut. The side has also varied on what they’ve said caused Steel to begin biting and throwing chairs, going from his wife being nearby, to him believing Omega was attacking Punk when he was trying to pull Punk off of one of The Bucks. It was reported before that Steel’s wife was in Punk’s locker room as she had been watching his dog, and he reportedly told people that’s what set him off, that he was protecting his wife

* It should be noted that the accounts of the fight are significantly different depending on which side they’re from, and even different versions of each side have made the rounds, and these should not be taken as “the gospel,” but these are just what have been relayed to people close to the parties involved

* There’s been a lot of talk about how none of the involved parties were mentioned on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday night. This edict was also for commentary and social media. They were also removed from the Dynamite opening video, and it’s believed the same will go with the Rampage video on Friday. None of the involved parties were at Dynamite

* As of Tuesday going into Dynamite, much of the roster didn’t know what they were going to be allowed to say or if they could address it, and some of their content had to be adjusted accordingly. There had been rumors on a top AEW talent planning to take time off, and Jon Moxley has confirmed that it was him. AEW sources indicated that they planned for Moxley to be back by the October 18 Dynamite from his hometown of Cincinnati at least, but he ended up staying to help conduct Wednesday’s talent meeting, add star power to Dynamite, and participate in the AEW World Title tournament. Moxley received a first round bye and will face the winner of Friday’s Rampage match between Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin. Chris Jericho also received a first round bye and will face Bryan Danielson next week in the semi-finals, when Moxley faces the winner of Allin vs. Guevara. The finals to crown a new AEW World Champion will take place on September 21 at the Grand Slam Dynamite with Jericho or Danielson vs. Moxley or Guevara or Allin. There is no word yet on if Moxley will take time off after his role in the tournament

* AEW talents have not been told specifically what is to become of Punk, but they are under the impression that it’s all pending the results of the third-party investigation. There’s a feeling among staff and talent that unless Punk’s suspension is unpaid or he’s fired, it’s superficial considering he’ll be out of action well into 2023 with the torn triceps injury.

* As of Wednesday, a lot of the heat on Punk going around is just as much about his media scrum rant than anything. Punk had been rubbing the locker room the wrong way for a while, but one source said that blaming him for all the recent locker room issues is not fair as they had reached an all-time high when Punk was gone

* There was said to be a much more positive vibe in AEW after Wednesday’s Dynamite, with one source saying it couldn’t have been worse than the chaos of the previous days. The same source said the situation was “out of sight, out of mind” for plenty of people on the roster who just wanted to show up and work. Another talent said the best way for all parties to make up for the public embarrassment would be to just get over the issues, make money for the company, and highlight other talents along the way

* The Tokyo Game Show convention is scheduled to run from September 15 – 18, and Omega, Nakazawa and Daniels were scheduled to travel to Japan to promote the AEW Fight Forever video game there. There’s no word yet on if they have been pulled from the convention

Multiple sources have confirmed that AEW Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh was present for the All Out incident as it unfolded. Bryan Alvarez noted that Parekh entered Punk’s locker room with The Bucks.

It’s believed that there will be confirmation on suspensions and/or departures once the third-party investigation has been completed. A new report from PWInsider notes that there is “100% a third-party legal firm” taking statements from the people who entered Punk’s locker room on Sunday night.

Leave a Reply